The Parish Nurse: Facilitating Wholistic Health Through the LifespanCourse Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

This course will focus on the family, illness and spirituality, discussing wholistic health issues throughout the lifespan. The overall goal of this course is to create excellence in parish nursing ministry while recognizing the unique issues and needs of children, adults and families. Meeting the needs of children and adolescents can be significantly different than those of adults. The needs of the older adult are at times complex. Meeting the needs of individuals and families pose many challenges for the parish nurse. This course builds on previously attained knowledge and skills to further prepare the Parish Nurse for the role as parish nurse in the faith community. Successful completion will contribute toward certification in parish nursing.

Please Note:
In order to run this course we need a minimum of 8 students to register for each offering.  If registration is not sufficient, the course will be withdrawn and offered again in the following year.  We regret any inconvenience to those who have registered. 

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Understand the role of the nurse in the provision of spiritual care across the lifespan, integrating traditional nursing care with the spiritual and emotional needs of individuals as they strive to achieve wellness
  • Acquire knowledge and skills to provide wholistic care, assisting families to achieve healing and wellness
  • Discuss the common issues of health, growth and development and spiritual development as it relates to children, adolescents, adults and older adults
  • Acquire an understanding of the relationship issues and challenges encountered when caring for children, adolescents, adults, the older adult and families
  • Gain an awareness of the various needs of individuals and families experiencing chronic illness
  • Describe the impact of stress and illness on the family and the role of resilience in persons with strong faith
  • Understand the issues and needs during end of life transitions and the role of the parish nurse

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Janet S. Hickman Faith Community Nursing Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006 ISBN: 978-0-7817-5457-6
  • Required Book: Mary Elizabeth O’Brien Spirituality in Nursing-- Standing on Holy Ground Fifth Edition, 2011, Jones & Bartlett Learning, LCC ISBN: 978-1449694678
  • Required Book: Michelle O’Rourke and Eugene Dufour Embracing the End of Life, Help for Those Who Accompany the Dying Novalis Publishing Inc. 2012 ISBN: 978-2-89646-396-1

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Wholistic Health For Children, Adolescents and Young Adults
    • Understand children, adolescents, and young adults as clients
    • Describe developmental theories, stages and tasks in the children’s, adolescent’s, and young adult’s life cycle
    • Consider spiritual needs of children, adolescents, and young adults
    • Develop and implement a plan for interventions based on their assessed unique spiritual needs
    • Discuss the role of the parish nurse caring for children, adolescents and young adults and their common health issues, spirituality and developmental concerns
  • Week 2: Wholistic Health for Middle Adults and Older Adults
    • Understand middle and older adults as clients
    • Describe developmental theories, stages and tasks in the middle and older adult’s life cycle
    • Consider spiritual needs of middle and older adults
    • Develop and implement a plan for interventions based on their assessed unique spiritual needs
    • Discuss the role of the parish nurse caring for middle and older adults and their common health issues, spirituality and developmental concerns
  • Week 3: Caring for Families in the Faith Community
    • Understand the family as the client
    • Describe developmental theories, stages and tasks in the family life cycle
    • Consider spiritual needs of the family
    • Develop and implement a plan for interventions based on a family's assessed unique spiritual needs
    • Consider the issues a family has when the family is caregiver
    • Discuss the role of the parish nurse caring for families
  • Week 4: Impact and Management of Chronic Illness on Families
    • Describe the characteristics of chronic illness
    • Understand the challenges for persons and families with chronic illness
    • Learn coping strategies for the individual and family
    • Discover the resources available to maximize the potential for a meaningful quality of life[br]
    • Describe parish nurse interventions in support of individuals and families living with chronic illness
    • Understand spiritual needs and formal and informal spiritual support
    • Understand the importance of formal and informal social support
  • Week 5: End of Life Transitions
    • Understand and describe hospice palliative care development in Canada
    • Understand spiritual well-being and quality of life at the end of life
    • Increase awareness of end of life complex and spiritual care issues
    • Discuss the parish nurse’s role in providing support, and in particular spiritual support, as a component of end-of-life care
    • Recognize the parish nurse’s role in collaborative practice within the healthcare system and the church – improving end of life transitions
    • Discuss available resources including support to families/caregivers[br]