Parish Nurse

From the Open Files of:

NW Synod of Wisconsin Resource Center (715) 833-1153

Contributed by:

First Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, WI

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Job Description

POSITION: Parish Nurse

Supervision: Senior Pastor and Congregation Council

Position Purpose: The parish nurse of First Lutheran Church will develop and maintain an organized congregational health ministry by planning and setting goals, by establishing and working with a Health Cabinet made up of congregational members, and by carrying out a healing ministry which promotes health and wholeness in the name of Jesus Christ. The parish nurse is a ministry to, for, and with all the members of First Lutheran Church and, as opportunities present themselves, for the outreach of care to the wider community. The parish nurse will provide no invasive skilled care.


Health Education
  • To assess, diagnose, and evaluate health concerns and provide information and compassion as needed
  • To emphasize preventative health care through education, screening and assessments, and awareness of the relationship between lifestyle attitudes, faith, and well-being
  • To seek opportunities to offer seminars and classes, provide printed resources, and train others in the ministry of health and wholeness
  • To be an advocate for health and healing in all aspects of the congregation's ministry
  • To be a resource for the Stephen Ministry program and other congregational ministries of care
  • To support efforts in worship, written communication, and educational settings for the promotion of a holistic perspective of health and wholeness
  • To facilitate the formation of support groups within the congregation

Personal Health Counseling

  • To discuss health problems with those seeking guidance and information
  • To make home, hospital, and nursing home visits as needed
  • To offer presence and prayer during times of crisis and celebration
  • To make referrals as necessary

Coordinate and Teach Volunteers

  • To encourage congregational members with health expertise to offer their gills to health related issues and concerns
  • To assist in supporting congregational members engaged in caring ministries
  • To establish, work with, and support a Health Cabinet
  • To assess congregational health needs, and train and empower others to engage in meeting identified needs whenever possible
  • To work with the Education Committee, Social Action Committee and other groups within the congregation as needed when cooperative efforts between the parish nurse and other program areas of the church would enhance health ministry

Coordinate Networking of Resources in the Congregation and Community

  • To work in conjunction with the pastors of the congregation in the professional care-giving ministry of the church
  • To refer parishioners to various support services as needed
  • To maintain strong contacts with community helping professions
  • To act as a liaison to community resources and services


  • Report quarterly to the Church Council in written form; once per year in person
  • Attend weekly meetings of the church staff whenever possible
  • Communicate regularly with pastors and staff regarding scheduling, availability, etc.
  • Maintain thorough, confidential records
  • Work with Health Cabinet to establish a budget emphasizing the efficient use of resources
  • Encouraged to network with other parish nurses

Working Conditions

Days and hours worked are to be very flexible and conform to the needs which arise and the programs established

Office hours will be determined by the parish nurse to facilitate easy access by parishioners; congregational secretaries shall be kept informed of such hours

Occasionally subject to irregular hours

Ability to drive and have access to a car; maintains current driver's license and auto liability insurance

May be exposed to infections and contagious diseases

Exposed to unpleasant elements (accidents, injuries, illness, etc.)

Light physical demands of lifting, bending, kneeling, etc.

Annual performance review will be done with senior pastor

Annual evaluation of health ministry will be done by the Health Cabinet

The parish nurse will carry his/her own professional liability insurance, in addition to the liability coverage provided by the church. Proof of valid professional liability insurance and registered nurse licensure in the state of Wisconsin will be filed with the church office on an annual basis within the congregation as needed when cooperative efforts between the parish nurse and other program areas of the church would enhance health ministry


  • Registered nurse with a baccalaureate degree in nursing (five years minimum experience)
  • Currently licensed as a registered nurse in the state of Wisconsin
  • Must maintain current CPR certification
  • Must complete formal continuing education in parish nursing within six months of employment
  • Perform all activities in accordance with the American Nurses Association Standards of Practice and the Wisconsin Nurse Practice Act
  • Commitment to maintaining knowledge and skill base as a registered nurse
  • Outstanding abilities in teaching individuals and groups
  • Excellent oral and written skills
  • Genuine compassion and respect for all persons
  • Knowledge of and experience with the complex dynamics of congregational governance
  • Has understanding of and commitment to the church's vital mission in fostering wellness
  • Deep faith in Jesus Christ and commitment to the healing ministry of the Lord as understood by the Lutheran Church
  • Background in teaching and/or community health preferred

All responsibilities will not be done with equal emphasis. The Health Cabinet, senior pastor and parish nurse will determine responsibility priorities.

This description was developed to enhance the communication of job and performance expectations and should not be considered a contractual agreement or an aft-inclusive list of responsibilities, duties, and skills required. The specifications, responsibilities, and activities will be reviewed on at least an annual basis for possible changes, which may be initiated as needed. This position will be reconsidered on a yearly contract basis.


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