Working as a parish nurse combines medical knowledge with religious faith, allowing you to help patients from all walks in life in a way that combines physical and spiritual healing.
Parish nurses do many of the same tasks as general staff nurses of the same educational level. The only difference is that as a parish nurse, you’ll work in a faith-based community and may take a patient’s spiritual needs into consideration as you focus on treating physical and mental problems as well. Parish nurses may complete basic nursing tasks, but can also be called on for tasks such as counseling, praying with a patient, and other faith-based duties. You could work in a general medical facility, serving members of your faith community who are admitted, or you could work for a religious organization.
Salary and Career Options
The salary you’ll make as a parish nurse depends on your education level and where you work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses make $66,530 annually. The top ten percent make an average of $93,700, so even a six-figure salary is possible if you’re an RN. In many cases, parish nurses work on a part-time basis, or you may work at a facility like a religious summer camp, so you may instead get paid a stipend that is lower but comes attached with free housing and food.
You can get started working as a parish nurse by going through an LPN educational program. You can then consider becoming an RN, which requires you to go back to school to earn either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which you can do through a typical RN program or through a LPN-to-RN program. There are also graduate-level nursing programs you can consider, an many parish nurses like to take addition faith-based classes.
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