Each day when I go to work, I have the privilege of sharing in the lives of many people at a time when they are most vulnerable. My patients (and sometimes their families) share with me their struggles, suffering, questions about life and death, as well as their joys and their hopes.
As a registered nurse, my responsibility is to care for the whole person – body and soul. With many years of experience, I am competent in the providing physical care but I am mindful that my ability to provide spiritual care is lacking. When the body is sick, the soul also suffers and most people whom I encounter are in need of spiritual care.
For a long time now I have been discerning the next stage in my calling as a nurse. I have been researching the role and scope of practice of parish nurses and have finally decided to take a leap of faith and pursue certification in parish nursing ministry.
What is a parish nurse?
According to the Foundations of Parish Nursing program given through the Institute for Catholic Formation at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario, Canada, a parish nurse is:
“a specially trained registered nurse who is called to ministry and affirmed by a faith community to promote health, healing, and wholeness among its members. Recognizing the interconnectedness of body, mind, and spirit, parish nurses promote wellness through health education, advocacy, and spiritual support. They work to link the needs of those they serve to resources in the greater community, health care system, and their community of faith. Parish nurse ministry is designed to involve individuals of all ages, families, and congregations as active partners in their personal health.”
For the next month I am taking an online course towards my goal, the first course over the next couple of years. It’s going to be a busy month with family, work, teaching Catechism classes, and studying taking up my time. Therefore, blogging here and at Catholic Insight will probably be non-existent.
If you think of it, please say a little prayer for me that I will listen to the Lord and follow His Will in this new adventure. See you in a month!