Parish Nurse

Mission Statement

The parish nurse promotes physical, emotional, spiritual, and social harmony to encourage health and healing relationships with God, family, faith communities, culture and creation. 

Contact Information
  • Karen Dolan RN, Parish Nurse
  • Phone: (715)-579-5601
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Office Hours: Wed. 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM (or by appointment)

Wellness Offerings

Assisted Living WI

Resources for Senior Care in WI

Messages from the Nurse

Children's Eye Health and Safety Month

National Institute for Kids Eye

NIH Eye News

Pregnancy Support


Low Potasium Symptoms

Liver Cancer

ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure

Abortion pill Reversal

Azura Memory Care

 Presentation TopicsLiving Well with Chronic Conditions

Dove Healthcare South Eau Claire now has Assisted Living openings.  For information call Administrator Jeremy  Kiley @ 715-225-2823 or email [email protected]

Mayo Clinic Health System Classes and Events has several Youth & Family Programs, Support Groups, and Wellness Offerings check out this website for more information., go to class and events tab.

Information on Measles

 Rachel's Vineyard- Hurting after abortion?  Find hope and healing. 

Unbound spirit

12 Daily Habits of Fitness Professionals and Nutrition

Using over the counter analgesics safely

Easy ways to cut added sugar out of your diet 

 For information on Al-Anon Family Groups or Alcohol Anonymous information can be found at:


If anyone would like to request specific information on a health or spiritual topic email or call the parish nurse.  715-579-5601

Facts about parish nursing:

How parish nursing started

Parish nursing was initiated in the mid 1980's by Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg. He wanted to emulate the faith community nursing outreach that was done by religious orders, similar to the "Parish Deaconesses" in Europe and America in the 1800's.  

Westberg helped to launch several "Wholistic Health Centers in local congregations to provide a team approach to both wellness and illness care in local congregations, using clergy, physicians, nurses, and social workers.  Rev. Westberg observed nurses provided a vital link between health systems and congregations.  He urged his hospital to launch a program in area congregations to provide "parish nurses" who would reach out into the community to build bridges of healing and hope.

What is a parish nurse (faith community nurse)?

 A parish nurse (PN) is a registered nurse with a minimum of two years experience that works in a faith community to address health       issues of its members as well as those in the broader community or neighborhood.  The experience the nurse has gathered working in other medical areas/specialties aids the nurse with an assessment of health status, health needs, and collaboration with health agencies.  What makes this specialty different is the conscious partnering of health issues with the faith of the client and client's family.  The core to this practice is the intentional care of the spirit of those the PN assists.

What does a parish nurse do?  

 A parish nurse has several roles and they work together to promote physical, emotional, spiritual, and social harmony leading to healthy and healing relationships with God, family, faith communities, culture and creation.

  • H  Health Advisor  
  • E  Educator on health issues
  • A  Advocate/Resource Person
  • L  Liaison to Faith and Community resources
  • T  Teacher of volunteers and developer of support groups
  • H  Healer of Body, Mind, Spirit, and Community

Who can be a parish nurse?

Registered nurses with a minimum of two years experience, a current license in the state where the faith community is located, and who have completed a parish nurse foundations course for this specialty practice, which is recognized by the American Nurses Association.

What about the name?

In the traditional sense of the word, "parish" includes the whole neighborhood, so this specialty nurse practice derives its name from serving a congregation and the wider community. More generally it is known as faith community nursing with a set of scope and standards that state each faith community can use terminology that is congruent with that faith such as church nursing, congregational nursing, or other title.

Is this only available to Christian congregations?  

No- there are Jewish Congregational Nurses, Muslim Crescent Nurses, and registered nurses serving in similar capacities within other faith traditions as well.

What is the training for a parish nurse?

There are several curricula, but most parish nurses have used the curriculum developed by a panel of nursing faculty which is offered in partnership with the International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC) at more than 130 nursing schools and health systems around the US and abroad.

Are there parish nurses in other states? 

There are parish nurses in all 50 states.  Contact the IPNRC for locations and coordinators of programs.

How many parish nurses are there?

There are approximately 15,000 parish nurses in the United States of which about 35% are compensated for their ministry.

Are there parish nurses in other countries?

Parish nursing is growing rapidly around the world.  Currently, there are parish nurses in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, England, Ghana, India, Kenya, Korea, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Ukraine, Wales, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

How can one connect with other parish nurses?

The International Parish Nurse Resource Center (IPNRC) connects with several hundred parish nurse faculty and coordinators, who work with thousands of parish nurses worldwide.  In addition, many parish nurses attend the Westberg Parish Nurse Symposium which is the annual professional meeting for parish nurses held each fall

How can I learn more?

Visit the website of the International Parish Nurse Resource Center at or call (314) 918-2527.  The IPNRC has a number of web-based, print, and DVD resources available.