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Exploring the Experiences, Challenges, and Approaches of Parish Nurses in Their Community Practice

Jessica A Devido, Willa M Doswell, Betty J Braxter, Martha Ann Terry, Denise Charron-Prochownik
Journal of Holistic Nursing: Official Journal of the American Holistic Nurses' Association 2018 September 29, : 898010118801414

PURPOSE: To explore the personal experiences, challenges, and practices of parish nurses in their communities.

METHOD/DESIGN: The overall study used a mixed methods concurrent embedded design to describe parish nurses' experiences with diabetes education and preconception counseling in their practice. Also included were descriptions of generalized practices. Therefore, this current report will focus on these broader experiences. Focus group data were collected using face-to-face, teleconference, and video conferencing formats with 48 nurses who consider themselves to be parish nurses and analyzed with content analysis.

FINDINGS: Four qualitative themes were identified in the data: (1) Gaining Entry Through Trust, (2) Enhanced Focus on Spiritual Caring, (3) Accomplishing Much Despite Challenges, and (4) Practice Making a Difference. Parish nurses are uniquely situated to provide holistic care for the mind, body, and spirit of their patients. Despite the many positive aspects, parish nurses experience unique challenges, such as funding their practice and working independently.

CONCLUSIONS: The parish nurses can play a vital role in providing holistic care to patients in a faith-based community. Future work is needed to address the challenges of parish nurses such as access to continuing education programs related to health topics of concern to their community members.


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