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Congregational Nurse Program

Congregational Nurse Blood Pressure CheckOur Congregational Nurse Program is a unique, specialized nursing practice established as a collaborative relationship between Cone Health and our area’s faith communities. This partnership recognizes that religious organizations have a long history of promoting healing and caregiving. We established our Congregational Nurse Program in 1998 with grants from the Cone Health Foundation.

Our approach provides for a congregational coordinator based at Cone Health who is responsible for assisting community congregations with developing and implementing a Health Ministry Program. Each health ministry is tailored to meet individual congregations’ needs and capabilities. Currently, we collaborate with 48 faith communities, all of which have either a paid or volunteer congregational nurse.

Roles and Activities

Our congregational nurses provide a range of services to their faith communities such as:

  • Congregational NursePersonal health counseling. While congregational nurses do not perform “hands-on” nursing care such as wound care or injections, they discuss health concerns with parishioners and visit with them as needed.
  • Health education. Congregational nurses promote an understanding of the relationship between lifestyle, attitudes, faith and well-being.
  • Referral assistance. Congregational nurses serve as a resource for area health resources and services for their faith community.
  • Recruiting volunteers. As facilitators, they often recruit and coordinate volunteers and support groups within their congregations.

The role of congregational nurses is varied and includes:

  • Listening.
  • Assessing health needs for the faith community.
  • Providing screening clinics.
  • Making home, hospital or nursing home visits.
  • Referring parishioners to appropriate health or social services agencies.
  • Offering educational programs to address specific congregational needs.
  • Coordinating volunteers for supportive ministries.
  • Networking with other congregational nurses to increase knowledge.

Program Objectives

Our objectives are to:

  • Enhance the health status of people served by Cone Health through outreach.
  • Promote harmony of body, mind and spirit in achieving and maintaining individual health with a focus on disease prevention and reducing health risk behaviors.
  • Facilitate an active partnership between Cone Health, faith communities, agencies and the community at large to promote wellness, chronic disease management and healthier lifestyles.  


For more information, call 336-663-5800.