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The church nurse or "usher nurse" in the African-American church has a long and distinguished history. Membership in the Usher's and Nurses' Auxiliary is limited to "Christian women and men who have been called to serve in their local churches as ushers, nurses and other health workers, and various other church leaders who support the efforts of these groups."1


The women usher nurses dress in white uniforms and caps. They are often seen attending those who need assistance during worship services. Although they are not usually RNs, they are leaders in the congregation who receive training in health promotion and basic first aid, as well as evangelism and discipleship. They are expected to lead exemplary Christian lives and are held in high esteem by the church. This tradition can provide a strong foundation for professional nursing within African-American churches. -JAS


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