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Long before he coined the term "parish nurse" in 1979, the Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg (1955), a Presbyterian minister and hospital chaplain, understood the critical role of the nurse in providing wholistic physical, mental, and spiritual care. Westberg states that it is impossible to separate the work of a hospital from the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. He says, "A nurse does her work in the spirit of serving her fellowman. She could think of her work as full-time Christian service just as any pastor." He concludes, "If her hospital happened to be located in Africa or India instead of America, she would automatically be called a missionary nurse. Why then or how can just a difference in location change the nature of her work?" (p. 77).


Discussion Forum

The last quarterly question was "What title does your position use to identify your ministry?" Thank you to those who responded. In this unofficial poll, "parish nurse" is used more than "faith community nurse."


Quarterly Question: "How do you document your practice?" Send e-mail responses to


Westberg, G. (1955). Nurse, pastor, and patient: A hospital chaplain talks with nurses. Rock Island, IL: Augustana. [Context Link]