Mercy Care for the Adirondacks
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Volunteer Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nurse Program

Mercy Care Volunteer Parish Nurses serve in a church congregation, promoting health and healing among its members. Parish Nurses also serve elders and persons who are ill in the community, regardless of church affiliation, through health education and counseling, spiritual and emotional support, medication management and assistance, and in finding needed services.

Parish Nurses, sometimes called Faith Community Nurses, complete a 38 hour course of study approved by the Westburg Institute for Faith Community Nurses. They do not provide hands-on care or duplicate other nursing services a person may receive. Mercy Care’s 11 parish nurses serve in Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and surrounding communities. Sr. Catherine Cummings, RSM, Ed.D., R.N., directs our Parish Nurse Program. With her leadership, Mercy Care has trained more than 50 Parish Nurses throughout the North Country.

Parish Nurses are licensed registered nurses who practice whole-person health and spiritual care as members of pastoral teams in a variety of religious faiths throughout the world. There are an estimated 15,000 parish nurses in the world.

Parish Nurse Services

Mercy Care Parish Nurses, in collaboration with church congregations, parishes, and community organizations, evaluate the medical, physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of elder persons, meet those needs as they are able, and refer them for services as needed. They serve elders as:

  • Integrators of spirituality and health
  • Health counselors
  • Health educators
  • Liaisons to community agencies
  • Advocates for quality care

Mercy Care’s Role:

  • Assists churches and communities in the recruitment of volunteer parish nurses
  • Provides education and training
  • Provides networking opportunities for Mercy Care Parish Nurses and Friendship Volunteers
  • Hosts quarterly prayer and conversation meetings
  • Serves as a resource and facilitator for parish nurses in the Tri-Lakes region
  • Coordinates referrals from elders, churches, health and human service agencies

Becoming a Mercy Care Volunteer Parish Nurse

Mercy Care welcomes nurses of all faiths to serve, as well as those nurses who are unaffiliated with any particular church or faith.

If you are a Registered Nurse who would like to promote the relationship of spiritual care and health in your practice of nursing, Mercy Care will provide the training, equipment, encouragement, and coordination to you to serve the needs of your elder neighbors in their own homes or faith communities.

Faith Community Nurse Foundations Course

Using the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing curriculum, this course is open to RN’s or other persons interested in health ministry in their church or community. Faith Community Nurses (Parish Nurses) provide health education and counseling, serve as patient advocates and connect patients to resources in the community. They care for the whole person - body, mind and spirit - with a particular focus on the spiritual.


Our next Parish Nurse Training will be held 1pm - 5pm on Fridays & 8:30am - 5pm on Saturdays, March 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26. Classes will be held in-person in Lake Placid, NY (location to be determined) and virtually via Zoom. All 6 sessions are required.

To register, click here:

For more information, contact Lexi Bevilacqua at or call 518-523-5546.

For a printable flier regarding this training, click here: