Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association

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Welcome to the website of the Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association!  We seek to be the light of Christ as we integrate faith and health in the ministry of parish nursing.  Here you will find information about parish nursing, tools to assist you in your ministry, as well as updates on our progress and activities. May God bless you with peace and joy!

Rising News

ELPNA has selected Wild Apricot, a product of Personify, to provide cohesive membership management, programming, and website services for our members and colleagues. We hope you will find the new system beneficial to your needs and we welcome your feedback and recommendations! We are also opening the Membership and Communications Committees to individuals who have or would like to gain technology skills to promote our organization.  Please contact Carol DeSchepper with your comments or to volunteer at elpna.national@gmail.com

Technology Tip

We are trying to include pertinent links to resources and references for your access. Links will be underlined for ease of identification. Even if a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) exists (and some do have active links), we will try to add the American Psychological Association (APA) format for retrieving online information with the link, such as referencing the online site for use of APA (Purdue Online Writing Lab (n.d.).

Purdue Online Writing Lab (n.d.). General format. Retrieved May 28, 2021 from https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html

The COVID Corner

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for those age 12 and older, with the announcement of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine now being available for adolescents age 12 to 15 (CDC, 2021).

Herd Immunity (also referred to as Population Immunity) for COVID-19 will occur when 94% of the population have antibodies against the virus due to receiving vaccinations or having had the disease (Mayo Clinic, 2021). 

CDC. (May 12, 2021). COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens. Retrieved May 23, 2021 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html

Mayo Clinic. (May 5, 2021). Herd immunity and COVID-19 (coronavirus): What you need to know. Retrieved May 23, 2021 from  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/herd-immunity-and-coronavirus/art-20486808 

Wondering how important that second vaccine dose is? Well, wonder no more! In a study of 500,000 health care personnel in 25 states within the US, being fully vaccinated (7 days or more after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines) reduced COVID-19 symptomatic illness by 94%, while having only one dose of the vaccine decreased the effectiveness to 82%. Encourage everyone to be fully vaccinated!

CDC. (May 14, 2021). Largest CDC COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness study in health workers shows mRNA vaccines 94% effective. Retrieved June 1, 2021  from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0514-covid-19-vaccine-effectiveness.html

Empowering to Healing Work

"It is explicitly the work of congregations to attend to everything from safety in our larger communities to visiting us at the end of our lives. We are active agents in the creation of community and the building up of families. Often congregations are literally at the crossroads of communities, whether in small towns or major urban centers. When people are in pain or suffering loss, they often find their way to congregations. We can and do make a major difference in this work." 
Jill Westberg McNamara

Westberg McNamara, J. (2019). Empowering to Healing Work - Jesus' model for ministry. Church Health Reader, 9(4), 15,22

Join today!

Suicide Prevention

According to the CDC (2021), suicide has increased by 33% in only 10 years (1999-2019). Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for over 47,500 deaths in 2019. This is approximately one death every 11 minutes.  Suicide has affected all of our lives in one way or another. 

Suicide affects people of all ages and is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34. This means that we have to consider suicide as a risk factor in the youth of our congregation.  Suicide is the  fourth leading cause of deaths among people ages 34-54, and the fifth leading cause among those ages 45-54.

Becky Elsbernd, Parish Nurse, Trinity Lutheran Church, Mason City, Iowa  has contributed an article for our May/June newsletter about her personal experience  in suicide prevention and shares some important information. Click here to read her article.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021).  Suicide prevention: Fast facts. Retrieved May 25, 2021 from https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/index.html

Phyllis Bruce, Communications Committee Chair

Upcoming Events

Grants Available for Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nurse Ministries

We have an exciting opportunity for Lutheran congregations! Members of the ELPNA have long been supportive of new parish nurse ministry start-ups and are acutely aware of the challenging financial situations of congregations. In response to this need, the ELPNA will annually provide funds for start-up or development of a new focus in an existing parish nursing ministry, for a minimum of two (2) Lutheran congregations. Congregations can request up to $750.00 in grant funding.

Click here for more information and for the application form.

In Honor of Valborg Tollefsrud, RN
By Ann Rabie, St. Paul, MN (Region 3)

Valborg is an amazing and dedicated woman of faith.  She became a parish nurse after she retired from being a professor of Nursing at St. Olaf College.  She is now over 90 and continues to be in contact with members of her congregation, many of whom are younger than her.  

We invited Ann Rabie, a former student,  to share her story about Valborg.  Ann also served as parish nurse at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church for many years, has been Chair of the Region 3 Board of Directors, and now enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.  

Click here for Ann's story about Valborg. Scroll down.  

Not a member yet?

ELPNA exists to support Parish Nurses/Faith Community Nurses who are Lutheran or who serve in Lutheran Congregations. If you are from another denomination please contact
elpna.national@gmail.com for further information.

Read More About Membership!

Please contact us with any website recommendations or corrections at elpna.national@gmail.com

Click for ELPNA brochure:

Email us at:

Mail us at:
PO Box 8117
St. Paul, MN 55108

Last updated: 06/22/21

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