Nurse-Led Education: Combining Spirituality & Prostate Health: Part Two


Published: 03 August 2021

Read: Nurse Lead Education: Combining Spirituality & Prostate Health: Part One

Healthcare professionals who worship in community-based churches can emerge as leaders of initiatives that inspire and empower others to examine their personal health needs.

The previous instalment of this series detailed an outline for groups to be held in church communities, focusing on issues related to men’s health.

Now, let us examine how to analyse the themes that might emerge from those groups to organise and formalise nurse-led education and information sessions.

Examining the Research

Saunders et. al. (2013) conducted focus groups within 20 The Black Church communities in the United States. The aim of this research was to ascertain participants’ level of knowledge regarding prostate health and assess their basic need and desire to learn about prostate cancer.

At the completion of this research, there were three emerging themes:

  1. Knowledge deficit: The majority of participants identified a knowledge deficit regarding the primary purpose of the prostate and the various treatment options for prostate cancer.
  2. Social Media/internet: The majority of participants admitted to utilising social media, the internet and text messaging to acquire and share information regarding prostate health.
  3. Cultural competence and understanding: The majority of participants reported feeling that the healthcare system and healthcare providers lack empathy and cultural competence was a major obstacle that enhanced their reluctance to seek prostate screenings or care in the presence of physical symptoms that might signal a medical problem.

The Relationship Between Trust and Education

nurse-led education two men discussing men's health
Men may be reluctant to discuss or ask questions of a nurse, but they may be more comfortable with a peer.

Trust has been found to be an essential aspect of the nurse-patient relationship. However, there is a gap in the literature on how trust is formed in patient-nurse relationships and the circumstances that the development process requires when providing health education (Eriksson & Nilsson 2008, p. 2352).

The sheer number of parishioners who worship in larger church communities may exceed the feasibility of a small number of nurses to reach worshippers searching for information within that populace. Furthermore, men may be reluctant to discuss or ask questions of a nurse, but they may be more comfortable with a peer, particularly if that peer has shared their own men’s health challenges.

Evidence-based literature suggests a range of physical and psychological health benefits from engaging in informal help and volunteer support programs (Crisp et al. 2020). These benefits include:

  • Improved mental and physical health and wellbeing
  • Greater quality of life
  • Self-esteem
  • Enhanced knowledge
  • Stress reduction.

While similar benefits may also exist for worshippers engaged as Health Education Ambassadors, further research in this area is needed.

Putting Research Into Practice

In the first instalment of this series, we recognised that faith-based communities represent safety, security, spirituality and trust. These attributes are essential components for men and their families who may have experienced devastating losses as a result of the pandemic and are therefore afraid to return to health care settings.

Local nurses, who have already established trust with fellow parishioners, are ideally suited to lead educational initiatives for parishioners who were unable to, or afraid to, seek care for symptoms when healthcare centres shuttered their doors to non-emergent patient care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nurse leading an educational initiative should request a notice be placed in the parish newsletter about this opportunity. The necessary number of volunteers may vary based upon the size of the parish and other circumstances. The nurse should then schedule three to five weekly one-to-two-hour nurse-led meetings with the group in order to ascertain their level of understanding regarding men’s health and their availability to participate in the program.

These meetings should provide opportunities for nurse-led education and socialisation among the group’s health ambassadors. Group members may also be recruited to publicise the men’s health programs on social media, and to other local parishes that may have limited resources.

nurse-led education meeting

Once the health ambassador training has been completed, the nurse should work with the group in order to determine the ideal method of educating other worshippers about men’s health issues. The nurse should work with the parish leaders to obtain space and permissions to schedule two or three educational programs at various times so that the maximum number of worshippers can attend.

Rural nurses are ideally suited to recruit, educate and mentor health education ambassadors to assist in the planning, recruitment and delivery of church-based men’s health education programs. These nurses are trusted ‘insiders’ within their communities who understand and ‘value work’ as a primary motivator, even if it poses a barrier to primary health care (Long & Weinert 2018).

Rural nurses may also share relationships and connections with those who may be too afraid or reluctant to discuss the issues associated with men’s health or seek help from medical personnel. This model for education will allow nurses to better understand the unique needs of every worshipper and their support systems while recognising the multiplicity of cultural and social norms that may pose challenges for seeking care in a healthcare setting.


We must recognise that at times, in order to deliver education and information, our role as educators may require us to leave the walls of our health care and academic institutions so that we can reach those that are unable to reach us!

This model of nursing education practice offers a creative, innovative approach for meeting the educational needs of worshippers who may be struggling with illnesses specific to men’s health.

The next instalment in the series will address the process of evaluating the effectiveness of this model and planning for future programs.

  • Crisp, D. A, Rickwood, D, Martin, B & Byrom, N 2020, ‘Implementing a Peer Support Program for Improving University Student Wellbeing: The Experience of Program Facilitators’, The Australian Journal of Education, vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 113–126,
  • Eriksson, L & Nilsson, K 2008, ‘Preconditions Needed for Establishing a Trusting Relationship During Health Counseling - An Interview Study’, Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol. 17, no. 17, pp. 2352-2359,
  • Long, K A & Weinert, C 2018, ‘Rural Nursing: Developing the Theory Base’, in C A Winters & H Lee (eds.), Rural Nursing: Theories, Concepts, and Practice, 5th edn, pp., Springer Publishing Company, New York.
  • Saunders, D R, Holt, C L, Le, D, Slade, J L, Muwwakkil, B, Savoy, A, Williams, R, Whitehead, T L, Wang, M Q & Naslund, M J 2015, ‘Recruitment and Participation of African American Men in Church-Based Health Promotion Workshops’, Journal of Community Health, vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 1300–1310,


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Judith Paré View profile
Judith Paré joined the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) in May, 2017 as the Director of Nursing Education/Workforce Quality and Safety. In 2014, Judith earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in the field of Nursing Education Capella University. Prior to joining the MNA she was Dean of the School of Nursing & Behavioral Sciences at Becker College in Worcester Massachusetts. She is an experienced educator in academic and continuing education settings. Judith is a member of more than ten professional nursing organisations and she devotes much of her time as an advocate for the Rural Nurse Organisation. Her expertise include curriculum design, assessment and evaluation in nursing and healthcare. Her research areas of expertise in rural healthcare and specifically the lived experiences of the rural nurse generalist. Judith is a published author and a national speaker in the field of rural nursing. Her recent writings includes: Montgomery, S, Sutton A & Paré, J 2017, ‘Rural Nursing & Synergy’, Online Journal of Rural Nursing & Health Care, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 87-99.