Parish Nursing in Papua New Guinea took a
significant step forward at the second Introduction to Pastoral
Care Nursing course that concluded in Goroka on 31 August.
Nineteen people received their certificates during a service at St
John’s Lutheran church that morning. At the conclusion of the
service the ‘graduates’ were introduced to the congregation, and
they then lined up to be greeted by worshippers as they the left
Students included lecturers from the Lutheran School of Nursing in
Madang, the chairman of the school’s board (a former General
Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea),
chairman of the St John’s congregation, a representative from
Lutheran Health Services, as well as a pastor and vicar.
The course was coordinated by Pastor Robert and Mrs Lynette
Wiebusch, and included input from local nurses, including Paula
Pohonu, who had just returned from a Lutheran Parish Nurses
International (LPNI) study tour to Germany. Paula was the
winner of the 2014 LPNI study tour scholarship. She gave a
report on the tour, both at the course and at the graduation
In the final session, class participants began to frame a strategy
for developing Parish Nursing in PNG beyond Goroka.
Nurses from St John’s pioneered Parish Nursing in Papua New Guinea
when, with encouragement from their pastor, Grahamme Baital, they
formed Lutheran Nurses Outreach Ministry (LNOM) to extend the
congregation’s ministry and mission. It was noted that
two of the other Lutheran congregations in Goroka, as well as the
Roman Catholic church, are now enquiring about Parish
It was agreed to ‘make haste slowly’, and that initially urban
congregations should be targetted. The Madang participants are
hoping to be able to establish a Parish Nurse ministry in the
congregation adjacent to the school of nursing in the coming 12
months. It was also agreed that an introductory course and
seminar be offered in Madang next year.
The possibility of establishing Parish Nurse ministries at some of
the church’s schools, and at Medical Outposts operated by the
church, was warmly supported. St John’s chairman Mr Himony
Lapiso, who is a board member of the Asaroka Lutheran High School
out of Goroka, spoke strongly in favour of equipping existing
school nurses to take on the wider role of Pastoral Care
A committee comprising members from both Goroka and Madang was
formed to plan future development of Parish Nursing in PNG,
including next year’s course. Their first meeting is
scheduled for Madang.
At the same time, consideration is to be given to the possibility
of forming a national Lutheran nursing organisation similar to the
Lutheran Nurses Association of Australia.
The course was followed by a short seminar, which was also attended
by nurses who completed last year’s introductory course in