Spiritual Care

Nemours Children's Hospital, Lake Nona

When your child is sick, your world is turned upside down. But you don’t have to travel this journey alone — our spiritual care team is always here for you to provide strength and support when you need it the most.

We can help you:
  • cope with the stress of an illness or hospitalization
  • discuss difficult decisions
  • deal with bad news
  • ease the loneliness and isolation of a hospital stay
  • offer religious rituals (sacraments, scriptures, ceremonies and prayers)
  • contact a clergy in your own religious tradition

Please feel free to call us for spiritual and emotional care for you, your child, or your family. We’ll meet you in the chapel, your child’s hospital room or wherever you feel most comfortable.

About Our Chapel

Located: 1st floor lobby, left of the greeter’s desk, near the gift shop
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Our non-denominational chapel is a peaceful place for respite, prayer, quiet meditation and reflection for people of all faiths. While you’re here, you can read from sacred texts from a variety of faith traditions. We can also provide other devotional literature upon request.


Words of Comfort

Our pastoral care team has collected some prayers, quotes and inspirational passages to keep with you to provide comfort during this stressful time.

Printable Words of Comfort (PDF) »

Clinical Pastoral Education & Training

Pastoral care is integral to the holistic and family-centered model of patient care at Nemours Children’s Hospital (NCH). Our chaplain, volunteers and interns minister to patients, families and staff members to assist with their emotional and spiritual needs.

At NCH, we offer a nationally accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program that offers a rare opportunity to focus solely on pediatrics. Our program educates participants of all faith traditions to help children and families confronted with a crisis or bereavement. It’s designed for:

  • candidates preparing to be hospital chaplains
  • seminarians
  • community clergy
  • lay religious leaders
  • other spiritual caregivers seeking continuing education

About Our Program

The NCH pastoral education program runs September through April and combines weekly classroom sessions with clinical practice at a 1-to-3 ratio. Participants gain confidence and competence through:

  • direct ministry as a chaplain to patients and families
  • interaction with interdisciplinary staff members
  • individual and group supervision
  • peer group sessions to share patient case studies, simulate incidents and practice responses, and reflect on faith traditions
  • didactic workshops and seminars
  • reading and writing assignments

The full 1,600-hour CPE curriculum includes two 400-hour Level I units and two 400-hour Level II units. Level I units are a prerequisite for Level II enrollment. Level II graduates are eligible to become a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain (BCCC).

Learn More About Our Clinical Pastoral Education Program »


For questions or to apply, contact:
Jim DeGrado

Nemours Children's Hospital Chaplain
(407) 650-7847
james.degrado@nemours.org

Contact Us

Jim DeGrado

Hospital Chaplain
(407) 650-7847 Office
(407) 770-9835 Cell
james.degrado@nemours.org

Spiritual Care Services
Nemours Children's Hospital

Chapel is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It's located on the 1st floor, near the gift shop.


Hours

Chaplain is onsite: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weekends for spiritual services
Chaplain is on-call: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies