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Teaching Spiritual Care to Nursing Students: An Integrated Model

Taylor, Elizabeth Johnston; Testerman, Nancy; Hart, Dynnette

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000058
Feature: education

ABSTRACT: Graduating nurses are required to know how to support patient spiritual well-being, yet there is scant literature about how spiritual care is taught in undergraduate programs. Typically spiritual content only is sporadically included; the authors recommend integrating spiritual care throughout the nursing curriculum. This article describes how one Christian nursing school integrates spiritual care content, supports student spiritual well-being throughout the program, and evaluates spiritual care instruction at graduation.

Spiritual care is a hot topic in nursing and even hotter in nursing education. How can we teach spiritual care to students? Explore one Christian school's integrated approach for preparing their graduates to give spiritually sensitive care.

Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, PhD, RN, Professor, Loma Linda University School of Nursing (LLUSN), Loma Linda, CA, pursues a program of research exploring patient, family, and nurse spiritual responses to illness. Beth also teaches primary aged children at her church in Glendale, CA.

Nancy Testerman, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor, LLUSN, teaches mental health nursing and chairs the school Spiritual Life and Wholeness Committee. She volunteers weekly in the LLU Family Medicine residency program training residents to locate community resources and report abuse.

Dynnette Hart, DrPH, RN, CPNP, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Program, LLUSN, taught various pediatric courses prior to assuming her administrative role. She also serves the Loma Linda University Church as an Associate Deacon.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Accepted by peer review 8/7/2013.

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© 2014 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship