This issue of JCN marks the beginning of our 30th year of publication. Over 30 years ago God gave a vision to establish a journal that would offer biblical, Christian perspectives on nursing. The journal would be a place where nurses could come to explore questions of faith and practice, to find encouragement, coaching, and instruction from experts, and even controversy. JCN has asked, “What are biblical responses to things we deal with in nursing?” Issues such as caring for difficult patients, nursing care at the end of life; staffing concerns, offering whole person care; relationships with coworkers, self-care for nurses, and caring across cultures. JCN has faithfully addressed clinical issues of the times—concerns about religion causing mental illness, abortion, euthanasia, right-to-die, poverty, alternative therapies, addictions (in patients and nurses), HIV/AIDS, poverty, suffering, labor disputes, insurance coverage, living wills, growth of the BSN, professionalism, being a Christian nurse educator, burnout, bullying, nurse–physician relationships, whistle blowing, healthcare reform, nursing shortages, and the list goes on. Care of various populations from infants to elders, health promotion in the well to the chronically ill and dying, and care for the uninsured to Medicaid insured have been examined. Spiritual care (what it is, how and how not to offer it, etc.), healthcare missions (at home and abroad), parish or faith community nursing, and excellence in nursing practice and education have been topics consistently addressed through the years. JCN has asked over and over and over: “What does it mean to be a Christian nurse?”
In this anniversary section you will find reprints of articles from JCN's first year of publication that represent issues and topics JCN has addressed over the years. As Cathy Walker, JCN Associate Editor, and I looked back through old issues of JCN, we were impressed again and again at how articles printed 30 years ago are still relevant today. You'll note a “Case Study” about spiritual care at the end of life and concern over a patient's relationship with God—an issue JCN has repeatedly spoken to over the years. JCN stopped doing case studies—where an issue was put forth and experts responded, many years ago. If you'd like us to offer case studies again, send in your “case” and we'll see what we can do!
My predecessors responded to God's call to fulfill the mission of helping students, nurses, and educators practice from a biblically based, Christian perspective. Editors Ramona Cass (1984–1990) and Judy Shelly (1990–2004) faithfully carried out God's purposes for this journal. Eight of our editorial advisors have been with JCN since the beginning, some serving for over for 30 years as JCN was envisioned: Jeanne Burger, Verna Benner Carson, Marilyne Gustafson, Patricia Kissell, Eleanor McClelland, Sharon Fish Mooney, Roberta Lyder Paige, and Susan Salladay! Four NCF National Directors—Grace Wallace, Mary Thompson, Patricia Emery, and Jane Hall—have offered immeasurable support. I offer my extreme gratitude to all of these pioneers for their work, vision, and support for JCN.
As we continue creating JCN in the future, pray for this ministry. Producing this journal is a tough job. Like any important work of God, when God has a purpose his enemy, Satan, works to thwart that purpose. We regularly experience enemy attack and unexpected difficulties. We stand on God's Word, praying and believing Scriptures such as Numbers 23:19 that God fulfills his promises; Deuteronomy 31:6–8 and Joshua 1:6–9 to be strong and courageous because the Lord will be with us; and many others like 2 Chronicles 14:11; Psalm 68:19 and 118:5–7; Isaiah 25:3–4; Matthew 28:18–20, and Philippians 4:4–9.
In addition to praying for JCN, maintain your subscription through membership in Nurses Christian Fellowship. Encourage others to join NCF and receive JCN! Encourage your workplace library to subscribe to JCN.
I am entering my tenth year as editor of JCN. It is a tremendous privilege to be endowed with leading this journal. I strive to listen to and follow the Holy Spirit, for God be the Senior Editor. Pray for me to be faithful in studying the Bible and to hear God's voice. It's hard to carry the load and keep up with the work.
God confirmed for me once again in a recent study of Isaiah that this is his journal and he will accomplish what he wants with JCN. At a time when Israel was in decline, Isaiah challenged Judah and Israel to follow God. He prophesied of events that came true, some just a few years later (Israel being taken captive), some hundreds of years later (the coming of Immanuel, the Messiah), some yet to come true (the end times). Over and over again in the book of Isaiah, God promises to be faithful to his people—something I need to remind myself of regularly. He explains that he has a plan and he will accomplish his plan. He says to strengthen feeble hands, knees, and fearful hearts; to be strong and not fear because God will save (Isaiah 35:3–4). God says to wait on him, that he gives strength to the weary and power to the weak (Isaiah 40:28–31). He says that even though he is in a high and lofty place, he dwells with the contrite and lowly, to revive our spirit and heart (Isaiah 57:15). We are reminded that, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4, NIV).
So I wait on God, and expect him to work.
The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand!” Isaiah 14:24, NIV
Happy Birthday JCN—To God Be the Glory!