Salt & Light
Florence Nightingale (n. d.) said, “If I could give you information of my life, it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do in His service what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing.”
Nothing? That's a humble assessment from the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale transformed nursing practice through her faithful devotion to God, who made it all possible. How can you use your “very ordinary ability” in the path God has put before you?
As we celebrate our founder's birthday through National Nurses Week on May 6-12, 2017, follow her example and take advantage of opportunities to express God's love and grace to coworkers. Nurses Christian Fellowship provides ideas for events and prayer gatherings. Invite your friends to a special Bible discussion on this year's theme.
See all of the NCF resources at www.ncf-jcn.org. Be God's salt and light in nursing!
Nightingale, F. (n. d.). Florence Nightingale quotes. Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/florenceni752502.html
Benefits of Membership
We asked new NCF members why they joined Nurses Christian Fellowship, and this was the most common response: “I was looking for a professional nursing organization that matches my Christian values.”
NCF has a 70-year history that values compassionate care, integrity of the whole person, and spiritual development. By integrating nursing practice and Christian faith, NCF nurses are agents of God's healing through holistic patient care.
If you're an NCF member, know we are praying for you to love God and serve others where he has called you. God encouraged Joshua, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NIV)
If you're a JCN subscriber, consider becoming an NCF member and joining a network of Christian nurses who follow Jesus in nursing. Your JCN subscription is included as part of your membership package. Significant CE discounts are available for members on a wide range of clinical topics. Membership in the NCF professional organization is a great value—less than $7.00 per month (only $0.22 per day!).
Find out more about NCF membership and join our mission to nurses, students, and educators at ncf-jcn.org/membership.
Nursing students deal with a great deal of stress and anxiety that comes with a rigorous academic program and clinical demands. As they prepare for a profession that expects them to care for others, how do they care for themselves?
Nurses Christian Fellowship has developed a new Bible study series called Trusting God in Nursing School. Each study helps students learn more about actively depending on God and growing in faith. A key component provides opportunities for participants to share what they are learning with others in their nursing school.
“The first study focuses on finding the source of one's identity in Christ rather than finding identity in being a great student or nurse,” said Bonnie Hann, NCF Campus Liaison. “This is a critical place to start in a person's spiritual development.”
Other studies explore a biblical view of suffering, alternatives to self-reliance, character issues, and anxiety.
The Bible studies in this new series are carefully crafted around a successful discipleship model used extensively with other students through the ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, campus partners with NCF.
“These new Bible studies for nursing students also are relevant for nurses,” said Mary Thompson, former NCF director. “And the Bible studies for nurses can be used by students who want to explore their call to nursing and how they can be most effective or how to deal with death and grief, as well as other topics.”
Whether you're a nursing student or a veteran practicing nurse, invite your friends and coworkers to explore what the Bible has to say about nursing and draw closer to God.
Discover all of the NCF Bible studies at http://ncf-jcn.org/resources/bible-study-materials.
NCF members who need help with their JCN print subscription or online account should contact LWW Member Services at 866-489-0443 or memberservice@LWW.com.
From the NCF Director
Recently I was struck by Jesus' words about himself as the good shepherd (John 10). This was a perfect metaphor for the people of that day as Israel had been a pastoral nation for milennia. The image of shepherding illustrated God's caring relationship with his people (Genesis 48:15; Psalm 23). The prophet Isaiah spoke of the Sovereign Lord who “tends his flock like a shepherd: He gather the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11).
The metaphor also was used to describe leaders who were bad shepherds (Jeremiah 23). The bad leaders of Israel let the flock be plundered. They were called to strengthen the weak and the sick but cared only for themselves (Ezekiel 34). I wondered, am I a good shepherd leader? Is NCF caring for our young nursing students? Are we caring for nurses, for our members? Are we supporting educators? Are we helping nurses shepherd those they care for and serve?
Who cares for nurses when they are tired and discouraged? Who helps restore their souls? Jesus is the ultimate Shepherd who will do this, but NCF wants to help you find spiritual sustenance. Through NCF ministry and membership, we want to care for you as you face challenges in daily practice. We will work to address nursing issues in JCN and provide encouraging articles. We will search for resources to share with NCF members through Charting the Way, our monthly members-only eNewsletter.
Know that NCF is praying for you. Look for encouragement and Christian nursing resources at ncf-jcn.org.
— Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner
How can we more effectively equip and encourage NCF student chapters to reflect the light and love of God at their nursing schools?
I've been asking this question since last fall when I accepted the position of Student Ministries Director for Nurses Christian Fellowship. This year we are regularly using video coaching calls to train students and educators in effective ministry strategies in their nursing school.
For example, an NCF student leader felt God inviting her to start a Bible study for her classmates. As she shared her idea with other students, five of them eagerly said yes! Amazingly, several of them are not yet Christians, but they were excited by the opportunity to explore what they believe.
There was only one slight problem—the student leader had never led a Bible study before and was unsure where to begin! When she reached out and asked for help, we scheduled a video training call together. Even though I could not be with this student in person, I walked her through how to prepare and lead a Bible study with her friends. I can't wait to see how God will use this Bible study to encourage these nursing students to grow in their faith!
We also are experimenting with webinars to deliver ministry content and strategies to nursing students and faculty. We hosted a webinar on spiritual care by Bonnie Hann, NCF Campus Liaison. Through the 30-minute online presentation, Bonnie talked about assessing spiritual needs and determining appropriate interventions. Through these webinars, we are equipping tomorrow's nurses to provide holistic patient care.
Will you pray with us for wisdom and insight to be good stewards of technology in our ministry with nursing students and educators.
May God use these tools to train and develop nursing students for leadership on campus and beyond!
Explore what student ministry is all about at ncf-jcn.org/students. Find resources for NCF groups for students and nurses at ncf-jcn.org/resources.
—Timothy Lin, MA, is the NCF Student Ministries Director and a Senior Area Director in Kansas with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.