Salt & Light
“It's about relationship with each other” is how Christy Secor, DNP, RN, CDWF, summarizes why NCF nurse groups are so beneficial. As NCF's Professional Ministries Director, Christy supports and helps develop these groups across the United States.
“One of the best ways we have to relate to each other as professional nurses is through NCF nurse groups,” Christy says. Nurse groups, which can meet at a workplace, an individual's home, a coffee shop, or nearly anywhere, provide a gathering opportunity for prayer, Bible study, and personal support.
For examples of how nurse groups are building relationships, read on the NCF blog (ncf.-jcn.org/blog) about groups in Delaware and Northern California. If you don't have a group near where you live or work, email NCF@intervarsity.org so NCF staff can work with you to find or start a group.
Why Be an NCF Member?
NCF is unique! As a ministry and professional organization, NCF serves nursing students, nurse educators, and practicing nurses—the only organization of its kind. As a ministry organization, NCF brings faith to students in the struggle of nursing school and to nurses in the challenges of practice or academia. As a professional organization, we bring expert nursing knowledge to every member through the Journal of Christian Nursing, ANCC-certified continuing education, and more.
Why join NCF? Your membership indicates your commitment to faith and the profession on your résumé and to your employer. Membership in NCF is economical—less than other nursing organizations. Your membership helps support the growth of NCF chapters in nursing schools and NCF nurse groups throughout the country.
Another reason to join NCF? The benefits! Members receive the award-winning JCN, free and discounted CE in numerous clinical areas, including pharmacology hours for advanced practice nurses, discounts from LWW and InterVarsity publishers, a network of fellow Christian nurses throughout the country, and more.
Join NCF today at http://ncf-jcn.org/membership. Already a member? Watch your inbox for your next renewal notice.
Remembering Our Purpose
Have you ever asked God, Why? Why am I here? Am I making a difference? What do you want of me? There is not enough of me to get through this day...this shift...this semester. It's too easy within the chaos of life and work to lose our sense of purpose in who we are as individuals and as professionals. Sometimes we lose hope.
As NCF's Professional Ministries Director, I speak with nursing students, educators, and nurses in practice about the challenges they face. The demands are real. Long hours, doing more with less, not having time for our patients, a lack of teamwork, insecurities about pay, caring for our loved ones, as well as coping with the loss and grief we experience. It is into this space Nurses Christian Fellowship is called. It is into this space we as nurses are called. The mission statement for NCF reads:
The purpose of Nurses Christian Fellowship ... is to establish and advance in nursing, within education and practice, witnessing communities of nursing students and nurses who follow Jesus as Savior and Lord: growing in love for God, God's Word, God's people of every ethnicity and culture, and God's purposes in the world.
Our purpose is always found in God. It isn't one more thing for us to do. It is who we are. The beauty of God's design is this ... our purpose is lived in relationship with him and with each other. We weren't meant to go it alone. When we experience moments of difficulty—moments where we question ourselves and when we question God—we can lean into his love and into each other as a community of believers and as brothers and sisters in Christ who “bear one another's burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
Welcome home. Let's lean into this together.
—Christy Secor, DNP, RN, CDWF, NCF Professional Ministries Director email@example.com
NCF members who need help with their JCN print or online subscription should contact Lippincott Member Services at 866-489-0443 or memberservice@LWW.com.
From the NCF Director
The Power of Connecting
In recent months, I've had unexpected opportunities to learn about the value of the NCF community. On October 12, 2018, my husband fell from our garage roof and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. He was rushed to the closest hospital, intubated, chest tubes inserted for pneumothorax, PICC and arterial lines inserted, and intracranial pressure monitoring initiated. The shock of watching him lifeless in the Surgical ICU was almost more than I could bear.
As soon as I contacted her, Linda Kunz, NCF Office Manager, posted my situation on our NCF Facebook page and asked for prayer. The outpouring of care from the 6,000 NCF Facebook followers helped carry me when I could hardly stand. In the strenuous weeks that followed, hundreds of messages of love and care were posted on Facebook and written in cards mailed to my home or the NCF office. People cared for me and lifted my family to Jesus. I had never met most of these nurses, but we were connected through NCF. News about my husband was shared through Charting the Way, our NCF member eNewsletter, and more emails arrived. Four months post injury, messages of care continue via email and Facebook. NCF held its first CE Journal Club in January 2019 via Zoom Webinar, and the nurses attending wanted to know how my husband was doing, and what did we need in prayer?
This palpable caring makes me realize one of God's purposes for NCF—to provide much needed support, a listening ear, encouragement from the Word of God, and directed prayer for each other. The ability to connect through Facebook, email, and video conferencing with thousands of nurses is amazing. But beyond the technology, it is incredibly powerful to connect through the life-giving Holy Spirit. We come together as brothers and sisters before the throne of Jesus Christ.
May I encourage you to join this powerful network of Christian nurses and become a member of NCF (http://ncf-jcn.org/membership)? If you're a Facebook follower, join NCF and connect at another level with more Christian nurses! Don't know if you're a member? Email NCF@InterVarsity.org. If you're an NCF member, watch for a new prayer opportunity to privately share and pray for each other through the NCF Members-Only website (http://ncf-jcn.org/membership/ncf-member-login). And be sure and follow us at https://www.facebook.com/ncfnurses/.
It is a sacred privilege to connect with each other in the bonds of the Spirit of God. Know that we want to be here for you, just as you have been here for me.
Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN NCF National Director and JCN Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Christian Nursing
P.S.: My husband is now in outpatient rehab, working on regaining cognitive functioning. Thanks for your continued prayers.
We can't really talk about our faith in nursing practice, can we? This is one of the most common questions that we field from Christian nursing students. Answering this question is of utmost importance for us as followers of Jesus; otherwise, we risk artificially bifurcating our spiritual and work lives.
A few months ago, at the triennial Urbana Missions Conference (www.urbana.org), I spoke with dozens of nursing students pondering this question. When I assured them that it was not merely acceptable but desirable for nurses to provide good spiritual care for their patients, their faces suddenly brightened. You see, our faith is an asset, not a liability, to our chosen vocation. After all, as Christians, we believe that God has called us to “fish for people” (Mark 1:17). So our faith should drive us to want to know where our patients are at with God and what their spiritual needs are. We should want to perform spiritual assessments for our patients. Instead of suppressing our faith in nursing practice, we can use our God-given motivation to recognize and meet our patients' spiritual needs!
NCF is in the process of developing a series of Bible studies looking at a variety of spiritual needs. We are hoping that NCF student chapters will use this resource to train and equip nursing students to provide appropriate spiritual care for patients. Please pray for our team as they develop this resource!
Timothy Lin, MA, NCF Student Ministries Director, Senior Area Director for Kansas with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA