What do you recall about your days in nursing school? Is it the long nights studying for tests, building relationships with your cohort, the nervousness you experienced as you headed to your first clinical? Nursing school is filled with joys and sorrows, ups and downs, and for today's students amid a pandemic and racial injustice, the weight on nursing students is greater than ever.
The challenges, fears, and stresses facing today's students are at an all-time high. The recent blog post, “Reshaping Nursing Education” (Bonsall, 2020), included a link to a faculty member's tweets and responses from students. The growing despair in students' responses is evident. Mental health, digital overload, health concerns, financial problems, uncertainty, uncertainty, and uncertainty top the list. Although a number of these concerns are not new, the intensity caused by the pandemic and racial unrest is.
In 2018, 363,433 nursing students were enrolled in baccalaureate programs in the United States (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2020). Nurses Christian Fellowship's Student Ministries provides a place for nursing students to meet challenges by growing in their faith and calling as a nurse and in reaching nursing students around them with God's love. Only God can provide the peace, security, and certainty students desire. On campus, nursing students meet in authentic communities for Bible study, community, outreach, and service. Through NCF Student Ministries students will
- Be encouraged to grow in their faith in the context of nursing school.
- Be equipped to integrate their faith with nursing through Bible studies and spiritual care resources.
- Be empowered to share their faith with other students and faculty.
Think back to your time in nursing school. How would a community like NCF Student Ministries have encouraged and equipped you for life in and after college? As nurses and nurse educators, how might you play an active part in coming alongside a nursing student. Pray through the following list and ask God how he might move you to be active in the life of a college student.
- Pray for the students you know. Pray that through the changes of this year, they will remain strong in faith and calling.
- Consider mentoring a nursing student. Sharing your expertise and encouragement may be a deciding factor in a student's success this school year.
- Share the ministry of NCF with them. Send them to our website at https://ncf-jcn.org/students/what-ncf-student-ministry. Encourage them to plug into or start an NCF group on their campus.
- Start an NCF group on a campus near you. As a volunteer with NCF Student Ministries you can provide a space for students to thrive as you develop the next generation of Christian nurse leaders.
- Give to the ministry of NCF. Student Ministries is dependent on supporters who care about seeing the next generation of students resourced for years to come. Give to Student Ministries at https://donate.intervarsity.org/donate#13647. Nurses Christian Fellowship has 133 student groups meeting around the country. Here are ways the groups have shared their impact on campus.
“Many members went through very difficult things this year and NCF was a place of prayer, encouragement, and comfort.”
“The presence of God and his peace filled NCF members this year on campus!”
“The stories the students share increase students' awareness and ways Christ can help them in the classroom and clinical setting.”
The ministry of NCF starts in universities and nursing schools across the country. Imagine with me what it would look like to have an NCF chapter at every university with a nursing school! Imagine every nursing community reached, with a gospel community supporting each student involved and proclaiming Jesus. Join me in longing for, praying toward, and moving forward the mission to that end.
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American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2020). Baccalaureate education
Bonsall L. (2020, September 18). Reshaping nursing education. Lippincott Nursing Center