Jesus was a Master Teacher. He took advantage of every experience as a teachable moment. He told stories and parables to illustrate major faith principles and to reflect the characteristics of God. There was never a moment that Jesus was at a loss for how to best instruct his listeners.
The story of the woman at the well (John 4:1-26) offers a strong example of how Jesus met the most vulnerable of people where they were. He asked questions of the Samaritan woman and gained her trust through his kindness and honest words while piquing her interest in what he had to say. At the end of the encounter, Jesus discloses truths about himself to the woman and she runs to tell her community that she may have met the Messiah. We can learn much from Jesus' style of interacting, teaching, and caring! In this issue of JCN, authors share ideas about teaching in Christian nursing education as well as strategies for caring for vulnerable populations.
As a Christian nurse educator, I believe in using various teaching modalities including lecture, discussion, question and answer, videos, simulations, demonstration, service-learning, hands-on experience, and role modeling. Many of these strategies are ones that Jesus also used, although he didn't have the benefits of the technology we enjoy today. He acted as a role model for his disciples, showing them a better way to live to glorify God. As a role model, faculty mentor, and coach for graduate students, I strive to share my Christian faith and biblical worldview that include the philosophy of nursing as ministry which is embraced by the school of nursing at Colorado Christian University, where I currently teach.
Having been a past president of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, I was also able to bring this experience, along with many years as a consultant and decades of teaching and clinical practice, into the classroom when developing and teaching graduate courses. I believe that God prepares us for the work he wants us to do. I freely share Scripture, prayer, and a biblical worldview in all my courses and integrate the faith perspective in every course development task. It is a pleasure to be able to express my faith in God freely within the curriculum at a Christian university.
Last year, I was honored to lead nursing faculty from several Christian universities in writing Nursing as Ministry, a textbook for faith-based nursing programs (coedited with Dr. Mary Hobus). I also enjoy inspiring new or young writers to submit their manuscripts to JCN. In a leadership position of graduate program director, I constantly encourage prospective students to choose a Christian nursing education. Christian nurse educators should be the first to demonstrate scholarly work, clinical expertise shown through certification in the specialty area and continuing education, and the pursuit of advanced degrees to further our knowledge. It is our honor and duty to strive to represent God in the best way possible. All our professional activities contribute to role-modeling the type of scholarship and professionalism that Christian nurse educators should exemplify for their students and the community.
This issue of JCN contains some tremendous resources for Christian nurse educators, particularly the 2021 Christian Nursing School Directory. Readers can use this directory to network with those from other programs. Additional resources can be found on the JCN website and within this issue. Goree, Hobus, and Rieg share their viewpoints on being Christian nurse educators, reflecting on a collective total of nearly a century of experience. Five additional features in this issue focus on aspects of caring for various populations: caring for incarcerated pregnant women (McCormick & Painter), women coming to faith-based pregnancy centers (Walters & Vernon), designing short-term service-learning mission trips (Adam & Greene), caregiving for older parents as a blessing (Conway), and advance care planning for Korean Americans (Park). The common thread throughout these articles is integrating faith and practice through our nursing as ministry. As you read this issue of the journal, consider the immense privilege and responsibility it is to be a Christian nurse, particularly if you have been entrusted in some way to teach and lead the future nursing generation.