Archive for the ‘Nursing Students’ Category

Students and Faculty Transformed at Camp

June 30, 2014


NCF Faculty Advisor Jeanette Crawford, RN, MSN, was amazed and humbled when she went to her first InterVarsity training camp with two nursing students and another faculty member in May. “I was struck by the eagerness of all the students to share their passion for the Lord. We spent many hours together scrutinizing Scripture,” she said.

“I witnessed young people who burned with the desire to gain new understanding and apply it to their lives,” Jeanette added. “It was an eye-opening experience to study the Gospel of Mark (which I have read many times) and then discover new insights!”

Another faculty advisor and two NCF student leaders from Georgia Perimeter College joined other students from InterVarsity Southeast at the magnificent Pinnacle Retreat Center. Together they gathered to worship, study Scripture, pray and seek God’s work in their lives and in their ministry on campus.

Nearly missing out

Devindra Cariño, an NCF student leader, was not planning to attend the training event due to finances. She was elated when InterVarsity staff Skip McDonald told her she received a scholarship, along with another chapter member, Paula Ball. “The opportunity to attend the InterVarsity Chapter Camp was an absolute blessing.  It was amazing to see all of the like-minded students who were there studying Jesus, changing our relationship with him, and pursuing a vision of reaching our campus with his gospel,” Devindra said. “The beautiful retreat center made our time of reflection, evaluation and listening to God so peaceful and enjoyable.”

Paula Ball also nearly missed the experience. “Sometimes, as nursing students, we are offered opportunities and we dismiss them too quickly. What a jewel I would have missed,” she admits. “My heart is full from worshiping our Creator and digging deeper with God through inductive Bible study methods. Jesus used this camp to woo me from the world to meet him.”

Faculty enrichment

“This was my first opportunity to participate in chapter camp and I must admit it was phenomenal,” said faculty advisor Tanis Goldman, RN, BS. “I have attended Bible study for 16 years and have never been guided to such depth of wisdom and understanding. I learned so much and will share my experience with others who desire to study God’s Word.” As a result of camp, the students requested more training to lead inductive Bible studies with their classmates. They are planning a day-long training meeting to prepare for growth of the group at GPC.

Jeanette’s vision for the group is expanding. “My hope is that next year we can bring at least 8 students to this camp. It’s a wonderful time of fellowship, praise and spiritual growth.”


Will you invest in the future of healthcare?

June 13, 2014

Invest in the future of healthcareHealthcare is changing. Today’s nursing graduates are facing a challenging future in nursing. But one thing never changes: our eternal and compassionate God! He is the source of hope, identity, peace, and ultimate health and wholeness – our true shalom. This is our message as Christian nurses. It’s good news!

That’s why we are passionate about equipping nurses, students and educators to be faithful followers of Jesus in nursing. Nurses who love Jesus and serve others have a special calling in our broken and pain-filled world. We want to encourage you in the opportunities you have to reflect the love of Jesus professionally and personally.

Nurses Christian Fellowship is a non-profit ministry funded by donations. Will you join us to advance God’s Kingdom among nurses, students and educators? We want to contribute a Christian voice to nursing for a long time to come!

Crisis in Kiev to Kindness in Kansas

May 19, 2014

It's a GirlThe conflict in Ukraine is close to the heart of the NCF students at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas. A touching front-page news story in The Wichita Eagle explains how the nursing students sprang into action for a woman from Kiev who was pregnant, scared, and in desperate circumstances.

The newspaper article reports,Ukraine native experiences what she already knew: Americans are good.” The story describes how one student in the Newman nursing school, Anastasiya Inchekel, went to the NCF group to ask them to pray for her twin sister who was pregnant and had just arrived from Ukraine to give birth to her baby in safety. Her sister had no prenatal care, no baby supplies, no money, and she was very anxious about her husband being drafted into the army to fight the Russians if war breaks out.

As the Newman NCF group heard about the needs of this family, they immediately sprang into action. First, the students and faculty surrounded the family in prayer, laying hands on Anastasiya when she shared her heart at the NCF meeting. Next they arranged for free prenatal care and maternal services at a local hospital. The local Pregnancy Crisis Center, a Christian ministry, was instrumental in helping to arrange the care.

When the NCF students realized the family had nothing, they hosted a baby shower and provided baby clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, shoes, a crib, and much more. The baby is due May 29, and the NCF students are committed to ongoing prayer and support for the family.

Amy Siple is the NCF faculty advisor and a professor of nursing at Newman who was first aware of Anastasiya’s concern for her sister. She is proud of how the nursing students rose up to serve the needs of those around them.

NCF staff Kathy Schoonover Shoffner said, “These students are learning to put their Christian faith into practice through the art of nursing.”

From Wichita to Kiev – with love!

Read the full news article.

From NCF Student to Staff Volunteer

April 30, 2014

Rachel PhelpsMeet Rachel Phelps, our new NCF Campus Volunteer. Rachel equips nursing students to follow Jesus at Lenoir Rhyne University (LRU) in North Carolina where she is taking graduate studies in nursing administration. She also works full-time as an RN in a cardiac care unit, but loves to make time for ministry on campus.

I have a passion for nursing students to understand the importance of their relationship with Christ while in nursing school. It’s common to get so wrapped up in the demands of nursing school that Christ often gets pushed to the back burner. God always makes time for his children, and it is important to keep focused on him, even with the demands of nursing school. As nurses we have the privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus, so our growing in our relationship with him is imperative.

Nursing school is not easy. I graduated from Lenoir Rhyne University in 2013 and I remember the spiritual valleys I went through in nursing school. God taught me so many lessons through those difficult times. I want students to know they serve an amazing God and they can turn to him when times get tough.

During my four years at LRU, I was a member of the NCF Bible study and the InterVarsity chapter. In my senior year I was the leader for the Bible study. I tried to make our Bible studies a fun learning experience to get the group involved. I loved getting close to students and encouraging them in their nursing studies, and in their spiritual lives. I was also the president of the InterVarsity chapter on campus which grew from 3 to 25 students while I was an undergrad. I am excited to see where God takes the group next. It is such a blessing to work with these students now as volunteer staff.

Learning Spiritual Care

In the nursing unit I work on, I see death more frequently than I want. I have been given opportunities to tell families why I chose to be a nurse and how God led me into nursing. I offer to pray with families after the death of a loved one and let them know they will remain in my prayers, but I had one encounter with a patient that I do not think I will ever forget.

I had a patient who just had a baby and was having a serious heart procedure. Before I took her down the operating room, I felt led to ask her if she would bring all of her family into her room so I could pray with them. Surprisingly, the patient and the family agreed and God gave me the words for the prayer. I prayed for her procedure and for the healthcare team, and also for her and her husband as they began the journey of parenting their new daughter. This was truly a great experience! I was blessed by this patient and her family.

Handling spiritual issues is something I believe is not taught well in nursing school. I learned that it is appropriate to ask to pray with patients and their families because, in reality, it does comfort them and they long for someone who cares. I am now more comfortable talking with patients about spiritual issues, but I had to learn how to offer spiritual care.

I hope that more nursing students can discover their foundation in Jesus so they can be effective nurses when they graduate. My desire as NCF staff is to help them along that kingdom-building road.

Learning to Trust God

March 14, 2014

NormanStudent leader Norman Bisda loves his NCF chapter at the University of Central Florida. “As a group, we learn how important it is to have a relationship with God on a daily basis. We strengthen and train each other, and we want to spread the Word of God to everyone,” Norman said.

Nursing was not Norman’s first choice of a major. But he ambitiously fought his way into the nursing program after many closed doors and rejections. God opened his heart and opened the doors to a highly competitive nursing program. Norman writes about the numerous obstacles he encountered in the article, “Fighting for a Spot in Nursing School.”

“Ever since I started college, I learned how to trust God more. I faced many challenges and I knew God was my immediate help and peace,” Norman said.

Read more of Norman’s joys and challenges of NCF ministry at UCF in the article, “Learning to Trust God.”

Seeds of Hope

March 6, 2014

SproutsInviting nursing students to talk about the spiritual needs of patients – and themselves – is a challenge. Recently I gave a presentation on spiritual care to all of the senior nursing students at the University of Illinois. One student responded boldly, “I would rather ask my patients about their bowel movements than about their spiritual needs.”

I was thankful for his honesty. As part of the workshop I led on “Caring for the Spiritual Needs of Our Patients,” students asked each other what gave them strength and what they believed in. One student responded, “I believe in myself. I rely on myself and I also believe in science.”

This student is probably not the only one who puts his hope in himself and in his own ability to get through any situation. I was reminded of the need for these students to have a personal experience with God and to see Jesus’ character reflected in the lives of Christian friends.

We discussed how spiritual needs are foundational in life: the need for love, for hope, for forgiveness, and for meaning and purpose. I asked students to describe a patient they had cared for who had a spiritual need. One student shared that she had taken care of a pastor over the summer who was waiting for an organ transplant. He was very hopeful at the beginning of the summer but, as the months wore on, she could tell that he was losing hope. Thankfully, he was able to have the surgery before it was too late. He later shared with this student how he had really been close to losing all hope. He had a strong belief in God and God’s faithfulness, and yet it was difficult for him to hold on to hope when his circumstances were dire.

One of the nursing interventions that can be used to meet the spiritual need for hope is “Hope Inspiration.” This involves:

  • assisting patient and family to identify areas of hope in life
  • expand the patient’s repertoire of coping mechanisms
  • involve the patient actively in own care
  • create an environment that facilitates patient practicing religion, as appropriate
  • demonstrate hope by recognizing the patient’s intrinsic worth and viewing the patient’s illness as only one facet of the individual.

She saw first-hand how hope and faith played a part in the pastor’s strength, even though at times his situation made hoping much harder.

As I left the classroom at the end of the seminar, I felt like the farmer who scattered seed on different types of soil. I don’t know what each student heard and retained throughout the class, but I shared what I thought would help and challenge them to grow in their own spiritual lives.

I am praying that God will reveal himself to these students in tangible ways and they will realize that “believing in myself” will not last. They need the strength and hope that comes only through journeying each day with Jesus.

–by Renee Lick, Director of NCF Student Ministries

Discovering Real Mission

February 27, 2014


Nursing students who go on short-term mission trips are often personally transformed by serving in another culture, but how does their experience influence their mission on campus when they return?

The students at Wichita State University (KS) discovered an inspiring connection when they prepared posters and shared mission trip experiences with their Nurses Christian Fellowship chapter. At the meeting, an NCF faculty advisor gave a brief devotional on journeying with God. She then served as a roving reporter to each display, asking students questions about their mission trips.

After exploring the basic questions of who, what, when and where, students were asked, “How did this experience change your life and commitment to Christ?”

One student felt too ordinary to accomplish much for God, but the challenges of the trip showed her God really does do extraordinary things through ordinary people like her. She went to Central Asia to build relationships with local college students as an outreach with local churches. Several college students she met that month came to understand and believe in Jesus!

Another student said she was terrified to share her faith. She was surprised how easy it was to share her faith in East Asia and be bold for Christ by using some simple tools. She learned to ask people questions, sit with others at meals, or start conversations by wearing a multicolored “gospel bracelet.”

Each student said the key to helping people in these other cultures was to build genuine relationships with them. All of the students were humbled by experiencing God’s powerful presence on their trips.

Taking it Home

Students then were asked, “How did your trip help you see your campus or clinical areas as a mission field?”

Initially everyone was stumped by this question. Then all at once several students in the group called out the answer: “Build relationships!” It was an electrifying moment as everyone realized their mission on campus was to do the same thing right here – to pray for God to bring people into their lives that need relationships and to be responsive to the Holy Spirit to make connections.

Students also learned great lessons about best practices in short-term missions. Each student was part of a mission group that had long-term ties with local churches and healthcare providers. They discovered how their short-term efforts have long-term impact as they came alongside the people who lived and worked in the country. The students learned humility and grace as they played with children, or helped college students practice English, or handed out healthy snacks and talked about nutrition. They developed great respect for local churches and health workers who have few resources but accomplish amazing things.

One student said he realized every small task, even though it seems like nothing, is significant when done for Jesus. When people see you are willing to serve in whatever way is needed, they want to know more about who you are and why you do what you do.

Students were provided with resources from NCF Missions and the Journal of Christian Nursing on best practices in short-term healthcare mission.

God spoke powerfully to the group as he translated the students’ short-term mission experiences into the realization of living missionally in school, in the hospital – and wherever they are today.

by Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
Editor, Journal of Christian Nursing
Staff, Nurses Christian Fellowship USA

Heart Health

February 20, 2014

Heart Health“Give me your hand,” the surgeon said to student nurse Peggy Heppner during cardiovascular surgery. As she anxiously held the patient’s heart in her palm, she felt the unforgettable power of that one beating muscle in a person’s life.

Peggy reflects on how her own heart was dead from sin but restarted by the power of Jesus’s resurrection. “Like undergoing heart surgery, Jesus healed my heart with his restorative love.”

Read more of her article, Heart Health, from the Student TXT Topical Collection in the Journal of Christian Nursing, January – March, 2014.


If you’re a nursing student or educator, find out how you can use more Student TXT articles for discussions in your classroom or campus group.

 Nursing students who join NCF receive the Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit at the greatly reduced membership rate of $35.

Nursing Students See Answered Prayer

February 10, 2014

When Meghan and her friends started a new Bible study last fall at Grand Valley State University (MI), they prayed that God would bring more students. God answered their prayers beyond what they imagined!


A few months later their group expanded to two Bible studies — one for nursing students and one for pre-nursing students — with a total of 22 students involved. Students saw God’s Spirit at work among them and one student re-committed her life to Christ!

Last Saturday I led a special day of training with GVSU students, along with Curt Kuiper, the InterVarsity area director.  We studied the story of Jesus and Zaccheaus  (Luke 19:1-10). Jesus was just passing through Jericho when he looked up and saw a man who was eager to see Him. Jesus changed his plans and told Zacchaeus, “I must stay at your house today.” Jesus reveals his guiding purpose: “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Curt asked us some very challenging questions to actively respond to this Scripture lesson:

  • If Jesus passed through your school of nursing, would he see anything that prompts him to stay?
  • In your life, who do you consider “outside of God’s family,” like Zaccheaus? (Zaccheaus was considered a traitor to his own people because he was a chief tax collector.)
  • How is Jesus inviting you to seek out marginalized people because He wants to spend time with them today?

After hearing the Word, Meghan and the other students discussed how they could take new risks to reach out to others and follow Jesus in their school of nursing.

In my work as NCF staff, I love equipping students like Meghan to lead NCF ministry on campus. We talk about their leadership of the group and discuss where they have seen God at work. We pray together for God’s guidance and thank God for what he has already done!

I also help the leaders plan for the future of the ministry and make sure their vision and purpose is clear. God gives me a glimpse of how he is transforming students’ lives during these conversations and I am so grateful to be part of his mission!

–by Renee Lick, NCF Director of Student Ministries

Jesus in the Clinic

December 12, 2013

HeatherAs a nurse in urban health, Heather Cutillo, R.N., lives out God’s love in tangible ways through her work in clinics that serve the homeless, the uninsured, and the afflicted in the inner city. Years ago, she responded to God’s calling as she saw how urban health centers can be a support network for those without one. Heather sees her work as an opportunity to model Jesus’ incarnational love.

The work is often discouraging, but Heather’s antidote for burnout comes from a supportive faith community and the spiritual strength she receives from daily time with God. She first learned about the importance of having a daily quiet time in Scripture and prayer in nursing school as a member of Nurses Christian Fellowship. “I really appreciate the emphasis on discipleship and developing my relationship with God that I got from NCF.”

Heather has a global influence as she helps manage the online ministry of Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI).  She regularly communicates with nurses all over the world who request information about NCFI ministry.

Read more of Heather’s calling and passion for urban health ministry in the InterVarsity news article, “Jesus in the Clinic.”


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