Florence Nightingale’s Very Ordinary Ability

May 12, 2017

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Florence Nightingale 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. Florence Nightingale transformed nursing practice through her faithful devotion to God who made it all possible. This leads every nurse to ask, how can I use my “very ordinary ability” in the path God has put before me?

As we celebrate our founder’s birthday on May 12 through National Nurses Week, may you find ways to follow her example and take advantage of the opportunities God has given you to express his love and grace to your peers and co-workers.

Who knows what God can do with your “very ordinary ability?”

Join NCF before May 31, 2017 with a 25% discount. Use promo code nnw2017 at checkout.

Hormones, Health and God

May 9, 2017

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It’s often cold in Minnesota but “Hormones, Health and God” was a hot topic at an April seminar sponsored by NCF Twin Cities and Hosanna Church Called to Care Nurses.

There were 65 nurses, students and other health care professionals who attended the gathering April 22. The guest speaker was Dr. Elizabeth Haglind, an endocrinologist who talked about health as personal wholeness and the integration of body, mind and spirit to create well-being.

Dr. Haglind presented information on the thyroid gland which has significant influence on physical and emotional health. The seminar focused on how the thyroid functions, how thyroid dysfunction affects body weight, and how to promote wellness personally and professionally.

Dr. Haglind also talked about the importance of spiritual care by looking at the prayers of Jesus in the garden before his death and his suffering on the cross when he cried out in anguish, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” She spoke of the anguish of people in suffering who may be wailing and raging from grief.

As nurses, how do we learn to listen in silence while people pour out their pain and despair? Elizabeth encouraged participants to view them from the foot of the cross, as we also see Jesus pouring out his physical and spiritual agony in the crucifixion.

And when the time is right, we offer ongoing comfort and prayer.

“Elizabeth’s presentation was very significant for me,” said Mary Thompson, former NCF national director. “It was timely and applicable as I thought of a friend who is suffering terribly right now. These insights will help me care for her as a representative of Jesus.”

Participants enjoyed connecting with each other as Christians in nursing. They also had opportunities to join the NCF professional network and purchase books from InterVarsity Press.

The seminar closed with a time of reflection led by Karen Greseth, RN, seminar coordinator. While worship music played the background, Karen read biblical exhortations about caring for “the least” among us, illustrated with pictures in a Power Point.

“Karen prayed us out to care for people in Jesus’ name,” reports Mary Thompson. “It was a fitting conclusion to a special day together.”

The next event for the Twin Cities NCF chapter will be Tuesday, June 6, at Stadium Village Church in Minneapolis.

Journal of Christian Nursing Wins 4 Awards

May 5, 2017

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Good news just arrived for JCN! For the third year in a row, Journal of Christian Nursing made a very impressive showing in the annual awards competition for the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASPHE).

“I am most excited that our editorial content won an award for Best Feature Article for the second year in a row!” said Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, JCN Editor-in-Chief and NCF Director.

“God brings good ideas in manuscripts and gives us the wisdom to edit and prepare articles to present solid biblical, clinical, and professional content.”

“Furthermore, we have an amazing graphic designer at Lippincott,” Kathy adds. “Our designer says she loves working with us because we give her great ideas and then let her be creative.”

JCN won four awards – three for design and one for content:

  • Gold Award in the Best Opening Page/Spread: Photo Category
    When Sorrow Never Stops: Chronic Sorrow After the Death of a Child (January/March 2016)
  • Silver Award in the Best Cover: Illustration Category
    Teen Depression and Suicide: A Silent Crisis (April/June 2016)
  • Bronze Award in the Best Feature Article Category
    Teen Depression and Suicide: A Silent Crisis (April/June 2016)
  • Bronze Award in the Best Cover: Photo Category
    Trauma-Informed Care: Helping Patients with a Painful Past (October/December 2016)

In announcing the awards, Kathy received this word of praise from Julie Rempfer, Associate Publisher at Wolters Kluwer: “These awards are a testament to your creative and editorial genius as well as all the hard work that goes into the journal.”

Congratulations also flowed from InterVarsity coworkers who highly value the ministry partnership of NCF among nurses, students and nurse educators. “These awards represent public affirmation of the excellence of NCF and its commitment to the healthcare profession and to culture-making for the kingdom of God,” said Jason Thomas, Chief Campus Ministry Officer for InterVarsity.

We strive to honor God in all we do,” said Kathy, “and these awards are an affirmation among our peers in healthcare publishing. We are tremendously honored by this recognition.”


Become a member of NCF and regularly receive Journal of Christian Nursing as one of your member benefits, or subscribe to JCN. Take advantage of the May Membership Special and join NCF at a discounted rate using Promo Code nnw2017. Offer expires May 31, 2017.

 

Join NCF with 25% Discount

May 1, 2017

4memspecialNational Nurses Week starts May 6, but you can celebrate your special role as a Christian nurse all year long! Become an annual member of Nurses Christian Fellowship in May and get a 25% discount on membership fees. As an NCF member, you’ll receive the Journal of Christian Nursing throughout the year, along with other benefits.

When you join NCF, you’ll be part of a large network of Christian nurses who are devoted to serving God in healthcare. Member fees are modest compared to other professional organizations.

Take advantage of the MAY Membership Discount and join NCF with a special 25% discount offer during May 1-31, 2017. At checkout, use discount code nnw2017. Current members are also encouraged to renew at a discounted rate.

Member benefits include the Journal of Christian Nursing which offers a vital blend of clinical excellence with a Christian perspective on healthcare. Members also receive significant discounts on CE credits through JCN and NursingCenter.com.

NCF membership demonstrates a commitment to both your faith and your profession. Find out more about NCF membership and be a part of our mission to engage nursing students and nurses with the healing love of Jesus.

The Challenge of Loving Ourselves

April 27, 2017

4272017relaxNurses have a tough balancing act. In a demanding profession, we struggle to care for ourselves as we care for others.

The American Nurses Association recognizes this challenge with this year’s theme for National Nurses Week, “Nursing, The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit.”

For Christian nurses, this theme is deeply imbedded in Scripture. Nurses Christian Fellowship has created a Bible study that addresses the balance of mind, body and spirit from a biblical viewpoint. We encourage you to reflect on this passage in your devotional time this week. Consider inviting your nursing friends and coworkers to a Bible discussion on balance in nursing using the questions provided.

In Luke 10:25-28, we read a story about a man who comes to Jesus with a question about eternal life. Jesus endorsed the man’s biblical understanding that we are to love God, love others, and love ourselves. But Jesus responds with an expanded meaning of what it means to have a healthy life. “Do this, and you will live.”

The man in the story didn’t like Jesus’ answer. We don’t, either. And here is the problem. We know what we should do to be healthy, but it’s not that easy. We all have behaviors, habits and temptations that contribute to an unhealthy life.

Sometimes it’s easier to love God and love others than it is to love ourselves. If we truly loved ourselves in body, mind and spirit, how might this contribute to better health? How can we find a better balance in our lives and take care of ourselves so that we have more to give God and others?

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this challenging topic. Please email NCF with your comments or insights.

ANA has provided a powerful kernel of truth that is amplified by God’s Word to us. NCF nurses, students and educators have an open door to explore what this means for themselves and their nurse friends and coworkers during Nurses Week.

The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit

April 21, 2017

4212017nnw17National Nurses Week is around the corner and this year’s theme, “Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit,” provides natural opportunities for Christian nurses to invite others to consider God’s view of holistic health.

Here are some tips and resources for you to take advantage of this special week and encourage nurse friends and colleagues in their faith and nursing practice.

Nurses Week Bible Discussion

We’ve created a special Bible study on this year’s theme to download and use for a group study or personal devotional. Invite your nurse friends and coworkers to explore how Jesus defined health in body, mind and spirit. We offer this Scriptural meditation for your reflection on what it means to love God, love others, and love yourself.

NCF Resources

See all the special resources, prayer guides, and promotional materials for ideas on how to maximize Nurses Week and reach out to others.

Events

Some NCF nurse groups are hosting gatherings in their area. Check out these NCF events and pray that people will be drawn to the living God and healthier lives through these special gatherings.

Your Thoughts on the Theme?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how you find balance in mind, body and spirit. This is a significant topic that is an ongoing challenge for many of us, and you can email NCF with your comments or insights on this important topic in nursing.

Thank you, ANA, for choosing a theme that is dear to the heart of God!

Equipping Nursing Students

April 6, 2017

462017equipIn my last blog, I shared three words that capture the mission and vision of NCF Student Ministries. We long for nursing students and faculty to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered. I want to expand on the second of those three words: What does it mean for students and faculty to be equipped?

First, NCF student chapters equip nursing students to integrate their faith with nursing through Bible study. I spoke with a student who explained how their school had recently incorporated “mindfulness” teaching into their curriculum to help meet the spiritual needs of the student community. NCF recognizes spiritual needs, so we seek to create spaces on campus where students can hear from the living God through Scripture.

Second, NCF student chapters equip nursing students to provide spiritual care for patients. Many chapters use our Bible study series, Healing Encounters with Jesus. As students study different physical healing stories from the life of Jesus, they discuss and note how Jesus cared for people’s spiritual needs. They are then challenged to apply those spiritual care principles to their clinical experiences.

Please pray that God will speak powerfully to nursing students through NCF Bible studies and that they will be equipped to integrate their faith with their vocation.

–by Tim Lin, Student Ministries Director

New JCN Addresses Pain Management, Moral Distress, the Role of Faith

April 3, 2017

34.2 coverThe April/June issue of JCN is now live and features a special report on moral distress and an article for CE credit on pain management and acute compartment syndrome. Find additional resources for educators, demystify nursing theory, integrating faith and nursing, and more. Whatever your nursing specialty, you’ll find something in JCN to boost your faith and nursing practice.

All JCN articles are free when you become a member of Nurses Christian Fellowship. Join NCF and receive every issue of JCN as a member benefit.

We’d like to bring these featured JCN articles to your attention.

CE Feature
The Experience of Intense Pain: Nursing Management and Interventions

This article provides an autobiographical narrative of complications after surgery and how a nurse responded to intense pain. “Just because you feel like screaming doesn’t mean you do,” writes the author, Norma Kiser-Larson, PhD, RN. This article offers 1.5 CE contact hours and discusses the diagnosis and management of acute compartment syndrome, pain, and nursing interventions for pain, as well as the use of prayer in illness and compassionate caring from a Christian perspective.

CE Feature
Promoting Compliance When Faith Gets in the Way

If patients take medications for an illness they have asked God to heal, does that constitute a breach of faith? Christians who believe that God can heal supernaturally may struggle with seeking and adhering to a prescribed healthcare regimen, as well as experience shame. A faith community nurse implemented and evaluated a health education seminar to assist congregants to view healthcare as compatible with faith in this article offering 1.5 CE contact hours.

Special Feature
Transforming Moral Distress into Moral Resilience

Moral distress is a huge problem in healthcare when nurses believe that an action is right, but cannot—or do not—act because of real or perceived threats. This article is an executive summary of a collaborative project to identify strategies that individuals and systems can use to mitigate the detrimental effects of moral distress and foster moral resilience in four areas: practice, education, research, and policy.

Professional Development
Demystifying Nursing Theory: A Christian Nursing Perspective

How does nursing theory apply to nursing practice? Explore questions that examine the consistency of nursing theories with Christian perspectives of nursing.

Faith + Practice
Join NCF

When you join NCF, you become part of a professional organization that invests in your personal growth as a Christian nurse and promotes the growth of a Christian influence in nursing. With your membership, you will receive every issue of the Journal of Christian Nursing, significant CE discounts, and more. Join NCF today! Be a part of God’s work in the changing world of healthcare

The Bible’s View of Suffering

March 27, 2017

262017sufferingHuman suffering is a universal problem. As nurses, we see plenty of it. We know there are no easy answers, so how do we address the problem of suffering?

People often treat Scripture like a manual, looking for a single clear response that explains the presence of evil and suffering. Brian Han Gregg thinks we should take a different approach. He explores twelve themes related to the issue of human suffering in his book, What Does the Bible Say About Suffering? by InterVarsity Press.

Here is an excerpt:

“A survey of the various biblical approaches to suffering makes it clear that the biblical authors seek to do more than help us understand the why of suffering. In fact, in many instances answering the question Why? seems to be of secondary concern to the biblical authors.

Rather, the focus seems to lie on God’s various responses to suffering. What is God doing through suffering? What is God doing to address suffering? What is God doing to defeat suffering? If these are the points of emphasis in the Bible, we would be wise to pay attention to them.

The reality is the Bible doesn’t tell us everything we might wish to know about suffering, but it doesn’t set us adrift either. The Bible simply keeps God front and center. God knows about suffering. God cares about suffering. God is at work against suffering. God reigns over suffering. God suffers. God will one day declare final victory over suffering.”

The problem of suffering is painful, complex, and mysterious. This book does not have any simple answers, but it may lead you to discover a different path on the journey through it.

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Become an NCF member and receive a 30% discount on all books from InterVarsity Press. Members also received the Journal of Christian Nursing which is loaded with biblically-based articles for nurses, including “Entering into Suffering: Becoming a Transformed and Transforming Healer” from JCN, Jan-March 2017 (1.5 credits).

Encouraging Nursing Students

March 24, 2017

3242017encourageWhen new students join the NCF chapter on their campus, they often ask, “What is NCF?” There are three words that capture the mission and vision of NCF on campus. NCF is a place where students and faculty can be encouraged, equipped, and empowered.

In this first blog post, we will focus on what it means that NCF is a place where students and faculty can be encouraged. Stressed-out students need over-all encouragement. But NCF also has the unique mission of encouraging spiritual growth. To accomplish this mission, many NCF chapters make Bible study the centerpiece of their meetings.

But NCF is not your ordinary Bible study. NCF is a community that encourages spiritual growth in the context of nursing school. This is why NCF publishes a variety of Bible studies that look at how our faith impacts nursing. In our newest series, Trusting God in Nursing School, we invite students to consider what the Bible says about anxiety, academic competition, and suffering. Ultimately, we want students and faculty to increasingly place their faith and hope in Jesus Christ.

Join us in praying for our 100+ NCF student chapters as they seek to encourage spiritual growth in the context of nursing school!

–Tim Lin, Student Ministries Director