Archive for the ‘From the Director’ Category

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.

 

Why Suffering?

February 13, 2017

2132017sufferingAs nurses, we regularly encounter suffering. We also suffer. Suffering is a part of life, and we all ask, Why?

I’ve asked a lot of why questions. Why could I never get pregnant? Why did my brother die at an early age? Why did Hurricane Matthew kill so many and wipe out more of Haiti’s infrastructure? Why did a friend get cancer? Why can’t we alleviate a patient’s severe pain?

There are no answers to these questions. And no answer will change fact that suffering happens, and it is awful.

It seems the more valid question is: How do we cope with suffering? The Bible teaches principles that help me deal with suffering:

  • God is faithful through suffering and accomplishes bigger, even better, things than we can imagine. The most poignant example of this is Jesus who suffered to bring about the redemption of the world.
  • We can learn through suffering. Suffering focuses our attention on God like nothing else; it molds our faith and character in profound ways. Suffering can accomplish God’s purposes in our lives as we cry out to him and learn to trust and follow him.
  • Pain and suffering will end when God accomplishes the final redemption of the world. We will see for ourselves that “death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor 15:54).

Even if I never understand what God is doing in suffering, I’ve learned he is worthy of my trust.

As you face hard things, bring your pain and questions to God. Dig deeper into his Word and prayer. Trust God and learn to hold on to his strength and unfailing love.

I encourage you to improve your nursing practice and learn how to respond to suffering by reading our feature article, “Entering into Suffering: Becoming a Transformed and Transforming Healer,” in Journal of Christian Nursing, Jan/Mar 2017 (1.5 CE credits offered). This article hits home for nurses.

A suffering world awaits us.

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Christian Nursing

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Read Kathy’s full editorial in Journal of Christian Nursing, Jan/Mar 2017, p. 6. Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.

NCF Resolutions

January 23, 2017

newyearThe new year offers a time for reflection and reaffirming our purpose. God used NCF in 2016 to bring nurses and nursing students closer to him, just as he has been doing since the 1940s. Here are some ministry highlights from 2016 and expectations for 2017.

In the 2016 Fall semester, Tim Lin began as our Student Ministries Director, providing excellent leadership and a vision for how to grow our NCF student groups in quantity and quality. Over 100 student groups met on campuses to study God’s Word; 4 new groups started and several groups reactivated. We joyfully report that 14 students placed their faith in Jesus Christ for the first time!

There are 24 NCF Nurse groups that meet regularly around the nation, and we received one or two queries a week from nurses wanting to start nurse fellowship groups in their community. Our global partnerships also are significant. NCF-USA has been meeting with the NCF International Caribbean and North America Region (NCFI CANA) to plan a regional conference in July 2018.

As we resolve to continue God’s work in 2017, here are my resolutions for NCF this year. Please pray:

  • For God to bring many more nursing students to faith in Jesus this semester. I am praying for double the number who came to Jesus in Fall 2016.
  • For the Holy Spirit to increase the number of student groups and empower faculty advisors, student leaders, and InterVarsity Campus Ministers who make NCF groups happen.
  • That more nurse fellowship groups will begin as the Holy Spirit leads and He will provide everything needed for nurses to meet around God’s Word.
  • That God will increase the number of new NCF members and that current members will renew their annual membership in the NCF professional organization.
  • For God to provide financially, bless NCF donors, and meet the budget needs of this ministry.

Thank you for praying that the Holy Spirit will lead NCF, every day and in every detail, as we work to grow student ministry on campus and professional ministry to our members and to nursing.

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Christian Nursing

What’s Your Life Story?

December 20, 2016

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The coming of Jesus changed everything for Mary and Joseph. When the angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will be with child” (Luke 2:31), it took courage for her to say, “May it be done to me according to your word” (v. 38). Everything was at stake. Pregnancy could ruin Mary’s life and had huge implications for Joseph. Yet when God spoke to Joseph he did what the angel of the Lord commanded (Matthew 1:24). Jesus’ coming completely changed Mary’s and Joseph’s life story.

When Jesus changes our story, do we give him the same response as Mary and Joseph? If Jesus simply asks, “Stop, listen, and take a moment to focus on this patient,” what is our response? When he asks more difficult, even impossible, things such as apply for that job, or serve at the homeless shelter, (or be the National Director of NCF), what is our response? It takes courage to say yes to Jesus.

The reality is, Jesus will change your story in small, big, and overwhelming ways. But like Mary and Joseph—like all the life stories we read in the Bible—Jesus makes our story better. Mary and Joseph raised the Son of God! As nurses, our life story changes the lives of others.

As you celebrate the coming of Jesus, ask God what he wants to do in your life. I pray you will hear his voice and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to have the courage, like Mary and Joseph, to say yes.

Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing

 

Significant Moments

December 1, 2016

11292016oruRecently, I’ve been focusing on how to seek and receive God’s direction, how to find and stay in that place where I hear his voice. What I want is to understand God’s leading and the right actions, words, or decisions for everyday situations. This can feel like instinct or intuition. But as Christians, it can be the leading of the Holy Spirit.

As nurses, we need the leading of the still, small voice of God. A simple responsiveness to God in everyday events can create significant moments.

I remember how God’s whisper created a significant moment in my life the summer after I became a nurse and I traveled from Texas to Iowa to help my grandparents move. Mom and Dad said, “When you drive through Tulsa, Oklahoma, check out the campus of Oral Roberts University. It’s beautiful!” They had wanted me to do my undergraduate work there.

I took their advice, parked the car, and walked around the ORU campus. A thought hit me to find the nursing department and see what it looked like.

I was walking down the hall of the mostly empty office area when a faculty member (the only one there!) asked what I was doing. I think she listened to the still, small voice of God and stopped to talk with me. She heard my passion for nursing and envisioned something great for my life. I had absolutely no inclination toward further education, but an hour later I was applying for the master’s program in nursing.

Two months later, I began an adventure that changed me forever!

Recently I was invited back to ORU as a featured speaker for students, faculty members and community members. I spoke about “Expecting God in Nursing” and used the story in Luke 5 about how the disciples responded to a strange request from Jesus. As they obeyed and let down their nets, they saw Jesus in a new light. It’s a great reminder of what happens when Jesus shows up and calls us to new levels of trust in him.

Hearing and responding to the still, small voice of God can create significant moments.

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Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing

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–Excerpt from Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct/Dec 2016, p.197. Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.

The Still, Small Voice of God

November 22, 2016

ID cardIn everyday nursing practice, we need the leading of the still, small voice of God—at the bedside, in the classroom, leading an organization. A simple responsiveness to God in everyday events can create significant moments.

Once I had a patient with Bipolar II disorder who had been difficult to manage since admission earlier in the day. He was extremely anxious about the loss of his state-issued identification (ID) card.

As I introduced myself, he immediately begged for help. I told him I knew this was important, and I would look into it with him after I assessed all my patients. He persisted. I started to get irritated, then a still, small voice said, “Kathy, you’d be anxious if you lost your driver’s license (my ID card). Talk to him.” So I sat down and asked him to tell me step-by-step what he remembered about the card. He mentioned the hospital safe where we keep patient valuables, but he said he’d already looked there.

He then said, “Do you think God would help me? Would he? I don’t think he would…” The still, small voice said, “Ask if he wants you to pray with him.” I cringed. He’s so manic: is that going to be helpful? I’ll check to see if he has medication for anxiety. He kept spitting out words, then exclaimed, “Lady, please, you’ve got to pray with me!” I thought, How can I pray? If we don’t find the ID, then what?

Jesus’ words came to mind, “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven…” (Matthew 18:19-20, NIV). I remembered what Jesus said about having faith, even as small as a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). So I prayed with him, asking God to help us locate the ID card. Silently I prayed, God help me know what to do. I know you know where that card is.

As we finished praying, I noticed a security guard at the nurses’ station. I asked him about the ID card, and if he would check the safe. He said no, he’d already looked. I countered, “It would help him calm down if I could tell him you’ll check the safe one more time. Take your time so I have something to tell him for a while.”

In less than an hour, the guard came back with the card in hand. He’d found it in the wrong patient envelope. I grabbed the card and ran to my patient. We hugged, and he cried as we realized God had answered our prayer.

Responding to the still small voice of God can create significant moments.

kss110Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing

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Excerpt from Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct/Dec 2016, p.197. Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.

Addressing Moral Distress in Nursing

August 25, 2016
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Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner leads a panel discussion at the
Transforming Moral Distress to Moral Resilience Symposium

Nurses at the Journal of Christian Nursing editorial think tank at the 2012 Innovations in Faith-Based Nursing conference at Indiana Wesleyan University didn’t know their ideas would impact the future of healthcare. The idea of addressing ethical concerns of nurses was big at the 2012 meeting. Afterwards, Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, JCN Editor-in-Chief and now, Nurses Christian Fellowship National Director, and Anne Dabrow Woods, Chief Nursing Officer at Wolters Kluwer Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, started meeting with Shawn Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Nursing. The team grew to involve Johns Hopkins University, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and the American Nurses Association.

August 11-12, 2016 the State of the Science Symposium: Transforming Moral Distress to Moral Resiliency in Nursing was held in Baltimore, Maryland. Ethicists, clinicians, organization representatives and other key stakeholders convened to focus on how to best address moral distress at the individual to system levels. The 46 participants heard from experts on promising practices for dealing with moral distress and building moral resiliency. They then brainstormed to identify essential elements needed for addressing moral distress, and make specific recommendations for practice, education, research, and policy to address moral distress and build moral resilience. The papers and proceedings will be collated into a report and widely disseminated throughout the country.

The program was a four-year collaborative effort of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Berman Institute of Ethics, the American Journal of Nursing, and the Journal of Christian Nursing, along with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the American Nurses Association. Funding support came from Johnson & Johnson, the Heilbrunn Family Foundation, and Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA, with in kind support from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the AJN.

Learn more about moral distress and moral resiliency in the free article, “Moral Distress: A Catalyst for Building Moral Resilience” in the July issue of AJN by nurse ethicist Cynda Hylton Rushton. Look for a full report of the proceedings in February in AJN, and in April in JCN!

The Right Thing to Say

August 20, 2016

ToxicWorkplace toxicity is a desperately needed topic for nurses to know how to face. Each time I encounter toxicity, I am struck by how much our words matter. What we say—or don’t say—can have deep, lasting impact. But how do we know the right thing to say in noxious situations when our emotions are intense and negative?

Early in my Christian life I started a collection of Bible verses I named The Tongue. Over the years I’ve added other collections, such as Temper, Forgiveness, and Generosity. I keep the verses in an app on my phone so I can review them as needed. Sadly, implementation is tougher than knowledge.

I also realize I am Christ’s witness to others. My words, attitudes, and actions reflect God’s character and should reveal who he is to those around me. The best proof of what we believe as Christians, the real evidence of knowing Jesus, is a transformed life.

As a Christian nurse, I want to be a part of bringing God’s kingdom of grace, peace, joy, respect, and more, to my work. That is what thriving in a toxic workplace is all about.

I urge you to read the rest of my editorial, The Right Thing to Say, in Journal of Christian Nursing. And don’t miss the feature CE article, Surviving (even Thriving?) in a Toxic Workplace, which identifies unhealthy work environments through sick systems, toxic leaders, or dysfunctional colleagues—and what to do about them.

Working in a toxic environment can be overwhelming, but inaction is your greatest enemy. You can start the process of change. You are not alone.

kss110Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN,
National Director of Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing.

 

Become a member of NCF
and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.

Free JCN

August 16, 2016

33.3Check out the current issue of Journal of Christian Nursing which is this month’s FREE featured journal at NursingCenter.com. This offer is good until September 1, 2016.

JCN is the flagship professional publication of Nurses Christian Fellowship. Each issue offers continuing education activities, special features, recurring departments, and more. Published in print and online, articles and departments address everyday concerns of students and nurses in practice and education.

JCN strives to help nurses view nursing through the eyes of faith; its mission is to help nurses and nursing students practice nursing from a biblically-based, Christian perspective. The current issue includes feature articles on workplace toxicity, faith community nursing, missions, Ebola, spiritual care, and public health nursing. Don’t miss out on these great articles!

Keep getting JCN and other great discounts and benefits when you become a member of Nurses Christian Fellowship.

Invest in your nursing practice through NCF membership and JCN!

A Fellowship for Christian Nurses?

August 5, 2016

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As NCF director, I’m challenged to think through the relational piece of NCF. Why do we have a “fellowship” for Christian nurses? Is it possible that our fellowship, spread over thousands of miles, could “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)?

Technically, a fellowship is a community of people with common interest—ours being Christ and nursing. Relationally, a fellowship is about helping each other. Solomon captured why we need fellowship in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up… if two lie down together, they will keep warm… though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Christianity began as an amazing fellowship that changed the world as Christians prayed and worshiped together, ate together, encouraged each other; they stood firm in one spirit contending for the gospel (Philippians 1:27).

How might we have such fellowship? Locally, NCF can connect member nurses to meet and “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs… always giving thanks to God” (Ephesians 5:19-20). Regionally, some areas offer events. Nationally, NCF partners with Christian nursing schools for conferences. Individually, NCF communicates through our newsletters, the NCF Blog, and the Journal of Christian Nursing, trying to “admonish one another with all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16).

But is this enough? The apostle Paul longed to visit the Christians in Rome so that they “may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12). How could we mutually encourage each other’s faith? What if you could share prayer requests and know that a community of nurses would pray for you? What if you could ask questions, share needs, and other Christian nurses would respond?

We want NCF to be an effective fellowship. Will you take this two-minute survey to help us explore ideas for fellowship? Connect with us on Facebook and share. Subscribe to the NCF blog and make comments.

Let’s commit to praying for one another, for our fellowship, and discovering how we can “Love each other as I [Christ] have loved you” (John 15:12).

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Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
, serves as the National Director of Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing.


Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.