Archive for the ‘Journal of Christian Nursing’ Category

Journal of Christian Nursing Wins 4 Awards

May 5, 2017

552017asphegoldspread

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.

 

From the Heart

February 14, 2017

2132017jcnheartWhat is the most tender moment you’ve experienced as a nurse, or a time you sensed God’s loving embrace in a hard situation?

We’ve collected short stories of nursing care and compassion that communicate the heart of great nursing and God’s care. Be inspired with our “From the Heart” Topical Collection of articles from Journal of Christian Nursing.

JOIN NCF and receive free access to all of these stories and articles from JCN.

Let the stories of other Christian nurses warm your heart!

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.

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.

Trauma-Informed Care

September 27, 2016

9272016traumaAs nurses, how can we help patients with a painful past? The experience of trauma in people’s lives has a direct impact on their health behaviors, particularly an increased risk of mortality from chronic illness.

Trauma-informed care (TIC) is an approach to engage people with a history of life trauma that recognizes trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role trauma has played in their lives.

“For nurses, this translates into understanding the why behind health behaviors of our patients, withholding judgment for negative health behaviors, and helping patients heal physically, psychologically and spiritually,” writes Cathy Koetting, DNP, APRN, in her article, “Trauma-Informed Care” in Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct-Dec 2016.

Trauma-informed care seeks to change the illness paradigm from one that asks, “What’s wrong with you?” to “What has happened to you?” Studies indicate that health risk behavior and disease in childhood can be related to the span of exposure of childhood emotional, physical or sexual abuse, and household dysfunction.

In her article, Koetting outlines four essential approaches and six specific principles that define TIC, including safety, trustworthiness, peer support, and empowerment—especially through spirituality.

These concepts are evident in John 4 where Jesus provides a model of trauma-informed care for the woman he encountered at the well in Samaria:

  • Jesus realized the impact of trauma on this woman’s life and reached out to her, treating her graciously.
  • He recognized her trauma and gently responded, with respect and insight.
  • Instead of judging and retraumatizing her, Jesus offered a relationship with God.
  • Jesus gave the woman a voice as he took into account current cultural, historical, and gender issues.
  • He created a safe space to interact and proved himself trustworthy.
  • He empowered the Samaritan woman by being transparent and giving her knowledge that he was the Messiah.

“Nurses need to be aware of how they can integrate these ideas into practice,” Koetting urges. “The goal is to guide patients from a state of trauma to one of healing, to help patients alter their family and community environments so it is less traumatic.”

Increasing awareness of the need for TIC and conversations with colleagues can be the start of a cultural shift in the workplace. Healthcare organizations are often stressful and chaotic places in which to work, but TIC can transform the care-giving experience for nurses by remodeling their workplace culture to one that promotes holistic recovery for all.

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This JCN article offers 2.5 CE contact hours. Become a member of Nurses Christian Fellowship and receive JCN regularly as a member benefit, as well as discounts on all CE.

A Visitation Program for Seniors

September 12, 2016

9122016waitingMaking homebound visits is an important part of the ministry of the church, especially for older seniors who are vulnerable to isolation and poor quality of life. Yet too often they are neglected and left longing for visitors.

Julia Quiring Emblen, PhD, RN, was troubled by the lonely seniors she visited in her church. “Some told me the church community had all but forgotten about them,” she writes in her article, “A Compassionate Visitation Program for Church Homebound Elders” from Journal of Christian Nursing.

Many of the elders Julia visited had been leaders of the church for years. “Recalling how much service these former spiritual pillars had given to the congregation, I felt sad that now, when they were in need, they received so little,” Julia said. She was determined to improve the care of the homebound elders in her church.

Realizing that older seniors need support, a Compassionate Visitation Program was initiated. Most of the volunteers were in their 60s or 70s. It soon became apparent that more emphasis was needed on making the visit experience enjoyable for recipients and satisfying to the visitors.

The program developed general focus points using the acrostic HOMEBOUND to help visitors remember to incorporate Humor, Observation, Music, Encouragement, etc. Parts of the program include an awareness of Nutritional issues and even the Death of the visitee.

Active listening is a nursing skill that can be taught to visitors who can listen to a person’s stories about the past and concerns about the future. Allowing them to share their pain validates their experience and helps decrease the loneliness of chronic pain. Visitors can learn to be present, listen to the visitees, help them process their feelings, and explore healthy responses.

Over time, guidelines and a structure for the Compassionate Visitation Program were developed with a Visit Facilitator coordinating the program for the church.

A friendly visit can encourage and lighten some of the lonely hours for those who have little to do during their long days. “It takes time and planning on the part of the visitor,” Julia concludes, “but the time pays off when the visitor is leaving and hears, ‘Come back soon! I really enjoy our time together.’”

Are there homebound seniors in your church who are longing for visitors? Read the full JCN article for more tips and program ideas.

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This JCN article offers 2.5 CE contact hours. Become a member of Nurses Christian Fellowship and receive JCN regularly as a member benefit, as well as discounts on all CE.

NCF Teaches Spiritual Care

September 8, 2016

882016fgraceFormer NCF Director Grace Wallace reminds us of the opportunities we have as Christian nurses to address the spiritual needs of patients with professional, compassionate care for the whole person.

I believe every person is created by God as a spiritual being who needs to know God, find life in him, and be nurtured in the growth process. As nurses, we can help, if we are alert to that spiritual dimension. Spiritual care is helping patients with their spiritual needs. It may be something we say or do directly, or it may be putting patients in touch with someone who can help.

When we listen to patients and care for them, often we establish rapport, and they would rather talk about spiritual concerns than other things during the few minutes we are with them. . . We can set a climate that lets patients know we are willing to talk about faith. The way we answer questions can encourage or discourage more discussion . . . If I am answering patients’ questions, I may be talking about my faith, but I’m not telling them to believe as I do.

Nursing students must learn that the first principle is to determine the patient’s primary need. Then provide the very best care you can. This means including spiritual assessment when you do physical and psycho-social assessment. Be sure to document what the patient said or asked related to his or her spiritual needs along with your other observations. With good evidences of spiritual need, you can demonstrate the appropriateness of intervention.

Grace Wallace, RN, MA
NCF Director 1968-1984

Excerpt from “Portrait of a Nurse,” Journal of Christian Nursing, ©1984 – Download in PDF and read the complete “Portrait of a Nurse” article.

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!