Archive for the ‘NCF Staff’ 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.

 

Growing a Compassionate Heart

March 24, 2017

God calls us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8), but what does this look like for marginalized people in health care? Nurses and students gathered in Minnesota to explore how to represent Jesus Christ with a growing heart of compassion for the underserved in their communities.

The NCF group in the Twin Cities hosted 35 nurses and students for a soup supper and informative discussion led by Leya Didur, Twin Cities Urban Program Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The NCF seminar provided 1 CE credit.

Leya shared her vision for her work training students in cross-cultural urban experiences: “Throughout the Bible, from beginning to end, it is impossible not to see the theme of God calling his people to be concerned and care for the marginalized. Ultimately God wants to see all his children thrive and, as Christ’s followers, we can be active participants to bring about that thriving.”

Table groups first discussed the question, “What patients are marginalized in your work?” Then they explored barriers to providing quality care for marginalized individuals or communities.

A core component of the seminar looked at how Jesus had compassion on the people he met. Leya provided questions to ask when reading stories about Jesus engaging with people at the margins.

* How is this person marginalized in their community?

* What barriers does Jesus have to overcome or address to care for this person?

* How does Jesus provide compassionate holistic care for this person?

* How do others respond in this story?

The challenging question for nurses is how to grow in compassion and make an intentional effort to change. “It is critical to be honest with your starting point and the barriers you have,” Leya reminded the participants.

“We talked about the importance of receiving the love of Jesus for ourselves and taking care of ourselves,” said Mary Thompson, former director of Nurses Christian Fellowship. “This is at the heart of growing in compassion for others.”

Finally, Leya challenged nurses and nursing students to develop a plan for practical ways to grow in compassion and understanding for marginalized people. She suggested watching movies or reading books from a different perspective, or visiting a church of a different ethnicity or culture. The key factor is developing authentic relationships with others and loving them in Christ.

Mary Thompson is grateful to God for NCF ministry in the Twin Cities, MN, and for this new partnership with Leya as InterVarsity staff. “Through Leya’s excellent presentation, we are encouraged by the opportunities before us as followers of Jesus—in healthcare and in the community.”

As these nurses and students return to their daily lives, they take with them this reminder about the God they serve in nursing, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). It’s a good word.

Impacting Students and Educators

January 24, 2017

1242017nsgschoolRecently I had the joy of “meeting” Jodi virtually. As part of our efforts to equip and encourage NCF student leaders and faculty advisors, we are hosting monthly leadership training webinars. Jodi came to our scheduled online call and said she had restarted the dormant NCF chapter at her nursing school in Texas. In the first semester, almost 20 students from her cohort were involved in NCF meetings.

Since the school has both regular and accelerated programs, Jodi’s vision is to reach all eight cohorts and all 800 students in the program! She is identifying potential Bible study leaders in the other cohorts. Can you imagine the impact new NCF Bible study groups could have on nursing students and faculty?

As we start a new semester, I am thankful for our student leaders and faculty advisors. They, like Jodi, are sacrificially giving of their time and energy to bring the Kingdom of God to every nursing class, every cohort, and every clinical group.

Will you please pray for student leaders and faculty advisors who deeply desire God to restore and refresh them for his service?tim

Timothy Lin, MA, is the NCF Student Ministries Director and a senior area director in Kansas with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Give to nursing student ministry.

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

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.

Climate Change in Nursing School

November 8, 2016

1182016kumed“What’s the spiritual climate of your nursing school?” I asked three nursing students over lunch. Mackenzie, Sean, and Ben responded that there was no place in the nursing school where they could talk about their faith. So together we agreed—let’s start an NCF chapter at KU Med!

These are my favorite conversations: fanning into flames the dreams that God has already given to nursing students and faculty. I love hearing how God has given them a vision to bring Christ into their nursing school and change its spiritual climate.

In my new role as NCF Student Ministries Director, our staff team is developing additional resources and training opportunities to equip and encourage our student leaders to intentionally follow Jesus on their campus and invite others into their NCF community.

One exciting innovation this fall is that we are offering webinars for all student leaders and faculty advisors. I am partnering with Bonnie Hann, NCF Campus Liaison, for virtual training on Leading Effective Bible Studies (11/14/16) and on Spiritual Care (12/5/16) to understand and assess spiritual needs and appropriate interventions. Bonnie and I love the face-to-face interaction with these eager student leaders.

logo220x220We’re also excited about offering student leaders the Discipleship Cycle Framework, a simple tool to help NCF chapters consistently apply God’s Word in their lives.

The Discipleship Cycle is incorporated into a new series of NCF Bible studies, Trusting God in Nursing School. Specific Scripture passages will help students deal with the stress and anxiety that come with a rigorous academic program and clinical demands. They will grow in Christ and have opportunities to share what they’re learning with others in their nursing school.

The end of the semester is approaching but we are rejoicing in how God is actively seeking and saving students in nursing programs across the country.

Timothy Lin, NCF Student Ministries Director

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!

Taking Risks in Leadership

August 19, 2016

852016flleadersRoshawn and Talysia know that good leadership involves taking risks. They nervously stepped outside their comfort zones this summer as part of their training to lead the NCF chapter at the University of Central Florida.

NCF staff Krista Doan invites all new chapter leaders to participate in six sessions of leadership training. During one session in mid-July, Krista asked Roshawn and Talysia to call their Christian friends from school to share the vision of the NCF group and offer to pray for them.

“As Roshawn and Talysia step into leadership, I want them to know that they cannot do this alone,” Krista said. “This was an opportunity for them to practice community and invite others into the mission of living for Jesus in nursing school.”

Talysia nervously called seven students and two of them answered. She described the vision of the NCF group and prayed for them. Roshawn called eight students and talked with two about the group and prayed for them.

As they continued with the training session, those who missed calls started calling and texting back. Roshawn and Talysia continued to build community throughout the day. They also built their confidence as new leaders of the chapter.

In preparation for the training event, Krista asked her ministry partners to be praying for Talysia and Roshawn as they made their phone calls. Knowing of wide-spread prayer support for them, Roshawn said it gave him courage to take these bold steps of leadership.

“God is moving in the hearts of nursing students on our campus, and I am so excited to be a part of the journey with Roshawn and Talysia,” Krista said. “I have no doubt Jesus will move in big ways at our College of Nursing this upcoming year!”

Learn more about NCF student ministry and how to pray for God’s work on campus and in nursing.

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.