Archive for the ‘Nursing Students’ Category

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

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.

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

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.

Changed Lives through NCF

June 9, 2016

BrookeI love this time of year when our graduating seniors realize that their nursing dreams are about to become a reality. They also see how God is creating new dreams for how they can serve him by caring for others as nurses.

Brooke is one of our senior chapter leaders for Nurses Christian Fellowship who recently shared her encouraging story with next year’s leaders at the University of Central Florida:

“As I graduate and look back on the past two years, I am so thankful that God gave me the NCF group. We have constantly seen just how amazing and great God is through his works. We saw a classmate come to know Christ, and we raised up future NCF leaders with a heart for God’s mission to spread his gospel.”

Brooke sums up why NCF invests in the spiritual development of nursing students:

“All in all, my experience with NCF has truly been life-changing, and I am so grateful that God called me to be a part of it!”

See why I love my job? I am thankful that God has called me to be on staff with InterVarsity/NCF so I can be a part of how God is transforming students like Brooke. As her staff mentor, I have seen how Brooke has grown and matured in her leadership and discipleship capabilities. Now Brooke begins her nursing practice equipped to follow Jesus with joy and devotion.

Praise God for the new beginnings nursing students experience through life in Christ!

Kristaby Krista Doan
InterVarsity/NCF staff @ UCF

Please join Krista’s ministry team by partnering with her in prayer and financial support so she can invest in the spiritual development of more students like Brooke.

Talking about Spirituality in Nursing School

April 25, 2016

4252016marylI am a nursing student at a Catholic-Jesuit university, so spirituality is integrated throughout our nursing curriculum. However, we do not have a space to reflect on how to have spiritual conversations with patients or how to process our clinical experiences from a spiritual perspective.

This semester, I felt called to initiate a spiritual reflection group for nursing students. Olivia, my InterVarsity staff mentor, helped me prepare and plan. Then I threw the idea out there with an email to my nursing class.

I was anxious to see how God would move people to respond. Two students showed up at the first meeting in February and we connected immediately over great conversations. One of my roommates listened in and I was so glad to share some of my faith with her.

At our second meeting I was amazed to see eight students and two grad students show up, plus I received many emails and questions the following morning about how our meeting went. We had such an amazing time of conversation and community. We talked about spiritual conversations with patients in our clinical assignments. We also discussed the importance of meeting our own spiritual needs, in addition to being there for patients.

Planting Seeds

I was so moved by how I felt the presence of God at the meeting. I was excited to have such open and meaningful conversation with my peers whom I had only known in the classroom setting before the meeting. This is only the beginning of seeds being planted in the lives of nursing students on my campus.

My vision for starting an NCF group began in December at the Urbana Missions Conference. I was unsure of what God had in store for me, but I left challenged and inspired to start something new for God in my school of nursing.

At Urbana, I heard from so many powerful speakers and seminar leaders who really challenged me to courageously share my faith with others and step out of my comfort zone.

I was also excited to learn about Nurses Christian Fellowship for the first time. At Urbana I met amazing NCF leaders who encouraged me with their personal stories. I heard testimonies from other students who had experienced similar feelings and went on to lead nursing students on their campuses.

I reflected on the way I had been living my life and wanted to make a change by reaching out to students who were my friends, but they didn’t know the most important thing about me. I didn’t have the courage to share my faith with them. After attending Urbana, I strongly felt God calling me to start an NCF group on Boston College’s campus.

I am grateful to God for our group of 5-10 nursing students who have started NCF ministry this semester, and I am excited to see what God has in store for us in the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College!

–Mary Ladesic, nursing student

God at Work at SDSU

March 8, 2016

382016sdsuKirsten Sakata was nervous about starting a Bible discussion in her nursing school, but got excited when five people came to the first meeting a few weeks ago. The group discussed “Stress in the Life of a Nursing Student” from the What’s Vital? NCF Bible study series.

“God exceeded my expectations! We laughed, shed tears, and had deep conversations. The Lord met every one of us tonight,” Kirsten said. “I can’t wait to have the next meeting.”

Afterward, one of the girls texted Kirsten: “The study went really well. God was definitely in it.” Kirsten sees this as confirmation that God is moving in the nursing department.

“I see how many of my classmates are yearning for something more than just being “a nurse.” They want something more, and I believe this is a personal relationship with Jesus,” Kirsten said.

“I am thankful for what God is doing—and will be doing—on our campus!”

Urbana15: Miraculous Encounters

January 25, 2016

1222016restroomsUrbana 15 was marked by miraculous, divine encounters where God put us in specific places at precise times so he could act! One such time was the 4th evening during a Communion Service for the 16,000 attendees in the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis. It was a sacred, solemn moment as we were led by ushers to stand row-by-row to be served the bread and wine representing Christ’s body and blood sacrificed for us.

As I waited quietly in prayer, my aging bladder started talking, then screaming at me. I tried to ignore the growing sensation but realized I would need to take action soon. Finally our row stood and received the elements, then I quickly exited to find a bathroom.

To my surprise, as I left the bathroom, a young woman said, “I know you. You’re famous!” She clarified that she’d been in a seminar that I had taught a few days earlier with Jane Hall, NCF National Director. I discovered she was a nursing student, and like many of the students at Urbana, seeking God’s calling on her life. Then suddenly, she began to cry. As her voice broke, she asked if I would talk with her for a moment.

We quickly found a quiet place and she poured out her story. The Bible studies at Urbana had brought into sharp focus the reality of God’s judgment for those who reject him. Her voice trailed off as she said, “I don’t know if I can serve a God who will send some to eternal punishment…”

I shed a few tears with her, and I told her it was a good thing to ask God hard questions. That he welcomes our questions. Then I said I wondered if God was breaking her heart for the lost so she would realize the urgency of reaching out to others, of being his messenger. We then went to scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3 and talked about how it is God’s will for all to be saved; that he is patiently waiting, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. We talked about how God is calling us to bring the good news of salvation to the world.

We prayed, cried, hugged, and I promised to stay in contact with her as she continued to seek God’s will for her life. We laughed as we both realized God had spoken to my bladder to create a divine encounter. He had ordained our meeting in the hallway during Communion at Urbana 15.

Why They’re Going to Urbana

October 16, 2015

Urbana ScholarshipsUrbana is not just another mission conference; it’s a mobilization of God-centered, visionary college students for a new generation of world missions.

InterVarsity’s Urbana 15 takes place December 27-31, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. But this is only the beginning for the 16,000 participants who return home more inspired and committed to follow God’s leading and make a difference in the world.

Urbana’s impact cannot be underestimated. Rev. Billy Graham said, “Half of North American missionaries can trace their vocational call at least in part to Urbana.”

For nursing students, their “mission field” starts with nursing school as they and their classmates seek answers to big questions about life, suffering, death and how to offer hope to patients.

On campus, Nurses Christian Fellowship helps them navigate these questions and find a foundation for their lives and nursing practice that is centered in the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

The nursing students who applied for NCF scholarships explain why they want to attend Urbana 15:

  • “I’ve heard that Urbana is the opportunity of a lifetime. I know the speakers will challenge us in our Christian faith. I have really struggled the past few years in my walk with God and I know this conference will push us as well as encourage us.” –Jael S.
  • “I have always wanted to go to Urbana which only happens every three years so I do not want to miss this opportunity!  I have a real heart for missions and feel that Urbana will enhance my love for missions.  I think it will help me get connected with like-minded people as well as organizations to affiliate with in the future.” –Marissa P.
  • “In high school I did a local mission trip. In college, I went on a short-term mission trip to Thailand. I loved serving the people there and want to continue serving God’s people. Now that I’ll be working soon in the nursing field, I want to know how I can be missional, whether that is locally or globally.” –Kirsten S.

Our vision is that Urbana 15 will launch a new generation of nurses committed to loving God and serving others around the world. It begins with students who have a vision and passion for God’s healing among the nations – students like Jael, Kirsten and Marissa.

Want to help make a difference? Do it now through the NCF scholarship fund.