USA (MNN) — Happy National Nurses Week! To celebrate the men and women who serve us during our times of need, we’re sharing about the Nurses Christian Fellowship—a Christian professional organization and ministry for nurses and nursing students.
Nurses Christian Fellowship
NCF has been under InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1948, though it originally began in the mid-1930s in Chicago. Back then, it was called Christian Nurses Fellowship. So, if you know a nurse or one in training, share this valuable news.
“We’re trying to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to nursing students, nurses, and nurse educators,” InterVarsity’s Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, the national director of Nurses Christian Fellowship and editor-in-chief of InterVarsity’s Journal of Christian Nursing says.
Furthermore, Schoonover-Shoffner says NCF is the only Christian ministry for nurses and the only ministry that address spirituality and spiritual care in nursing. NCF has chapters at nearly 100 colleges with nursing schools across the country.
Just last fall, the NCF found that 44 nursing students made a choice to follow Jesus. This spring, another 37 nursing students made the same commitment. That’s 81 nurses who came to Christ through NCF’s ministry.
However, sharing the Gospel isn’t all NCF is doing, it’s also walking alongside nurses and nurses-in-training during both school and their careers. Through these chapters, NCF helps support nursing students by offering Bible studies, resources, and a Christian worldview on nursing practices. But, one area in particular that NCF comes alongside its students is spirituality and offering spiritual support in the workplace.
“There’s a significant search for spirituality, and where do I find meaning, and how do I offer spiritual support to my patients and families. And so NCF’s– kind of a hallmark of what we do is try to support nurses and their best practices and spiritual care,” Schoonover-Shoffner shares.
“I think spiritual care is becoming more and more important in nursing school. It’s now required on the licensure exam for nurses. But for years, it was like you got one lecture in your first semester on spiritual care and that was it.”
The place NCF brings nurses back to when addressing spiritual care is the Bible. On top of this, nurses need to continue their education to stay certified. And NCF helps by offering education from a Christian worldview.
“So we offer all kinds of resources to help nurses with their Christian thinking and Christian practice. Everything from the free Bible studies and resources and how to start an NCF group, to the Journal of Christian Nursing which is, you know, a little more scholarly publication. And we address critical issues in practice, and ethics, spiritual care, and different illnesses.”
NCF also has local nurse fellowships where nurses can get together with other nurses in their communities, and spend time in prayer, ask each other questions, and support one another. For areas where there isn’t a fellowship, NCS also provides the resources for individual nurses to start one.
“We also offer professional membership. So, nurses can pay a fee, and what that gives them is access to all of our Journal of Christian Nursing, and they get it in print or online. And we offer continuing education through the journal from our publisher, Lippincott,” Schoonover-Shoffner shares.
So, this week as we celebrate nurses, take time to pray for them, too. Pray for the Christian nurses serving our society, pray for their strength, encouragement, and their faith.
Pray also for NCF chapters to continue growing, emerging on new campuses, and for the current chapters to persevere.
And finally, pray for NCF to continue reaching nursing students with the Gospel and transformative news of Christ’s love.
To get involved with or to donate to NCF, click here!
*NCF is offering 25 percent off its membership from May1-31. Become a member here!