The nurses of InterVarsity’s Nurses Christian Fellowship believe they are called by God to the nursing profession. They have the opportunity and privilege of representing Jesus among people who are suffering. So they celebrate National Nurses Week this week under the theme Nursing, A Profession and a Passion..
Nurses Christian Fellowship prepared resources for Christian nurses to use during National Nurses Week, including a Bible study of Romans 12:9-13, in which the apostle Paul writes about the sacrificial demands of Christian love. Special events to honor the important year-round work done by nurses are taking place across the country this week.
One nurse, the NCF faculty advisor at the University of Iowa (UI), received a special honor during National Nurses Week. Sue Lehman was named the 2007 recipient of the Faith and Learning Award from the Geneva Lecture Committee, an interdenominational Iowa City group of faculty, students, and community members. The award goes to a faculty member, staff member, researcher or student at the UI who has made significant contributions to the life and work of the university through the integration of Christian faith with learning and service.
“Her whole life is dedicated to God and she expresses her love for God by wholeheartedly loving and serving others. Sue is a wonderful bridge between the nursing students and the community. She intentionally provides opportunities for her students to get to know people from all walks of life as they grow in compassion for all,” said Geneva Campus Ministry director Edward Laarman, in a news release describing Lehman’s community and campus activities.
This is a busy time for NCF. Final preparations are being made for a National Nursing Summit to be held June 28-July 1 on the campus of Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. The conference focuses on the Christian foundation of nursing and explores ways to maintain Christian values and perspectives in nursing practice, education, administration, and research. A one-day Nursing Faculty Conference will be held on July 2, after the summit ends.
NCF also sponsors regional conferences and participates in many national nursing events. Staff member Skip McDonald gave a presentation titled “Joy for the Nurses’ Journey,” at the National Student Nurse Association Convention in Anaheim last month. “It was obvious that many in the room were lacking joy in their lives,” commented staff colleague Renee Lick. “Skip shared from her experiences, including her relationship with God, and gave examples of how to live a life that exudes joy.”
One convention attendee stated afterwards, “It is exciting to know that such a ministry exists, and that there are resources like Journal of Christian Nursing and conferences about faith and nursing. It’s mind-boggling that NCF is able to be present at a national nursing convention.”
The i>Journal of Christian Nursing is published quarterly. The current April-June issue features articles on mental illness, personality disorders, and “impossible patients.”
NCF is also preparing for a transition. NCF director Mary Thompson completes this role on June 30 and her replacement will be Patricia Emery, who has most recently served as the Director of Nursing at Mennonite Memorial Home in Ohio.
“On July 1, I will refocus to a ‘behind the scenes’ staff role in fund development,” Mary said. “I am excited about NCF’s future and the opportunities ahead.”