Meet Rachel Phelps, our new NCF Campus Volunteer. Rachel equips nursing students to follow Jesus at Lenoir Rhyne University (LRU) in North Carolina where she is taking graduate studies in nursing administration. She also works full-time as an RN in a cardiac care unit, but loves to make time for ministry on campus.
I have a passion for nursing students to understand the importance of their relationship with Christ while in nursing school. It’s common to get so wrapped up in the demands of nursing school that Christ often gets pushed to the back burner. God always makes time for his children, and it is important to keep focused on him, even with the demands of nursing school. As nurses we have the privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus, so our growing in our relationship with him is imperative.
Nursing school is not easy. I graduated from Lenoir Rhyne University in 2013 and I remember the spiritual valleys I went through in nursing school. God taught me so many lessons through those difficult times. I want students to know they serve an amazing God and they can turn to him when times get tough.
During my four years at LRU, I was a member of the NCF Bible study and the InterVarsity chapter. In my senior year I was the leader for the Bible study. I tried to make our Bible studies a fun learning experience to get the group involved. I loved getting close to students and encouraging them in their nursing studies, and in their spiritual lives. I was also the president of the InterVarsity chapter on campus which grew from 3 to 25 students while I was an undergrad. I am excited to see where God takes the group next. It is such a blessing to work with these students now as volunteer staff.
Learning Spiritual Care
In the nursing unit I work on, I see death more frequently than I want. I have been given opportunities to tell families why I chose to be a nurse and how God led me into nursing. I offer to pray with families after the death of a loved one and let them know they will remain in my prayers, but I had one encounter with a patient that I do not think I will ever forget.
I had a patient who just had a baby and was having a serious heart procedure. Before I took her down the operating room, I felt led to ask her if she would bring all of her family into her room so I could pray with them. Surprisingly, the patient and the family agreed and God gave me the words for the prayer. I prayed for her procedure and for the healthcare team, and also for her and her husband as they began the journey of parenting their new daughter. This was truly a great experience! I was blessed by this patient and her family.
Handling spiritual issues is something I believe is not taught well in nursing school. I learned that it is appropriate to ask to pray with patients and their families because, in reality, it does comfort them and they long for someone who cares. I am now more comfortable talking with patients about spiritual issues, but I had to learn how to offer spiritual care.
I hope that more nursing students can discover their foundation in Jesus so they can be effective nurses when they graduate. My desire as NCF staff is to help them along that kingdom-building road.