A safe place. That’s one description nursing student Isabel Charter uses for the NCF group she is part of at the University of Missouri, in Columbia. With about 20 students showing up at meetings twice a month, the group serves as a nexus where pre-clinical, clinical, and graduate nursing students find support, friends, and acceptance.
“One of the biggest benefits of our NCF group is that we all have nursing in common,” Isabel says. “Everyone goes through the same struggles of difficult classes, applying for the clinical program, and being a faithful Christian throughout the whole process.”
“I think God works best through us by connecting all of us in that way. We have all reached out to God during the difficult times and praised him during the good times. Members commonly talk about how they can show their faith in a clinical setting without making an inappropriate situation. It’s something we discuss often in our studies and helps us realize how to be faithful nurses.”
Another frequent conversation is about getting into nursing school. It’s something everyone goes through, and either goes well or it doesn’t. Isabel said the NCF group provides a safe place to discuss those difficult feelings of not being accepted and trying to understand why, because each student can relate to the situation. “It can be difficult to understand why God has put us in this situation, but through prayer and opening up to each other, we find our answers,” she explains.
The group also meets to play games, go out to eat, and serve in their community. “We had an awesome event, serving at Tiger Place, an assisted living home in Columbia. We made butterfly stained glass pieces with the residents for them to hang in their windows and brighten up the room.”
“I think all of us as a group reaching out to help others outside of our normal meetings really helps us open up to each other and reflect on how God was working in our lives,” Isabel relates. Activities tend to bring more consistent attendance to meetings and people are more willing to open up during discussion.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned from being a part of NCF is that it’s okay to fail. Becoming a nurse is a difficult process, and no one goes through school flawlessly. There are going to be difficult times, and NCF has taught me that God will always be there to lean on.”
First Steps to Spiritual Conversations