April 7, 2017

Charting the Way

A monthly newsletter exclusively for NCF members


by Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner

Passover Lessons from Peter

Passover LessonsEvery year I study the Gospel accounts of Passover week, asking God to teach me something new. This Lenten season, I’ve been drawn to Peter and his responses to Jesus’ arrest. As an extroverted, take-action person, I relate well to Peter. Analysis of that painful day in Peter’s life offers life-altering insights.

Peter spent hours celebrating the Passover meal, listening to Jesus and his priestly prayer for his disciples. He vowed he would lay down his life for his Lord while Jesus predicted his betrayal. He fell asleep in Gethsemane when Jesus asked him to pray, then responded rashly and almost got himself killed at Jesus’ arrest. Next, Peter fled. Within hours, he denied he knew Jesus three times. After the last denial, Jesus took the opportunity to look at Peter, not in condemnation, but in love. Peter broke down, weeping.

What can we learn from Peter?

  1. Listen to Jesus – How did Peter process “You will disown me three times” (Mark 14:72)?
  2. Don’t be overconfident – Peter didn’t prepare for the possibility of failure.
  3. Remain alert and pray – What if Peter had remained alert in prayer in the garden? (Mark 14:38).
  4. Stick close to Jesus and other Christ-followers – Peter was alone physically and spiritually, separated from Jesus and his brothers. I can always be with Jesus.
  5. Engage in Examen – God speaks most deeply to me after times of failure or in deep sorrow (Psalm 19:12-14).
  6. After failure, be restored –The look Jesus gave Peter said a million things, but most of all, love. Peter was fully restored (John 21).

Read the gospel accounts of Passion Week in Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, or John 13-20.

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice that allows us to remain in you (John 15:4).

Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit

National Nurses WeekI encourage you to take advantage of the natural opportunities that National Nurses Week (May 6-12) provides to invite your nursing friends and coworkers to a prayer event or a special Bible discussion based on the ANA theme. Check out ideas for how you can reach out to others with the holistic love of Christ during Nurses Week.

Use Nurses Week to invite colleagues to a special event or Bible discussion to reflect and discuss how to find a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit in nursing and in life.

What About Moral Distress?

Moral DistressMoral distress is huge in healthcare, so I don’t want you to miss the feature article and my editorial in your new JCN. We encounter moral distress when we believe that an action is right but, because of real or perceived constraints, we either cannot, or do not, take the action. Has this happened to you? Please read more about this important issue.


For Members Only

NCF pinIs it time to review your benefits? Go to NCF Membership and login to Members Only with your NCF member number found on your membership card and your monthly Charting the Way newsletter. Your benefits include the Journal of Christian Nursing and CE discounts from JCN and NursingCenter.com, plus book discounts from Lippincott and InterVarsity Press. Remember, you are part of a professional nursing organization that supports your Christian faith and your nursing practice.


by Tim Lin, NCF Student Ministries Director

What is NCF?

TimIn the last two member newsletters, we’ve looked at the mission and vision of NCF Student Ministries. We long for nursing students and faculty to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered. What does it mean for students and faculty to be empowered?

First, NCF student chapters empower nursing students to share their faith with their classmates. Think back to nursing school. Remember how you and your classmates together crammed for exams, engaged in simulations, and commuted (exhausted) for clinicals? Nursing programs bond students; they live and breathe nursing with each other. Because of that bond, Christian nursing students have unique relational opportunities to talk about their faith with their classmates. NCF student chapters empower students by providing concrete principles and tools to share their faith.

Second, NCF student chapters empower nursing students to become leaders for God’s Kingdom on campus. Most NCF chapters are student-led. Thus, students receive leadership training on how to lead a Bible study or how to present the gospel. Through these leadership experiences, NCF student leaders will become Christian leaders in every sphere of life—professionally, with family, at church, and in their community.

Will you pray for the nursing students and student leaders in our 100+ chapters? Ask God to give them the courage to share their faith in nursing school!


Spirituality and Spiritual Care STAT

Spiritual Care CollectionCare of the spirit, a hallmark of good nursing, is a high priority for Christian nurses. What is known about spirituality and spiritual care? How do we go about offering spiritual care? Learn what researchers, patients, and other experts say about good spiritual care in the JCN Topical Collection. All 48 online articles are free for NCF members. Don't miss the regular JCN column in every issue, "FAQs in Spiritual Care," with practical insights on caring for spiritual needs.


HTN: How Low Should You Go?

HTNHypertension (HTN) is a known cause of significant healthcare problems (morbidity) and costs; 29% of all Americans have HTN and 15% don’t know it, while 65% of adults over 60 have HTN. But when should HTN be treated, and how much should B/P be lowered? Treatment can be costly and lead to hypotension and syncope. New evidenced-based treatment guidelines for adults > 60 pinpoint B/P targets for treating HTN.

Here are the March 21, 2017 recommendations from the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), based on a systematic review of research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine for adults aged 60 and older with HTN:

  • Initiate treatment with systolic B/P persistently at or above 150 mm Hg to achieve a target systolic B/P of less than 150 mm Hg to reduce the risk for mortality, stroke, and cardiac events. (Grade: strong recommendation, high-quality evidence)
  • Consider initiating or intensifying treatment with a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack, or at high cardiovascular risk, based on individualized assessment, to achieve a target systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mm Hg to reduce the risk for stroke, cardiac events, or recurrent stroke. (Grade: weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence)

Nurses are the primary educators for patients in multiple settings and we need to understand and teach about HTN management to increase diagnosis, treatment compliance, and reduce morbidity and mortality.