If you are interested in working with nursing students on your campus, here are three opportunities that are unique to nursing school and make nursing students a strategic population to reach.
There are many natural opportunities for community in nursing school because nursing students are already in classes and clinicals together. They are forming a community whether they realize it or not. Here are some questions I ask missional students:
- How can you be intentional in forming relationships with students you already see all the time?
- How can NCF be a community that offers hope and joy as you follow Jesus together?
- Can you pray boldly for the other nursing students in your clinical rotation and invite them all to a GIG by the end of your rotation (often 4-8 weeks long)?
- Can you pray regularly for your classmates and look for ways God is leading you in your growing friendships?
Nursing students come face-to-face with suffering -- and even death -- in their clinical rotations. I’ve had students tell me they took care of patients who had survived a suicide attempt or cared for a child who had been born out of incest. They are up close to some of the worst evil in our world. If they haven't yet thought about their beliefs regarding life, death, and God, nursing school is a good time to begin that journey!
NCF can be a safe place for them to ask real questions, look at the Bible, and talk about their experiences in the hospital. As nurses, they will have patients ask them questions such as, "Why do you think I'm still alive?" or "Why has this happened to me?" or "I think God's angry with me. What do you think?" If they are not comfortable entering into these conversations, they won't be effective nurses and won't be able to walk this journey with their patients. Talking about the spiritual health of patients is part of the nursing role!
I challenge all nursing students to ask each other spiritual questions and I specifically challenge Christian students to dive into these conversations with their non-Christian friends. Nursing students are somewhat like students who go on a global or urban project. They are seeing injustice, poverty, and suffering up close and this can be a time when God draws them to himself.
Not only can these spiritual conversations happen with their classmates, but also with their patients. The average nurse at the bedside can care for 600+ patients every year! This is an amazing opportunity to reflect God's presence into people's lives. Nurses are the ones who “stand at the gates to life and death”. They are there as a newborn baby enters the world and they are often there at the bedside of someone who is dying. They enter into holy moments with people and often have opportunities to pray with patients and remind them of God's presence and love. Today we have the opportunity to equip them to be world changers now and in the future!
May God guide you in your ministry among nursing students and you are part of his transforming work in their lives. Who knows, these students may take care of you someday!
For more information about reaching the nursing students on your campus, please contact NCF.