Conversations: Guarding Our Hearts

Conversation. It’s where connection begins. Conversations create a space for learning and reflection. And as believers, conversations provide a space for support, encouragement, and hope in the challenges we each face in our faith and practice.

Colorado Christian University’s NCF student group recently invited Christy Secor, NCF’s Professional Ministries Director, to have a conversation about ethics within nursing. Many students and nurses see ethics as a topic that comes to the forefront only in times of conflict in the care of a patient.

Nursing ethics, however, is quite unique. The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses focuses on relationships between

  • Nurse-to-Patient
  • Nurse-to-Self
  • Nurse-to-Nurse
  • Nurse-to-Physician
  • Nurse-to-Society (Fowler, 2020).

Looking beyond clinical care or research dilemmas equips us to care more holistically, including care for self as well as for our patients. Ethics involves the teams where we work, and it expands our care to the challenges, issues, and needs our communities face.

Our values and our faith serve as guides in our care. These are not things we leave at the door as we enter our workplaces. Our values and our faith are also cannot be taken away. Both serve as supports, standards, and places of grounding in the challenges and moral distress we face.

As we moved into a time of Bible study, we focused on what it means to “guard your heart.”

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
                                                                                  Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

We discussed the meaning behind the image of the heart. We each can ask ourselves, What does the word “heart” mean to me?

As nurses, we recognize our hearts are pumps with both mechanical and electrical activity. Beyond the physical, our hearts are where we feel and experience our emotions. There’s a spiritual framework represented by the image of the heart. Our hearts can be places of hope as well as of grief and deep wounds--often at the same time.

The longer we walk in our individual faith journeys, the more opportunity there is to ask Jesus to be a part of every aspect of our hearts…including our secret places and strongholds (places where an attitude or flawed thinking keeps us from being who we were meant to be). As nurses, we recognize that each person we encounter holds these same needs. It’s a part of our shared humanity.

Our hearts are reflected in each aspect of our ethics and our practice. These conversations make us stronger--as students, as nurses, and as people of faith.

Fowler, M. D. (2020). Toward reclaiming our ethical heritage: Nursing ethics before bioethics. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 25(2).

Christy Secor, DNP, RN, CDWF, is NCF’s Professional Ministries Director. Her passion is creating connections that lead to relationships among nurses, providing support and strength for serving God in nursing.

Find a nurse group you can join, learn how to start a nurse group, download Bible studies for personal and group use, and discover so many other resources and helps on the Nurses Christian Fellowship website.


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