Robert Campbell is a big guy with an even bigger heart for God and for others – especially nurses and nursing students.
Robert is on the NCF staff team in the Blue Ridge Region to equip and encourage nursing students, faculty, and nurses. He understands the unique culture of nursing school and the nursing profession.
“I love working with nursing students. They are generally at a different level of maturity from other students because of what they face in their nursing courses and clinical experiences,” Robert said. “For example, unlike other undergrads, a nursing student might say, ‘I cared for someone who died today.’”
Robert has served as faculty advisor for NCF and InterVarsity chapters, has presented at NCF nursing conferences, and has volunteered for NCF national advisory committees. Upon his retirement from nursing education, Robert joined NCF staff. His broad background as a nurse, a teacher, and working in hospital administration, together with his life-long passion for caring for others and equipping people to follow Jesus, greatly influences his ministry with students and nurses. “I love seeing changes in people,” he said.
Robert has seen how NCF groups are used by God to transform people. A few years ago a nurse was invited by a friend to attend a meeting of an NCF professional group where nurses shared how faith in Christ empowers them to care for others. But shortly after the meeting started, the new visitor walked out! The group members didn’t know what to do. When the nurse returned, she explained in tears, “My father died and I haven’t been to church since.” The group prayed for this grieving nurse who was joyfully restored in her relationship with God. Later she became a leader of the NCF group.
Robert also recalls two nursing students who ambitiously started an NCF group at their school. They encouraged other students to consider how they could be used by God for his purposes around the world. Today these two former students are helping others to serve God in missionary nursing.
“It’s a joy when others find their role in God’s purposes,” Robert said. “I love hearing students, faculty and nurses tell me, ‘This is where God wants me to be…I’m comfortable with it and it’s where I’m supposed to be.’”
Robert’s spiritual journey is a testimony to God’s faithfulness to seek him when he was lost, like the one sheep found by the shepherd. Looking back, he says, “I was churched, but I didn’t know God.” Robert faced unique challenges as a male nursing student. Some teachers did not know how to provide adequate clinical learning experiences for him, and some nurses were reluctant to assist him. One of his teachers was sensitive to Robert’s needs. She was the NCF faculty advisor, and she asked Robert about his walk with God and prayed for him to know God’s love. Robert opened his heart to Jesus and, from then on, he was a changed man.
“I was the lost sheep that Jesus set out to find and rescue. He used a nurse educator who showed me the way home.”
Since his encounter with Jesus, Robert has helped others along a path toward Jesus, the Good Shepherd who cares for us all.
Robert and his wife, Carole, live in Richmond, Virginia. They have been married 45 years and have four sons and nine grandchildren. Robert retired in 2016 from NCF staff ministry.