Five years ago, Lisa McCalister, MSN, FNP-BC, was at a low point in her nursing career. “I feel nursing is a calling, a profession that requires a caring heart and compassion for helping people. I felt I was losing some of that compassion.”
Searching for a Christian nursing organization to grow her faith and revive her passion, she encountered NCF—and with Carol Smith, RN, MSN, began a Dover, Delaware, NCF nurses group.
Out of their group’s constitution came three goals—worship, nurture, serving—that have blossomed into a multi-branched group full of vigor, faith, and camaraderie. Those goals have shaped the group’s direction and outreach over the past five years.
Lisa shared how the NCF Delaware nurses group is enacting those goals.
- At monthly meetings, nurses interact by discussing articles from a recent Journal of Christian Nursing issue, praying, and studying the Bible. They often use resources from the NCF website.
- Each month members participate in a community service, such as the AHA Heart Walk, offering brown bag lunches for homeless individuals, or providing a meal for Habitat for Humanity workers.
- An annual Nurses Celebration, incorporating the theme of National Nurses Week, draws local nurses who sometimes join the group. The event may be a lunch, brunch, or tea party.
- Funding an annual $500 scholarship for a Christian nursing student creates a nursing legacy. The group fundraises to bring in the money; candidates must be active in a church and submit an essay about how they plan to use their Christian values in their professional career.
- Last year, the NCF group helped launch a student NCF group at a local college. “Once we met with five to six students who were interested, we did the paperwork and the group took off,” Lisa explained. The professional nurses interact regularly with the students, serving in community outreach together and socializing at a picnic. Faculty member Lana Gordineer, RN, MSN, facilitated the launch.
- An outcome of the student NCF group is a mentoring-type buddy approach, with practicing nurses each choosing a student to encourage, pray for, and connect with.
Lisa said the NCF nurse group is thriving, and so is she. “The group and fellowship we share has grounded me and strengthened my spiritual well-being,” she acknowledged. Being with other Christian nurses, studying the Bible together, and relating to each other about our everyday work “has helped me be calmer, less stressed.” Other nurse members say they’ve become more comfortable praying with patients and bringing up spiritual discussions, including with patients of diverse backgrounds.
The NCF Delaware group appreciates and acknowledges NCF National Campus Staff Minister Bonnie Hann who supported them as their group took shape and nursing educator Lana Gordineer who has been part of launching and leading the student group.
To find out more about starting a nurse or student nurse NCF group, check out the NCF website. Also learn how professional or student membership in NCF can provide numerous benefits and resources.