With 60 years of nursing experience on her resume, Rose Day speaks wisely about the profession and her faith in Christ. Her top piece of advice to nurses? “I would strongly encourage you to become involved in NCF because it will help you grow in your Christian life and teach you how to carry your Christian life into your nursing.”
Rose’s nursing career has been on a parallel track with NCF. When she graduated from Aultman School of Nursing in Canton, Ohio, in 1959, she had been part of a student group on campus. Finding a new group after graduation took some time, but eventually she helped get a regular group going in Canton where nurses met monthly to pray for colleagues and nursing students.
After her first job in med-surg at Aultman Hospital, Rose moved to pediatrics and then to peds same day surgery where she flourished for 20 years.
“When I was 55, God began to talk to me about going back to school to get a BSN,” Rose remembers. It wasn’t a simple decision, and she took the idea to her NCF group for prayer.
“Our NCF staff member prayed with me and told me, ‘Rose, you don’t know how the Lord is going to use you.’” Rose said the NCF staffer’s advice was to go back to school and get the degree.
“I did listen, and I did get my BSN,” she said, which opened up a new opportunity to work at Malone University School of Nursing in Canton.
Listening to God and the counsel of her NCF advisor was the right decision. “In 2006, I started at Malone working in the clinical center for learning, helping teach nurse students the basic skills. It was a very enjoyable experience.”
In working with students, Rose drew from her gamut of experiences and knowledge gained through NCF since her own student days. “At Malone, I was able to pray with students and counsel them from a Christian perspective.”
Rose recalls an abundance of instances of students sharing their concerns and spiritual questions with her. “I could see the changes in their lives over the time I worked with them and prayed with them. I saw them grow closer to God and become mature Christians.”
“I also hugged them a lot,” she added gleefully. “I’m a hugger and my students got hugs. Many of them said how much those hugs meant to them. They would tell me, ‘You don’t know much I needed that today.’”
Prayer was a skill and a blessing she employed with patients she cared for in the surgery center. “Through NCF, I gained an understanding of how to pray for patients and to feel comfortable doing that.”
“I still have letters from patients thanking me for offering to pray with them and share my Christian experience as God gave those opportunities.” Rose said God frequently opened conversations with patients as well as with students about how He had worked in her life.
Now retired from nursing, Rose is looking to volunteer in hospice care and to visit homebound people from her church. Her number one piece of advice still stands: Find or start an NCF group. You will benefit professionally and personally. Her second piece of advice? Administer hugs as needed.
NCF has many helps for starting a professional nurse group or encouraging student nurses.