In our training as nurses, we’re experts at presenting calmness in the face of chaos and being strong for those whose lives are turned upside down and inside out. I would argue that this is the superpower of a nurse, and these attribute these traits of caring and compassion to the art of nursing. These characteristics of nursing, in so many ways, reflect God’s attributes. God likes to demonstrate his power in our weakness. Even though we know this is true and we can testify about this attribute of God, we still experience a reverence and awe when he shows up and shows off! That’s exactly what he did at William Jewell College through Nurses Christian Fellowship.
When the pandemic hit and the university went remote, overwhelming darkness and isolation seeped through the student nurse population. NCF meetings moved to Zoom, and the NCF group dwindled to an average of two students at the bi-weekly Zoom meetings.
Touching Every Nursing Student
As we began to slowly return to campus in spring 2021, we continued to meet via Zoom. Our NCF leaders prayed and considered avenues to serve our campus mission and offer the hope we have in God. We began sending out personalized emails to the entire nursing student population to offer support and prayer. We prepared gift bags with chocolate and a prayer request card and visited the freshmen cohorts classes to introduce ourselves, give out the gift bags and invite students personally to NCF meetings. We also set up an e-card service, sending e-cards to every nursing student on their birthdays to let them know they were important and noticed.
Light Brighter than the Darkness
God heard our prayers and blessed our efforts. In the darkness of COVID-19, the light of God shined even brighter and further than we could have imagined! We received many emails requesting prayer for specific, personal situations from students who weren’t involved in NCF. Doors opened for conversations about God with those who’d walked away from God, were mentally and physically hurting, or had previously declared they were agnostic or atheist.
One student said we were the first people who’d checked on her in the pandemic, and that even though she didn’t believe in religion or God, she wanted to participate in NCF and be supported. That student did not miss one NCF meeting the entire spring semester; she reunited with God and found a church family to continue to grow in her faith! Another student struggling to find peace over abuse in her past began attending NCF meetings; halfway through the semester, she came to our office to request us to pray with her as she recommitted her life to God.
God’s Strength Radiates
Our NCF chapter was able to have a final in-person meeting at the end of spring 2021—we had eight NCF members who were passionate and committed to their walk with God and had filled the pages of their NCF student nurse journals with Scriptures that God was using to speak into their lives. A senior nursing student led this meeting and testified of how God had pulled her from depression and hopelessness to the point where she was considering quitting nursing school. She felt God had led her to the NCF group where she found strength and support in her final year of nursing school.
As the new semester begins, our NCF chapter has been officially recognized as a student organization on campus, has two co-presidents and eight faithful NCF members! In the face of hopelessness surrounded by darkness, God will show his strength. When we are faithful to God, God is faithful to us.
Tiffany Condren, MSN, RNC, is a nursing instructor at William Jewell College in Missouri and an NCF Faculty Advisor.
Tiffany is investing in nursing students as a faculty advisor, a volunteer role that’s significant and campus-changing. NCF staff support, train, and collaborate with nurse educators who want to influence students spiritually and professionally. Learn what faculty advisors do and how to get involved by perusing the NCF website.