I love the Journal of Christian Nursing because it's always inspiring, enlightening, and informative. It's a blessing to hear from other Christian nurses and I often wished there was an NCF group in my area of Wilmington, North Carolina. I felt God was calling me to form a chapter but wondered how I could I do that. Where would I start?
I am an Educator for Surgical Services and also part-time faculty for the school of nursing at UNCW. I share my JCN copies with interested students. When I read a section from Called to Care by Judith Allen Shelly & Arlene B. Miller, the students were excited to learn that there are resources for Christian nurses that connect faith to practice. This helped them form their own nursing theories.
When I attended the 2010 NCF conference in Charlotte, NC, I talked with NCF staff Robert Campbell and other Christian nurses who supported my dream. I saw the benefit of linking Christian nursing students with experienced Christian nurses and I finally heeded God's prompting to gather them together in my area.
First I invited Christian nurses I knew to an informational meeting and they responded "Yes!" Robert traveled from Virginia to help with the initial gathering. He also introduced me to Matt Sidell, the InterVarsity staff at UNCW.
An early hurdle was to find a meeting place. The facility where I am employed has a number of meeting rooms but, since NCF is faith-based, we couldn't use those rooms. However, God intervened and we met in the Spiritual Conference Room!
At the first meeting, Robert and Matt helped us explore options for our potential NCF chapter and the different directions we could take. They reassured us that gathering together was most important; we didn't have to elect chapter officers or keep a treasury.
Our group grew as more nurses learned about our gatherings. The interested nurses prayed about forming an NCF chapter and four of us made the commitment to be co-sponsors. Two of them were senior nursing students who are now RNs working in our community.
Our chapter has grown and we now have a set meeting place at a local church activity center. This year, with the help of NCF and Robert Campbell, we were blessed to sponsor our first conference with speaker Pat Farrell.
We are excited about the upcoming year. We plan to reach out to the new junior nursing students at the local college and university. We will continue to spread the word about our NCF group in our churches, places of employment and in conversations with other nurses.
-- by Claudia Campese, MSN, RN-C, CNOR