This is the second part of an interview with Mary Thompson who served in various roles with NCF since her days in nursing school in the 1960s. Mary was the NCF National Director from 1984 to 2007. In part one of our interview, Mary reflects on a lifetime of working tirelessly to promote the Christian values that lie at the heart of nursing. Mary continues here with advice for nursing students and an update on what she's doing currently.
NCF: What are some changes you've seen in nursing and in the ministry of NCF over the years?
Mary: I see more opportunities in nursing today because of a wide variety of nursing roles and the influence nurses can have to make a difference in health care around the world. The expanding use of technology creates opportunities to communicate with colleagues locally and globally. We can support one another for Christian ministry through nursing.
NCF has made creative changes to develop new strategies to fulfill God’s mission in a changing world, including the use of social media and electronic newsletters that link 8500+ nurses and students with stories of what God is doing, resources, and opportunities for ministry. The Journal of Christian Nursing continues to be a significant way to bring Christian beliefs to nursing. I am very encouraged by the leadership of Jane Hall, NCF Director, and her team of NCF staff and volunteers who seek God’s directions for priorities and plans. I anticipate a great future for NCF.
NCF: Do you have a word of wisdom or advice for nursing students who are entering the profession today?
- Discover a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ that becomes your source of true love and identity. Pray Ephesians 3:14-21 into your life.
- Allow God’s Word to speak to you and shape your nursing practice and all of life. Meditate on Isaiah 61:1-4 and Luke 4:18-19 as you discover ways you can live out God’s mission through nursing.
- Develop partnerships with peers and mentors, and include prayer and what you are learning through Scripture in your communication with them. Community is God’s gift to us, and fosters thriving in your nursing journey. NCF seeks to serve you as part of your Christian community in nursing.
- Enjoy the person God has created you to be. Anticipate how God will guide and develop you as his precious child.
NCF: Mary, tell us what you're currently doing at this season in your life.
Mary: I have a part-time staff role as Minister of Congregational Care in my church in Minneapolis, MN. This includes visitation – faith community nursing, ministry to seniors, outreach to our neighborhood, and welcoming new people. It's a joy to meet with several women who have just become followers of Jesus Christ. I’m also leading a discipleship/leadership development group for women. This new season is full and fulfilling!