Maintaining a Sense of Calling

JCN Editorby Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, JCN Editor

How do you maintain your sense of vocation and calling as a nurse or nurse educator? Recently I was asked to speak on this challenging topic at two events hosted by Seattle Pacific University. What a rich experience we had together!

The first workshop was for nursing education leaders from area schools. We took a close look at the 12 leaders of Israel who were chosen to represent their tribes and explore Canaan as spies in Numbers 13-14. Even though they had strong leadership characteristics, 10 of them lost the call. After 40 days exploring the land God promised them, they gave up.

We asked, "Why did 10 leaders lose the call?" and "Why did Joshua and Caleb not only maintain the call, but grow stronger in their sense of God’s call?" We talked about keeping our eyes on Jesus and strengthening our relationship with God so when the daily challenges and struggles come, we maintain our calling to God and to nursing. The real call was to trust God.

In Saturday's workshop, I talked with nurses about three callings to embrace our God-given potential, drawing from the book, Courage and Calling:

  • called into a relationship with God
  • called to be a nurse (vocation)
  • called to the daily, stressful work of nursing

We closed with a prayer from 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, that God would count us worthy of his calling, that by his power he would fulfill every good purpose we have in nursing and every act prompted by our faith, so that Jesus will be glorified.

May you know God's calling to pursue him, letting him nurture you so you can be a nurse that glorifies Jesus.



As a Nurse Educator, I thank you for reminding me of my REAL Christ and to those He came to serve.

Kathy, thanks for sharing about your presentation. Trusting God and His amazing crazy love for us was the same focus that God spoke to us about at the Texas NCF retreat ten days ago. If we could ever just rest in His arms of Love and let go, we'd probably be amazed at the results.

"The real call was to trust God." Oh, how true that is. I have struggled recently with just what my calling is. Long story. Daily I hear of the struggles our staff nurses are facing, and yet the needs of our patients seem to multiply even more. Thanking God for showing me this post again--I had read it before, but needed a reminder!

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