NCF Tabletop Discussion March 28 at 7 pm Central – The Power of Relationship: Sharing Our Stories of Difficulty and Hope: There is power in the sharing of our stories – of the difficulties we face and the hope we experience as believers. In this webinar, we’ll address the weariness many are experiencing and break into small groups for sharing, reflection, prayer, and time in the Word. Registration coming soon!
NCF East TX Retreat April 8 - 10 Refresh, Gilmer, TX – Nurses, educators, students are invited to take time away and "Refresh!” Grow deeper with God and allow God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to transform and empower you. Go to North Texas NCF Refresh Retreat for information. Registration deadline March 25.
Sponsor a Student, Change the Future
On April 2, 2022, the Kept: Finding Peace in Nursing School Online Retreat will focus on trusting God and developing lifelong spiritual disciplines to strengthen our identity in Christ. One student commented after a 2021 retreat, “The Be Still retreat provided the reminder to put my faith in God and surrender all to him, and that I am never alone in my life journey.”
Would you partner with NCF and sponsor a nursing student to attend Kept at $15 or give $50 for a school/chapter to participate? Your partnership will provide retreat materials for each student attending. Give your tax-deductible gift here.
Addressing Racism in Nursing
Do you understand how racism impacts nursing? The American Nurses Association National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing has posted a series of in-depth papers exploring racism in nursing education, practice, research, and policy, historically and systemically. The papers are an eye-opening and somber read. Take time to explore this critical information and, if desired, give feedback to the Commission by February 14. If you’ve struggled to grasp the problem of systemic racism in America and in nursing, these papers provide insightful guidance.
Why Are Nurses Still at the Top?
Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN, National Director, JCN Editor-in-Chief
For the 20th straight year, nurses lead the GALLUP Poll Annual Ranking of Professions for having the highest honesty and ethical standards among 22 occupations (Saad, 2022). WOW! The nation’s 4.3 million nurses consistently rank huge percentage points over a variety of jobs. After congratulating and patting ourselves on the back (again), should we look deeper behind this rating? Why are nurses always ranked at the top of this poll? Why do Americans see us as highly honest and ethical?
Nursing at its finest is amazing. Being with people in the most intimate moments of life is sacred. Countless nurses fully and rightly enter into these critical caring moments. Truthfully, however, we all know nurses who miss the holy moments for whatever reason (too task-oriented, tired, busy, frustrated, etc.). In addition to sacred presence, solid clinical judgment at every point of care is life-saving. I met a woman this week whose husband was hospitalized for gallstones and a good nurse picked up on subtle physical and mental changes. Her detection and intervention saved the man’s life. But again, we know situations where nurses miss things and patients suffer or even die. The woman also told me there were “not so good” nurses she didn’t trust because they “just pushed buttons on machines.”
One wonders where people get these high impressions of nurses. The Gallup organization doesn’t ask if respondents have interacted with lawyers, car salespeople, judges, medical doctors, etc., or if received services were good, bad, or otherwise. Have people witnessed nurses being honest and ethical from experience or second hand from news reports or TV shows? Do they assume nurses have high ethics because they too have a sense of the sacredness of the work. I think it’s probably a combination of these, along with one more thing.
From the beginning, modern day nursing was designed to be a highly moral, honest, and ethical work. Florence Nightingale and other 19th and 20th century nurse leaders required nurses to possess high moral character and designed nursing education to enhance this high character (Fowler, 2021). This innate morality is beautifully explained in this incredible quote (long but worth the read!) from E. Margaret Fox, matron of the Prince of Wales’ Hospital, who wrote in her 1914 book First Lines in Nursing (as cited in Fowler, 2021, para 14-15):
In many relationships in life people are inclined to take themselves too seriously; with regard to the profession of nursing you can hardly do so…In no other field of work, save that of medicine, are you brought into a succession of close and delicate intimacies with others. You are admitted where the patient’s nearest and dearest relatives are excluded. You are told what is never breathed even in confidence to wife, mother, or son; your hasty, lightly-expressed opinion may depress or exalt some yearning spirit in a manner out of all proportion to your knowledge or experience.... Is it not, then, important that you should at once begin to realise the responsibilities you have taken upon yourselves in becoming nurses? This sense of responsibility should influence all you say and do, for your words and actions will show what you are. Therefore, as conduct is the outcome of character, so character is more important in a nurse than mere cleverness. How necessary it is then, that such attributes as reverence, gentleness, discretion, and uprightness should enter into every nurse’s character, and be continually cultivated by the earnest practice of good habits and patient continuance of well-doing.
The Bible speaks of character throughout scripture. Proverbs 3:3-4 sums character up well, and, offers an excellent explanation of why nurses find high esteem:
Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you]; Bind them [securely] around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. (Amplified Translation)
The high view of nurses the Gallup poll portrays makes sense, both from the standpoint of what nurses do as well as what nursing is. Let’s pray for ourselves, our colleagues, and for the whole of nursing that we can continually practice at the highest ethical level and keep earning the public’s trust. (View complete question responses and the full Gallup report here.)
Fowler, M.D. (April 7, 2021). The Nightingale still sings: Ten ethical themes in early nursing in the United Kingdom, 1888-1989. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 26(2). https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol26No02PPT722
“Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:18, MSG