A Letter from the Director of the International
Institute of Christian Nursing (IICN)
Nurses across the globe had moments to pause and smile when the World Health Organization announced 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. We quickly moved from “it’s about time” to “how shall we celebrate?”. As Christian nurses, we began afresh to praise our God for calling us to serve Him through nursing. We had the vison of how a year of public recognition could grant us new opportunities to proclaim Jesus as the purpose for all we do, for all we are.
Then the invader known as COVID-19 entered our year. What an interesting global crisis, one which has brought nurses more recognition than any celebration alone could have done. The new global norm has media and other communications shouting the praises of nurses, and other healthcare providers, on a daily basis. Now individuals, families, communities, corporations, and governments are united in honoring nurses for the sacrificial, evidence-based, and highly skilled care they give at significant personal risk.
In addition to the knowledge, critical thinking, clinical reasoning and skill required of all nurses at all times, this invader is giving Christian nurses divine appointments to intentionally minister quality psychological and spiritual care. For many, this may require additional professional development study, including courses offered by IICN. As life-long learners, we must remember that our spiritual care means little if we do not demonstrate quality professional nursing care of the biological, social, and psychological person as well.
Florence Nightingale once declared that “In 1837, God spoke to me and called me to His service” (Florence Nightingale Museum, London, U.K., 1996). Thus the foundation of our profession is also the core of our faith and our purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Jesus Himself said that we are to “Let our light so shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). If ever there was a need for Christian nurses to model excellence in care of the whole person, it is now. To do so, we must enter each care experience with the knowledge and skill to meet our professional standards, as well as in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Christian nurses, go let your light shine!
Yes, Jesus Christ is our difference, in every day, in every patient care encounter. To God be the glory!
Dr. Susan Elliott, PhD, MSN, RNC, APRN-BC, PHN, Professor
Director, International Institute of Christian Nursing