by Will Rogers
There are nearly three million nurses in the United States. You have, arguably, one of the greatest skill sets from which to serve God. Let me explain why I think that your role as a nurse is so important. And, I want to leave you with some examples and opportunities that will inspire and encourage you to consider serving God with your nursing skills on an even greater level!
Nurses and midwives account for nearly fifty percent of the health workforce. World Health Organization reports that of the 43.5 million health workers in the world, it is estimated that 20.7 million are nurses and midwives. Wow. This is a lot of people with an amazing set of skills to help with needs around the entire world.
According to Gallup, for the eighteenth year in a row, Americans rate the honesty and ethics of nurses highest among a list of professions that Gallup asks U.S. adults to assess annually. Currently, 85 percent of Americans say nurses' honesty and ethical standards are "very high" or "high”.
Not only are there many nurses around the world, but your role is also one of the most trusted among healthcare professionals. Imagine the possibilities with your experience and care! With that kind of trust, ability, and knowledge, nurses make the perfect candidates for serving God on nursing mission trips!
According to the National Institutes of Health, nursing is a caring profession. You understand that. My guess is, that’s why you do what you do—you care. Caring means you have empathy for and connection with the people you serve. The core of nursing values that are essential to the profession includes human dignity, integrity, autonomy, justice, and altruism.
The core values of serving on a nursing mission trip line up with those core values of the nursing profession perfectly. While serving on the mission field, we must always affirm the dignity of the people we are working with. The people we work with are humans that have dignity. We are there to work alongside them.
Our integrity is on the line each time we work in the mission field as those we are serving will be looking at us and watching how we live. Autonomy affirms the ideal that we do not come to “save” people, but that we are working together with them in order to teach, train, and share the good news of the gospel.
Justice means that we do not just work with a certain subset of people, but that we look toward the equitable distribution of services and resources across all people. All of these characteristics are embodied in altruism, which is defined as the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.
What great attributes to possess as a person and provider. You care more than most people. Hello! You’re trusted and you care. That’s a nice combination for loving God and serving others.
Nurses Christian Fellowship USA is one great example of using your role and skills as a nurse to serve God. Nurses Christian Fellowship USA is a ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA and has been since 1948. It’s a professional and ministry organization equipping nursing students, nurses, and nurse educators to follow Jesus in healthcare.
This ministry reaches the largest group of healthcare providers in the world. Nurses Christian Fellowship USA is about relationships—with God, with colleagues, and with those they serve. Be sure to check them out. They have local groups and regular national meetings so as to provide connection, prayer, and application of the Bible to nursing.
Let me leave you with one nursing and missions story. The following is just a snippet from one nurse serving in missions:
Imagine you’re a nurse at a clinic in a remote village in Papua New Guinea (PNG). After nursing college, you move into a far-off village you’ve never seen before. If you’re fortunate, there is a cell tower nearby and you have cell coverage. If not, you might have a 2-way radio for communications. You see patients from 8AM to 6PM with no breaks. Your staff is minimal, and your clinic is undersupplied with meds and vaccines. You’re tasked to meet the needs of the people in your area, despite poor lighting in your clinic and no sheets on the beds, lacking basic equipment such as refrigerators, oxygen tanks, and scales. When you leave for the day, desperate patients come to your home. Trauma and death are common….you can read the full nursing missions story.
Just imagine how much help this nurse and the team are helping the people in PNG. They are literally saving lives. Now, imagine the needs around the world for your experience, skills, and care.
Nurses make up the world of health care. Nurses are the most trusted role in health care. Nurses simply care. This makes your role as a nurse one of the most needed roles when it comes to missions. Nurses will always be an invaluable member of a mission trip team - whether long-term or short-term. A nurse brings cohesiveness, professionalism, and integrity to the table. May God raise up many more nurses who will be encouraged to serve God through their role, experience, and skills to bring even more people to Him.
Find more information on serving, stories, jobs, groups, and discussions about nursing and missions.