From spotlight - Spring 2019 - the next generation
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Camilla Kaltoft, a newly qualified nurse from Denmark, introduces the Next Generation network of Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI)
Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI) is a network of around 30 national Christian nursing fellowships (including CMF in the UK) that aims to connect Christian nurses around the world, equipping them to live out their faith in professional practice.
The mission of NCFI is to equip and encourage Christian nurses to integrate biblical principles and Christ-centred values in clinical practice, leadership, education and research.
The aim of Next Generation is to create an international network of nursing students and newly graduated nurses and midwives. Through this network, we want to support each other in living out our faith in our studies and in our work. We want to connect faith and nursing, to discuss ethical issues, and to share and pray for each other. Some of us have met through NCFI's international conferences, and others have connected online.
As students and young nurses around the world, we face many of the same issues. We ask questions such as: Can I pass the next exam? How much can I say to the experienced nurses in the ward as a student? How do I cope financially during my studies? Some of us fear the responsibility we will get when we graduate.
We also contemplate 'bigger questions' such as: Which clinical area would I like to work in? How do I deal with a stressful working environment? Can I live out my faith as a Christian nurse in a secular society? Can I pray with a patient? Is spiritual care a part of acute nursing?
Some of us find it difficult to stand firm in our Christian values in ethical discussions in class. Some of us don't know how to share our faith with our classmates or colleagues.
Because we have so many thing in common, we can share and discuss these issues both at a professional and a personal level. Next Generation acts as an essential 'vitamin injection' in our nursing studies and nursing careers. As our body needs vitamins to work sufficiently, we need the knowledge, passion, support and commitment from other Jesus-following nurses to grow as Christian nurses in a secular society. That is why I think it is so valuable for us to connect and learn from each other.
Next Generation has contact persons for almost all of the six regions in NCFI. I am the contact person in Europe. Our function is to organise monthly online meetings. At the meetings we share our lives as nursing students or newly qualified nurses, the dilemmas or issues we grapple with, and pray for each other.
Pratika, a nurse from Fiji, says about Next Generation: 'I really am pleased by these online meetings as they connect us. We do not feel far away from each other even though we are from all over the globe. It helps me to remember that the work is for Christ, and we learn from each other how to bring holistic care to the patients.'
I think it is of great importance to learn about nursing globally. Many different cultures are influencing us in the globalised age in which we live. As nurses we need to understand what background the patient comes from to provide the best possible care. Meeting online with Next Generation gives insight and perspective on this, because we are from different countries. Getting to know Next Generation also shows how God is working personally and professionally in his people in so many different ways through nursing around the world.
My invitation to you as UK nursing students and nurses is to welcome you to our meetings! We want to share with you and to pray for you. We need your perspective on nursing and we want to learn from you.
If you want to connect with the NCFI Next Generation meetings, you can contact Camilla on firstname.lastname@example.org and follow their feed on Instagram - ncfinextgeneration - their webpage is at ncfi.org/about-ncfi/next-generation
NCFI'S SEVEN AIMS
1. Encourage Christian nurses and nursing students to live out their faith in compassionate professional practice.
2. Deepen the spiritual life and cultural awareness of Christian nurses and nursing students around the world.
3. Promote friendship, communication, connection and collaboration among Christian nurses worldwide.
4. Support Regional NCFI Committees and National NCF organisations in their ministry with nurses.
5. Empower Christian nurses to examine and apply Scripture as it relates to professional practice.
6. Equip and support the development of Christian nurse leaders around the world.
7. Represent Christian nursing in the global nursing and healthcare arena.
Camilla Kaltoft is a staff nurse at a cardiac medical department in Denmark