Question

Posted February 14, 2013

I am a junior in highschool. I am doing both homeschool as well as dual enrollment at my local community college. The whole reason I’m going to college is for a nursing degree, but even on the day I started classes, I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing. It’s been up and down – sometimes I’ve been very doubtful and other times I’ve felt confident. Finally God told me to slow down, because I can really get stressed when I’m in a doubtful phase and feel I must learn the answer NOW! 🙂 So I’m just trusting in God but feel asking for advice is still fine. The main reason I’m not sure if a nursing degree would be right for me, is I’m afraid I won’t end up really using it. I am extremely ministry minded. Even when I was little I wanted to be a missionary. Now I want to be either a missionary or help in some sort of ministry in the US. Whenever I think about me future, I can only think of myself helping people spiritually. I want to help people who might otherwise live their whole lives in the darness (and go to Hell) to see the Light! I’m hoping to marry someone who is ministry oriented too. So I don’t know if a nursing degree would fit into this. Maybe in a 3rd world country, but I’m not sure that’s where I’m going and I could probably do without it even over there (help in an orphanage instead or something). I AM very interested in health and the human body. That is one of my big drawbacks. I don’t know. Could anyone with nursing degrees give me some information? And how did any of you ladies who went to college feel when starting, no matter what your degree outcome? Is it normal to be doubtful if it is truly God’s will? Would going to Word of Life Bible Institute for their year program be a better idea (you basically are drenched in God’s Word for a year and also are given some local ministry opurtunities). I’ve got a lot of questions! 🙂

Answers

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  1. Faith17

    I think that you are right in wanting to become a nurse. When I read your post the first thing that popped in my head were the stories of Mother Theresa, Florence Nightingale, and others. They first helped people feel better physically which then opened peoples hearts to hear the Good News.

    There is a wonderful autobiography series called “Christian Heroes Then and Now” by Janet and Geoff Benge (Published by YWAM) that I think would help you (Lillian Trasher, Amy Carmichael, and Ida Scudder are esp. my favorites) they are super fun to read (my family has used them in our homeschooling for years)

    And also to help with your question about being doubtful of your plans for college I went through a similar trouble. I am a freshman in college and I entered college planning to go on a Business track (which I truly felt was God’s will at the time) however during the first month of school God pulled on my heartstrings (Hard) during that time I was nervous, anxious, sad, and not at all excited about going into the Business field. So I changed my major to Nursing, I know it will be hard work but I have felt so much more peace and joy since making that decision.
    So just keep listening to God about it and he will help you through this tough decision.

    I will be praying for you 😀

    # February 16, 2013

  2. conformingtotheson

    Wow! I’m struggling with this too, girl! Stand still and wait for God to tell you what to do. Seek His will. I do think you should go to a Bible college for at least a year if it be His will. You can still win souls in America, and honey, Lord knows the harvest is ripe here. Praying!

    # March 2, 2013

  3. courage2win

    My church has a mission in Haiti and a huge part of our ministry is our clinic. We’re always looking for nurses to go so I think a nursing degree is an awesome thing for a missionary to have. Even if you don’t actively serve as a nurse the knowledge is a great thing to have. Basically what I’m trying to say is that nurses get great opportunities to witness to people while helping them physically too.

    # March 4, 2013

  4. evelyn

    Hi!

    I am in nursing school right now, hoping to graduate with my BSN in May of next year. My mom grew up an MK and so I think I may have a helpful perspective for you.

    I was certainly worried when I started college. Looking back though, I can see how God was leading me though. That is part of why I am confident in continuing to pursue my degree.

    So I am going to give you a list of ideas I have had of things I can do with nursing.

    1. Many missions organizations (Wycliffe Bible Translators comes to mind) have needs for RNs wherever they are working, to help take care of not only the population but the missionaries too.
    2. There are still many faith based hospitals in the US. Not sure what all their “rules” are but that is a possibility.
    3. There are many many many older adults in this country and that is only going to grow if the trends continue. Many need some sort of hospice/home care. Because the nurse that helps take of them is out on her own basically, there is much more freedom. = potential for ministry! And if you think about it, the families of these patients may be more open to spiritual matters.
    4. A nursing degree is just great knowledge in general. You will be able to understand what healthcare professionals are telling you if you or family are sick, know how to assess the human body and how it is doing, etc.
    5. I know here locally there is such a thing as parish nursing. This is where a nurse, usually affiliated with a particular congregation goes out and takes care of members of the church. I don’t really know much about that option though.
    6. This may sound strange, but I feel like nursing helps people open up to me better. Like when you say you are a nurse, people often automatically start asking you tons of questions and telling you their life story. This could likely be used in ministry.

    # March 6, 2013

  5. evelyn

    Oops! I wasn’t finished haha

    7. Think of all the disasters that have occurred in the US. Nurses are a vital portion of the response to these events.
    8. Yes you probably could help people internationally without a nursing degree. However, medical care is one of the greatest needs in the world right now. For me personally, I think it would be really difficult to go to another country that has lots of disease, suffering, etc. and not really be able to alleviate that part of their needs. That’s may be just me though.

    I would say for the feeling worried about starting college, give it at least one semester (unless of course, God clearly directs you otherwise) Things became a little clearer when for me when I had a routine and pattern and was less worried about the smaller details.

    By the way, what kind of nursing degree are you going for? Associates, BSN etc.?

    Hope this helps some!

    # March 6, 2013

    • kelseymarie - the author of this post.

      Evelyn, thank you so much for taking the time to write out all of your ideas! It was also very helpful to know that you were worried when you started college too. I’m probably going for an associates degree.

      # March 7, 2013

  6. kelseymarie - the author of this post.

    Thanks for all the responses so far! I’ve found them very helpful and showed them to my mom too. 🙂

    # March 7, 2013

  7. flower

    Here’s my personal deal: I’m going for an RN, but I don’t think I’ll be using my degree to get a job, but I’ll be able to help my pregnancy care center in a more specialized capacity. Besides, it wouldn’t hurt to be available to help out after the next natural disaster (hurricane/earthquake/etc.) and my RN friends tell me that there will be plenty of opportunities to witness to my clients/patients.

    # March 27, 2013

  8. bigsister2many

    Hey There!
    I am a pre nursing student and my Mom has been a RN for over ten years. One thing I must make clear to you. NURSING IS A MINISTRY! The two cannot be separated. It is a ministry to your patients and your family (present and future:)! My Mom has brought many people to Christ who were very ill or on their deathbed! As a nurse you will have a unparalleled opportunity to share the gospel with people. Why unparalleled? BECAUSE EVERYONE WILL NEED HEALTHCARE AT SOME POINT IN THERE LIVES! If nursing was entirely a Christian ministry, how many more lives could be brought to Christ? We may never know, but I know we can at least do our part:). Another point I must make clear to you that tends to be the confused is this A NURSING DEGREE WILL NEVER BE WASTED EVEN IF YOU NEVER WORK AS A NURSE!!!!!! Mothers who are nurses use their skills almost every single day to minister to their children and husband. If my Mom did not have her nursing degree, my Dad would be DEAD. Years ago, he almost died and if my Mom had not been a nurse she would not have picked up on what was going on and my Dad would be dead without a doubt. In case that is not enough for you, my brother had a very rare eye disorder that he was born with that slowly causes a child to go blind. It is so unusual that the pediatrician we took him to ( brought up at his checkup)

    # June 5, 2013

  9. bigsister2many

    sorry wasn’t finished, (we brought up some strange things we noticed at his checkup) didn’t catch it, dismissed it, and said it was just a cute baby quirk. My Mom trusted her nursing instincts and took him to a specialist. The specialist was so glad my parents brought him in. He told my parents they have no idea how many children he has seen like my brother who were brought in too late for him to save their vision. He said the only reason why we picked it up was because my Mom is a nurse. My brother required surgical intervention, but his vision was saved. Another thing one might not think about is ministry to the immediate community. I cannot tell you how many times fellow mothers, and neighbors have called or asked my Mom to come over because someone in the family is having a medical problem and they want her insight. Honestly, my Mom gets calls from friends, relatives, and friends of friends every week asking for her help and insight. Nursing is not just a degree, it is a skill. In Preparing, Mrs. Pearl talks about acquiring many skills. To me there is no better skill you can obtain that will compare to a nursing degree (and as for cost, this is one of those things you can’t place a dollar value on).
    While I do encourage it if you are sure this is what you want to do, I would like to give you a word of caution, you say you are doubting. If you have any doubts at all, please be sure this is what you want to do! Nursing is not easy; it is not for the faint at heart. I truly believe that this is a special job that God calls certain women to do. You must be strong in the Lord, strong in faith, strong emotionally, and strong physically. If you have any doubt please take this into prayerful consideration. While a very noble calling, I have seen a few people who were unable to get through the nursing program and it was very difficult for them and my heart goes out to them in their struggle. I will be praying for you!

    # June 5, 2013

    • kelseymarie - the author of this post.

      Thank you for your response! The actual examples were very helpful, and just helping neighbors and friends is what I want too. Whenever I talk to someone who is going through a lot of medical problems, it’s hard not to be able to help them. Right now my only draw back in getting a medical degree is that I am REALLY interested in natural healing and what herbs and a healthy diet full of veggies and fruit can do to a person. I guess you’d say I’m more into holistic health, which might be conflicting in nursing school. What do you think? Can you easily combine the two?

      # June 7, 2013

      • bigsister2many

        Hi Kelsey!,

        I totally understand about wanting to help people while not yet having the knowledge to do so:)
        I personally think that medicine actually combines both holistic care and modern medicine. One of the roles of a nurse is to educate their patients on healthy living including a healthy diet and lifestyle (this is specifically covered in nursing school). There are many things including natural remedies and herbs that help people, and obviously, a healthy lifestyle will help maintain a healthy body less prone to illness that would require major medical intervention (an apple a day keeps the doctor away:). However, sometimes herbs and natural medicine can only take you so far. There are people who are very ill who require major medical intervention (recall the examples I gave earlier). Think of it this way, would you prescribe JUST herbs for a dying cancer patient? Of course not! I personal believe that the medical knowledge we have today is truly a gift from God and I think the two can be brought together in harmony. I could go on and on about this subject. A pet peeve of mine ( I’m sure you will agree) is actually what I think is the overuse of medicine in general. As a matter of fact I just had a discussion with my siblings pediatrician over this. Whenever people have any slight medical problem, they immediately think they need to see a doctor and need a prescription. Nine times out of ten when a patient visits the doctor because they are sick, there is not much a doctor can do about it. They will just tell them some natural things they can do and tell them to rest. Example: sore throat, drink hot tea with a BIG glob of honey no sugar, works wonders and faster than over-the-counter pain killers. Obviously sometimes people need an antibiotic such as a strep throat infection ( if not treated with an antibiotic this common infection can cause very serious heart damage usually not picked up on until later in life). I seriously could go on and on and if you want to email to discuss this I would be happy to give you my email:)
        I think your interest in holistic care would be great for a nurse! The only problem I could foresee, which I have seen, is if you think that holistic care can replace modern medicine in most circumstances and were really stubborn about it. If you went to nursing school, you would see that this is not the case (although I think many times people actually get sick because of their current poor lifestyle choices:)). I don’t think that is a problem for you though:). Like I said, the two can be brought together in harmony and I personally think that you can’t have one without the other. If you live an unhealthy lifestyle (poor eating habits, etc.) you will wind up needing medical intervention. But all the natural care and healthy living will not help you much if you have a major medical problem/condition and don’t seek medical help. Or if you are currently having a major medical problem and receiving medical help, but live an unhealthy lifestyle, there will only be so much modern medicine can do for you (example I’ve seen and shake my head at, the type 2 diabetic on insulin drinking a ton of soda everyday:()
        Hope this helps, I’ll be praying for you!

        # June 10, 2013

  10. bigsister2many

    Hi Kelsey,

    I just thought of something else, you do realize there are nurses that specialize in just holistic care, right? They are called holistic nurses. If you go to Discover nursing.com they have information about it. Also, check out The American Holistic Nurses Association.org and The American Holistic Nurse Certification Corporation (AHNCC).org. I haven’t really looked into it, but I think you need education beyond and after nursing school in order to get certified. Hope this helps!

    # June 10, 2013

  11. kelseymarie - the author of this post.

    Thank you! Everything you’ve written has been VERY helpful! Yes, you are right about poor lifestyle choices. It’s interesting how I can usually tell how a person eats just by his/her looks and health problems! I wish that people would just be nicer to their own bodies instead of ignoring them until they have a serious issue. And yes, I agree with you that herbs certainly don’t solve everything. Thank you for giving me the holistic nurses websites! I’m going to look them up as soon as I get off this blog! 🙂

    # June 15, 2013

    • bigsister2many

      Glad I could help Kelsey! I will be praying for you as you explore the idea:)

      # June 18, 2013