Ministering with Nursing Students 101

3 nursing students making hearts with their hands

Why Nurses? 

Between classes and clinics, nursing student experiences are unique. Nurses Christian Fellowship helps you navigate this intensive learning process and find a foundation for your life and nursing practice that is centered in the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

nurses dancing


Before You Start

Be a learner! If you are not a nurse or nursing student, you may be surprised that you are entering into a new culture. To love and care well for nursing students, you will have to become a student too. Be a student of the nursing students and the program on your campus.

Here are a few tips from Nurses Christian Fellowship to start you on your journey. 
  1. New traditional program nursing students are typically juniors. Even at junior colleges, they have already had ~ 60 hours of undergrad coursework and are now moving into the nursing program. Typically, admittance into traditional programs happens in April. (There are different programs: accelerated, entry-level to MSN, RN to BSN, etc.)
  2. Pre-Nursing students (freshmen, sophomores) have a heavy course load but typically more flexibility and time than nursing students. 
  3. Try starting your outreach efforts a little later. Because nursing is so competitive and demanding, nursing students need to settle into their schedules before picking up a new commitment. Try starting your outreach 2-4 weeks into the semester. 
  4. Nursing students stay with their cohorts throughout their time in nursing school.  A cohort may be very small, just a handful of students.  This means a Christian nursing student can be a catalyst to reach their whole cohort.  It also means that outreach is intimidating, breaking the trust of the group is costly! 
  5. Many nurses consider themselves spiritual. Spirituality is considered part of holistic care and can be an open door for nursing students to explore Jesus. 
  6. Nursing students tend to be high-capacity students who are responsible and dutiful. It can be hurtful if you “drop the ball.” 
  7. Nursing students tend to value professionalism and high quality. Try using resources that reflect high quality and professionalism. 
  8. Nursing students are in clinics at various times of the day from 7am-10pm. Their time is more like a working professional than an undergrad student. 


More Resources to Reach Nursing Students

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With more than 30 years of nursing experience, Kathy became the national director of Nurses Christian Fellowship in 2016. She served for 12 years as the editor of InterVarsity's Journal of Christian Nursing and is currently the JCN Editor-in-Chief. Kathy is married with three adult children and lives in Wichita, Kansas. She loves weekly Bible study, playing the piano and assisting with worship at her church.

Learn more about Kathy

Jen loves students and seeing them meet God in transformative ways. Jen has been on staff with InterVarsity for 15 years and her heartbeat is to see mission go forward on campus, growing ministry and individuals. Her vision is to see every campus with a nursing program have a Nurses Christian Fellowship where students have an opportunity to meet Jesus at the intersection of their faith and vocation.