NCFNZ – Nurses Christian Fellowship.
Te Kotahitanga Tapuhi Karaitiana o Aotearoa
The Nurses Christian Fellowship New Zealand / Te Kotahitanga Tapuhi Karaitiana o Aotearoa (Incorporated) (NCFNZ) is a national organisation providing support and advice to Christian nurses and outreach to those keen to investigate the many benefits of a life with God!
NCFNZ also brings the Christian perspective to national, regional, and local policy development, so ensuring the nursing profession is underpinned with sound ethical principles and that our service users have access to the best possible spiritual and bodily care.
CREATING A COMMUNITY OF CARING
NCFNZ aims to create a network of Christian nurses and others interested in exploring the Christian faith around Aotearoa New Zealand. We are really keen to have you on board with us!
Several groups are already in existence around the country (link here to contacts page). If you are already in a group or running a group that fits in well with our beliefs and purpose (link) and would like to link with NCFNZ just let us know. Or, if you would like our help in setting up a group in your area let us know too and we will be sure to help you out!
You may hear or know of a single Christian nursing student, but do you ever hear of clusters of them? Too often we feel like the minority, not knowing who else is out there, being suppressed because of our faith, and tossed around in the storms of science, ethics, culture and religion.
We ask questions such as “Am I alone in this? Why is this happening? Was that the best decision? How am I to deal with this?” Nursing students need and want help. Not only is this a perilous time for our students’ faith as we live through our university experience, but we are deeply exposed to our patients’ best and worst experiences with health and life.
The Nursing Christian Fellowship NZ provides a great opportunity to encourage, support, and teach our students. It helps to connect fellow Christians, united because of a common purpose and person in mind, as they explore the role of faith in health, asking how can I be like Jesus to my patients and colleagues, and where is God directing me in life as a nurse?
With the backing of experienced nurse mentors, resources, devoted prayer, and the backing of God, we believe our students will fulfil God’s call to care. I hope that NCFNZ can provide mentors for our students, testimonies, teach us how to share our faith, how to pray for our clients, give students opportunities to experience a day in various nursing departments, host occasional dinners for students to meet with others, and lots more!
Te Kotahitanga Tapuhi Karaitiana o Aotearoa / Nurses Christian Fellowship NZ is not just committed to supporting our Māori nurse colleagues simply because it is the ‘right and proper thing’ for any national organisation to do. Rather we recognise that as tangata whenua our indigenous colleagues have essential knowledge and skills fundamental to our mission.
In many health care institutions around the land the day often begins with a karakia, as does many a special occasion in our workplace. However many people are unaware of the true meaning of these prayers and when they are made by Christians they invoke spiritual guidance in our work and daily endeavour.
Similarly, every nurse knows the significance of respect for Māori spiritual needs as part of our learning of cultural safety, but as we come to hear of models such as Durie’s ‘Te whare tapa whā’ do we really appreciate how the four cornerstones of health depicted relate to a Christian sense of caring for the mind, body, soul and emotional centre of our patients and clients?
Perhaps more than any other group of nurses in Aotearoa NZ, Māori nurses have a real grip on the importance of spiritual care and the consequent full meaning of nursing in a holistic sense. We are delighted to provide a home for Māori and look forward to sharing their wisdom and understanding as well as forming bridges between our Pakehā and indigenous faith belief systems.
NCFNZ is fortunate to have formed an alliance with the Pacific Nursing Section (PNS) of the NZNO which represents the different ethnic specific Pacific Nursing Associations in New Zealand. This includes the Tongan Nurses Association, Samoan Nurses Association, Fiji Nurses Association, Cook Island Nurses Association, Niue Nurses Association and the Tokelauan Nurses and Health Workers Association. These Associations in turn have representation in the NZNO PNS National Committee and through this we are able to coordinate and network as a collective group, advancing the interests and objects of all.
Christianity is well ingrained in Pacific Communities and it is a foundation of our nursing practice with Pacific nurses viewing the profession as a vocation and calling. Christianity and Christian practice is widely acknowledged as one of the foundations of the PNS philosophy, values, and purpose; objects based in our Christian faith.
As the representative group for Pacific nurses the PNS acts as a central point for the promotion and support of the activities of the NCFNZ amongst the Pacific nursing population of New Zealand. NCFNZ is readily able to disseminate information to Pacific nurses via the PNS and receive their useful input and comment. This important linkage also facilitates networking with sister national NCF groups throughout the Pacific (PACEA) region.
The NZNO PNS is committed to supporting the work and activity of NCFNZ and through our representative on the Management Committee we are able to support, endorse and participate in the activities of the NCFNZ. We want to thank those that are committed to reactivating NCFNZ and look forward to working closing with the group to reach out to all Christian nurses and those seeking to explore our faith.