Christian Science Nursing Education (2013)

Sharon Strong

Fern Lodge offers comprehensive instruction and supervised practice in the ethics, skills and comforting arts that help individuals to represent themselves as Christian Science nurses.  Our program is fully accredited and reaches out to Christian Scientists around the world; it currently includes individuals from Brazil, Peru, Kenya, as well as a young mother who just moved to Castro Valley.

IMG_4345 copyIn Science and Health Mrs. Eddy instructs us, “Academics of the right sort are requisite. Observation, invention, study, and original thought are expansive and should promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself, out of all that is mortal.”   We are continually praying to practice Christian Science, asking how our academics can promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself, and all that is mortal.

Education at Fern Lodge includes all of the subjects and skills taught at other Christian Science nursing training sites, and Fern Lodge’s program has some unique aspects.  Individuals may stay in their home areas and learn at their own pace.  Class hours can be adjusted to accommodate a learner, which is helpful to mothers with school age children.  Learning takes place in a homelike setting, using furniture one would find in a home as well as in a facility.  Small classes promote a more intimate learning environment, and enable more individualized attention and supervision.  Individuals may advance to the next level as they demonstrate spiritual growth and mastery of skills and qualities.

Those who live in Spanish-speaking countries have opportunities to learn Christian Science nursing, at our facility or in their own countries.  We have a bilingual staff, including Christian Science nurses, to help when learners come here.  We are grateful to the Albert Baker Fund for their financial assistance with our facility, home, and international programs.

IMG_4339 copyEssential qualities for a nurse are found in Science and Health.  “The nurse should be cheerful, orderly, punctual, patient, full of faith,—receptive to Truth and Love.”  In that passage Mrs. Eddy first gives a examples of what the nurse should not be: “ill-tempered, complaining, or deceitful.”  In our classroom work, we gain a greater breadth, depth, and amplification of our understanding of those traits.  So one of the ways to restate those qualities might sound something like this: “An irritable, whining, or untrustworthy person should not be a nurse.  The nurse should be optimistic, organized, prompt, able to wait without becoming annoyed or anxious, have confidence in the Providence of God,—be responsive to reality and divine Love.”

Those basic tender qualities are so important in caring for human needs.  And there are many woven into Mrs. Eddy’s writings, a few of which are  common sense and common humanity, gentleness, perception, discernment, alertness, fidelity to metaphysics, Christian encouragement, pitiful patience with fears and the ability to remove them, a Christianly scientific blend of the Michael and Gabriel qualities, etc.

Proper care for another is recognizing that God is the ever-present nurse, nurturer, Christianly scientific care giver, and that we and God do our jobs together, our hands firmly held in God’s hand.  When I acknowledge divine Love’s care for man, the patient and I bear witness to Love’s care throughout the day.  Through prayer, we do not mistake our personal presence as THE healing presence.  We witness the ever-present Christ in consciousness, and all within the embrace of our atmosphere of thought can feel it and be blessed. Affirming Christ in consciousness brings a calm stillness and quiet confidence in Christ’s ministering, nursing presence, appropriate and sufficient to meet every need.

Thank you for your own tender expression of the loving, nurturing qualities that are so needed to nurse our church and its members, as well as our world that is in need of comfort every day.  If expression of God’s nurturing, nursing qualities strikes a chord with you, we encourage you to look into becoming a Christian Science nurse.  We’d love to cherish you in your growth and progress!

[ Continue to Rozanne’s Nursing Report for 2013 ]

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