What is a Christian Science Nurse?
Christian Scientists who help those in need to fulfill the activities of their daily lives are nursing their fellow men and women.
In Matthew’s gospel (25:31-40) Christ Jesus gives a simple, but very clear, illustration of what in our lives will gain the kingdom of heaven. He says, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” and then he names specific acts that are worthy of such a blessing. These acts include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming strangers, clothing those who need it, and visiting individuals who are sick or in prison. These acts are included in a broad understanding of what we call nursing.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote the following counsel in the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds,” and later, “The rich in Spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good,” (S&H 4:3-5; 518:15-19). The good deeds that supply our brothers’ and sisters’ needs surely can be understood as nursing activities. Those loving, care-giving individuals who are willing and available to give whatever aid is needed in any situation that calls for human assistance call themselves Christian Science nurses.
The care given by a Christian Science nurse may include any or all of the following: assisting with bathing, cleansing, dressing; assisting with meals (including special food preparation and feeding); cleansing and covering wounds; assisting with mobility in any way; assistance with communication, including contact with a Christian Science practitioner who provides mental treatment through prayer; helping with Christian Science study and reading Christian Science literature with the goal of lifting the patient’s thought to be receptive to the treatment given.
Whatever care Christian Science nurses give, these Christian Scientists always must work from the standpoint of complete and unwavering faith and trust in God, “who healeth all thy diseases.” Christian Science nurses do not care for diseases, limitations or physical conditions, instead they hold firmly in thought the present fact that man is the image of God, and therefore spiritual, pure, perfect and whole. Christian Science nurses expect healing to result from their mental, spiritual work.
The instruction, training and mentored experience of Christian Science nurses are wholly within the education system of Christian Science and include no medical training. Christian Science nurses who have demonstrated their proficiency may advertise their services in the church publication The Christian Science Journal.