Prevalence of Christians in the field of nursing - page 2

by FSUNurse2b

12,863 Views | 94 Comments

I will be making a career change, from the banking industry to nursing. Thought about it over the past year. In my industry, Christians are far and few between. I suppose much of this has to do with the main focus being,... Read More


  1. 0
    nursel56,

    The Gallup is absolutely spot on in their conclusions. America is still predominantly a "Christian" nation versus other religions. That doesn't necessarily permeate within the industry I work in. Just my observation, but of course I suppose it depends on geographic location, employer, culture, etc. I am very quiet about my faith, because I know that the workplace is usually not the place for those conversations (at least where I work!) I can't see how it would be any different within a hospital setting. My wife's nurse manager and a couple other girls on her unit are also Chrisitans and to her, it is comforting to work alongside other like minded individuals. Again, much of this is dependent on other factors such as location, hospital culture, etc. For example, I have a friend who is an NP at a Catholic based hospital in the city I reside in and this is their mission statement:

    Mission Statement
    We serve together in Trinity Health,
    in the spirit of the Gospel,
    to heal body, mind and spirit,
    to improve the health of our communities
    and to steward the resources entrusted to us.

    She is able to have many very open conversations about Christ, with co-workers and patients. The hospital that my wife works at is much different. More diversified and less outspoken when it comes to personal beliefs.

    I'm sure many Jewish, wiccan, or Muslim believers in this country absolutely feel alone in the workplace! Especially since they are of the minority. But if they happen to have an opportunity to work alongside a likeminded person, with the same beliefs, it is probably most comforting.
  2. 4
    I went to Catholic schools as a child, my Catholic high school was next door to the Catholic hospital of the same name. Regardless of their Mission Statement, they employ a broad spectrum of people from all over the world. Their mission is to serve. I'm still close to my high school Vice Principal (a sister) who served later in a very high ranking position in that corporation. They do not proselytize. They provide for the spiritual needs of patients, but that is patient-centered and not facility-centered.

    As far as whether or not one feels more comfortable with a co-worker who calls themselves the same religion I call myself, I feel that is also highly dependent on the personalities of those co-workers. The only times I've heard people say their non-mainstream religion causes them a problem at work is when the larger number who share the same religion either make them feel alone or try to convert them to their beliefs.

    If nobody in your current industry, including yourself, ever talks about religion it's no wonder you felt alone. People are always free to associate with like-minded individuals for prayer, Bible Study or whatever they choose to, in whatever industry they choose to. I'm not ready to paint an entire industry that employs millions of people as one who you will find "Christians few and far between".

    We haven't even touched on the subject of whether calling oneself any religion necessarily translates into moral, spiritual, values-centered behavior, but it is a huge factor in this discussion as well.
    KelRN215, elkpark, leslie :-D, and 1 other like this.
  3. 3
    Quote from FSUNurse2b
    tnbutterfly,

    Thank you. My question was not clear. I was getting at the prevalence of other Christian nurses (employees) within the workplace. I agree with your comment on geographical location. Just wasn't sure if the field of nursing perhaps drew more Christians to it's ranks due to the nature of the job.
    A good and effective nurse has compassion in their heart, ability to think rationally under pressure, quickly and effectively. Religious beliefs have not a thing to do with any of those things. If, OP, you are a Christian who is seeking other Christians, I am not sure that nursing is where you would find exactly what you are seeking. If you feel it is your ministry, then the presence of other Christian nurses or absence of the same would be a non-issue. It would be in your best interest, however, if you remember that it is the PATIENT whose spiritual needs a nurse needs to address. Even if those are different than their own. If one is feeling "lost" in their Christian path, perhaps an alternate church, prayer meeting, group of some kind.....Feeling full as a Christian needs to happen mainly out of the workplace, although you may find your compassion and your Christianity go hand in hand and reflective in your practice.
    KelRN215, leslie :-D, and nursel56 like this.
  4. 3
    Nursing isn't about the nurse. It makes no difference what religion anybody is as long as everyone's right to believe or disbelieve is respected. I understand that having like-minded coworkers would be comforting in our line of work however, so let me tell you this: I am an atheist. I'm almost always "alone" in my working environment, as Christianity is the predominant belief system everywhere in America. You should have absolutely no problem finding Christian coworkers to commiserate with. Not to mention that many major health systems are Catholic/Christian. I work for a Catholic health system myself. There are crucifixes in every room, daily morning prayers over the intercom system, every meeting begins with a prayer, and there is a priest who makes rounds daily and conducts religious services in our in-house chapel.
    The system I work for is very accepting of people of all (or no) faiths. I've never been made uncomfortable because of my different beliefs. I think any Christian would feel very welcome in that environment.
    The gist of my rambling: If you have a chance to work for a faith-based health system, you may be more comfortable there than in a secular environment.
    leslie :-D, nursel56, and BCgradnurse like this.
  5. 14
    OP,

    I'm having a little trouble with your remark that nursing draws more Christians to its ranks due to the nature of the job. Compassion and caring is not limited to those of the Christian faith, or to faith itself. There are many atheist nurses out there, and their belief system does not compromise their ability to support a patients spiritual and physical needs. As others have said, our own personal beliefs should not come into play when caring for a patient. It should also not come into play when dealing with co-workers, even if working in a faith based health system.

    I know your post was well intentioned and not meant to insult any other religious group, but it could be interpreted as such. The United States is not a Christian nation; rather, we are a nation that supports total religious freedom.
    db2xs, mzaur, kirsnikity, and 11 others like this.
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    A quick Google search will find a deep connection between Christianity and Nursing. An almost non-existant relationship between Christianity and Banking. Which is probably why the banking industry has been plagued by unethical practices for years.[/QUOTE]

    Seriously?? I think this is a little narrow minded.
    Nurse_Diane, BrandonLPN, elkpark, and 5 others like this.
  7. 1
    I work for an Adventist facility and our mission statement is "extending the healing ministry of Christ". That doesn't mean they only hire Christians though. As a matter of fact I don't recall being asked about my religious preferences during my employment interview. My co-workers and I have the freedom to pray with our patients if they wish for us to do so. We even have prayer request cards in our admission packets.
    SuzieF likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from BCgradnurse
    A quick Google search will find a deep connection between Christianity and Nursing. An almost non-existant relationship between Christianity and Banking. Which is probably why the banking industry has been plagued by unethical practices for years.
    Seriously?? I think this is a little narrow minded.[/QUOTE]

    I have experienced unethical behavior in a Christian-run organization (came from upper ranks)....so I would agree with BCgradnurse...

    That organization focused on their particular sect of Christianity.

    On other hand, I worked at a faith-based organization that emphasized respect and accommodation for all beliefs. I found that most impressive. Their leadership included nuns.
    RNtobeinSoCal likes this.
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    Nursing has its roots in human beings caring for one another all across the world, since time began. To say its roots are Judeo-Christian is inaccurate at best.

    The essence of nursing is providing effective, compassionate care. No culture, religion, or country has a monopoly on that and nobody invented it.
    KelRN215, kabfighter, and nursel56 like this.
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    Quote from tnbutterfly
    This would be an interesting study to do. Poll hospitals across the country and see what the stats show. Who knows.......maybe a study has already been done.

    The nursing profession does have its roots in Judaeo-Christian traditions of caring for the sick.


    Why do Christians always think everything started with them? The arrogance and/or ignorance is astounding. "The nursing profession" does not have its roots in Judaeo-Christian traditions butterfly, "nursing" or people who have acted as "nurses" has been around in every culture, every tribe and every corner of the globe since the beginning of time. Believe it or not, life did go on before the time of Christian religion.
    Last edit by Pets to People on Mar 9, '13
    KelRN215, BrandonLPN, kirsnikity, and 5 others like this.


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