by Nathan Pilling, Public Relations Writer
Nursing graduate student Maya Shrestha’s thesis is just one example of how the Cedarville University School of Nursing integrates faith with advanced nursing practice. After much prayer about choosing her thesis topic, she felt that God wanted her to look at the impact of pro-life education on abortion attitudes in Nepal.
After learning that abortion had become legalized in Nepal in 2002, Shrestha was alarmed to learn that 500,000 Nepali women used authorized abortion institutions from January 2004 to June 2011. She contacted various pro-life organizations to see if they had a branch in Nepal and discovered that there is no international pro-life work being done in Nepal.
These factors led Shrestha to believe that she had to do something. “I saw the need and urgency for some pro-life work in Nepal,” she said. “I asked a few people to pray for me regarding choosing this as my research topic and doing interventional study, which meant going in the field and teaching about the pro-life message and abortion.” Shrestha said she was initially very afraid to teach in Nepal because the legalization process was recent and because of the political nature of the topic.
This fear didn’t stop her from following through, however. She raised support for her trip and soon she was in Nepal where she spent about a month presenting the pro-life message.
This type of works fits in perfectly with a significant emphasis of the school of nursing: using nursing as a vehicle for ministry. “We are committed to preparing Christian nursing leaders to influence the profession domestically and globally,” said Chu-Yu Huang, Ph.D., director of the M.S.N. program at Cedarville. “This project is an excellent example of that.”
Shrestha’s research process began with developing a 22-question survey that determined a participant’s attitudes toward pro-life statements. After extensive work developing the survey and an educational presentation on the issues surrounding this topic, Shrestha traveled to Nepal and presented the information to college students at three different schools.
In her 30-minute presentation, Shrestha provided information on both sides of the abortion issue and let her listeners decide for themselves how they would respond. Her presentation included information about abortion designed to give participants a more complete picture of the issue than they might previously have had. The executive director of the only domestic pro-life organization in Nepal, Voice of Fetus, also spoke about the services his organization offered.
Students were surveyed with a pretest and posttest to determine their attitudes toward pro-life positions before and after the education. After tallying the responses, Shrestha was encouraged to find that out of the 22 questions, 18 had received responses that were statistically significant in favor of pro-life positions. While she surveyed 145 students, the number of lives touched by her work will perhaps never be tallied.
“I am just one individual and cannot turn the whole world around,” Shrestha said. “But if one life would be saved, that would be so worth it.”
Shrestha is currently working to publish her findings. She is also planning to present her work to churches in the United States.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.