by Thomas White, President
“Cedarville University-trained nurses are amazing!”
I hear it all the time. Medical professionals desire to hire our students; they know there is a difference in our nursing graduates. That’s why many students have multiple job offers before they ever walk across the graduation stage. But what is the difference? What makes a Cedarville-trained nurse so amazing?
There are many answers to that question, but I want to explore three reasons that I think our nursing program is unique and among the best in the country.
A Higher Purpose with a Biblical Worldview
Generally, those who go into the nursing field have an innate desire to care for other people. God has designed them that way. Created with a passion to help others and equipped with God-given gifts, nurses embark upon a very difficult profession that requires them to give of themselves daily. Many nurses burn out because they give with no way of replenishing the well from which they draw.
Cedarville University’s nursing program is unique because it teaches our students where to find the well of compassion to serve others. The desire, motivation, and reward for compassionate service find an endless reservoir of strength in our God and a biblical worldview.
Our nurses realize that this world is broken. Sin entered the world in Genesis 3, which provides an explanation for the consequences of evil they see on a daily basis and the results of living in a fallen world. Without categories to understand evil, imagine the bewilderment of trying to explain or cope with the constant barrage of sickness and unnecessary harm that nurses encounter.
Even better, our nurses know that one day this will all be made right. When God created the world, He saw that it was “good.” Humanity messed it up by bringing sin into the world, but we have the promise that one day God will make all things new. Our nurses know that this earth is not our home, and that the evil that currently exists in this world will not remain forever. One day there will be no more cancer, no more gunshot wounds, no more abuse, no more disease, and no more death.
Our nurses also know that when they show compassion to the least of their fellow image-bearers, then they have served God well. One day, God will judge all of us by our actions. I have a feeling that more than a few nurses will receive crowns that they will lay at Jesus’ feet.
Motivated by the Service of Our Savior
Cedarville University’s School of Nursing is unique because our motivation to serve others flows from our desire to be like our Savior.
The Bible tells us in Philippians 2 that we are to have the mind of Christ. Jesus did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped but came to earth as a human being. Fully God and fully man, Jesus humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even the shameful death of the cross.
Jesus humbled Himself. Jesus served others. Jesus had compassion on others. Jesus showed compassion to a grieving mother in Luke 7:13. Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them, healing their sick in Matthew 14:14. Scripture tells us that Jesus frequently felt compassion for others (Matt. 9:36; Matt. 15:32; Mark 6:34; Mark 8:2; Luke 7:13).
When nurses show compassion for someone who has harmed themselves, they reflect the character of Jesus. When nurses serve someone who disrespects them, they reflect the character of Jesus. When nurses do everything possible to help someone only to be rejected, they reflect the character of Jesus. While human nature would cause anyone to want to stop serving and caring when treated unfairly, our nursing faculty and students can reflect upon the nature of Jesus and continue to serve.
Following Jesus’ model results in nurses with a bedside manner that reflects endless grace, mercy, and compassion to the patients that they serve.
A Faculty Demanding Academic Excellence
If all our students had was the understanding of a biblical worldview and the model of Jesus, they could love, care, and show compassion well, but they might be terrible nurses. To be an excellent nurse, you must have knowledge and you must have the skill to implement that knowledge well. Our School of Nursing teaches a biblical worldview throughout its curriculum, but not at the expense of academic excellence.
Without exceptional faculty members who are credentialed at the highest levels and continue to practice regularly, we couldn’t produce students who combine the knowledge with the skill to serve with excellence. Our faculty members make sure our students have learned the necessary content. They make themselves available to our students. They pray with our students. They genuinely care about our students. These amazing faculty members make it possible to produce amazing graduates. That’s why Cedarville University-trained nurses are amazing.
Former Cedarville President Paul Dixon has said for years that the only way you could explain Cedarville was God and people. God continues to do an incredible work in these cornfields of Ohio. Part of His work is calling gifted faculty members to teach. Another part of His work is calling students to Cedarville who love God, love others, and show integrity in conduct and excellence in their effort. God calls and equips, but the people He uses make this place special.
At Cedarville, it's always been about God and people. In our School of Nursing, it’s always been about serving God and serving people well. That’s why Cedarville nurses are amazing!