Nursing fellowship celebrating another year of ministry

Originally published in Western Recorder –

Elizabethtown—At any given Kentucky Baptist meeting, gathering or church block party, a table of Baptist Nursing Fellowship nurses will likely be found with their blood sugar and pressure monitors, pamphlets and expert advice. Kentucky BNF is celebrating another successful year of ministry by keeping at it.

At their summer meeting on Aug. 6 in Elizabethtown, the nurses gathered for a time of continued education, fellowship and planning.

The continuing education session was on Bridges Out of Poverty, taught by Benita Decker, Kentucky BNF president and a credentialed course teacher.

According to the curriculum, the Bridges Out of Poverty workshop is an interactive session that introduces participants to the culture of poverty by examining social class characteristics and how they relate to health, community and the church.

“Participants develop an accurate mental model of poverty, explore some of the hidden rules of poverty compared to the middle and wealth economic classes, and learn about the resources needed to improve relationships and outcomes for people living in poverty,” the curriculum states.

“Baptist Nursing Fellowship is an opportunity for healthcare workers across the state to come together to network and to grow in their Christian walk,” Decker said.

She continued, “It’s an avenue to learn how to reach out to people using their gifts as a healthcare worker and to pray for each other and for healthcare workers on the mission field.”

Throughout the year, Baptist Nursing Fellowship has participated in many health initiatives around the state.

On Sunday, Aug. 7, the nurses appeared at the Fern Creek Health Fair, where they took blood pressure and blood sugar, handed out information and made connections in the community. They did the same thing at the Senior Living Celebration events and had a health table at the KBC ministers’ wives event.

“When we do block parties, those kind of events provide an opportunity for anybody who stops by to get their blood pressure checked to sit down and talk to a medical professional,” Wanda Walker, the adult consultant with Kentucky WMU, said.

“Sometimes in that conversation, things come up that they never think about. And it leads to, ‘Maybe you really should go to the doctor and talk to him about this,’” she shared.

In addition, many of the nurses have started or are involved in health ministries within their churches, as well as Baby Boot Camps to help prepare first-time mothers for parenthood.

“Anywhere they go, our nurses have been so busy, because I think people are more health conscious and I think they just like to know, ‘Is my blood pressure O.K. today? I’ve wondered, do I have high blood sugar?’” Walker said, sharing some about the way people react to interaction with the nurses.

Walker concluded, “I have witnessed BNF nurses serve the whole person. As they do a blood pressure or talk to someone about their medications, they are interested in more than the physical wellbeing, they are investing in the mental, emotional and, most importantly, spiritual wellbeing of each individual they serve. These nurses are not just called to be a nurse; they are called to minister.”

For more information about the Kentucky BNF, visit (WR)