Maranatha Baptist University hosted its first nursing summit, “The Gray Divide: Navigating Ethical Challenges in Nursing” during the weekend of March 14-15, 2014. Keynote speakers, Dr. Jan Milton (Operation Renewed Hope) and Dr. David Gibbs III (President of the National Center for Life and Liberty), joined Maranatha School of Nursing Director, Mrs. Kelly Crum, to speak on such topics as “Globalization and Healthcare,” “Bullying in the Workplace,” and “The Preciousness of Life.”
The audience of the summit, consisting of over 90 individuals, included medical professionals, high school and college students, and non-medical professionals. Nursing staff member Mrs. Anne Molitor noted that the “summit brought to light our everyday practice of ‘ethical behavior,’” making the summit relevant for both nursing and non-nursing attendees.
The purpose of the summit was “to engage individuals in the healthcare field and to open conversations regarding our ethics and the impact they have on our daily lives,” explained Crum. The summit combined the expertise of current professional speakers with the practicality of testimonials from current and former Maranatha nursing students.
For junior nursing major, Kimberly Torrey, hearing the testimonials contributed to the positive learning experience. “The goal of the nursing department is that . . . we, as students, would develop a nursing worldview that will send us into a lost world,” stated Torrey. “The summit lined up very well with this goal by giving us some of the tools we need to develop ethical guidelines we can implement in our practice.” Anna Buchanan, freshman nursing major, noted, “Dr. Jan Milton opened my eyes to the privilege it is to share our knowledge and abilities with the world to help make it safer and healthier.”
Maranatha’s nursing summit holds the distinction of being one of few in the U.S. to focus on Christian aspects of nursing ethics. “Many of the professional nurses commented it was encouraging to be among Christian nurses,” mentioned Molitor, “that this time was spiritually refreshing, [and] that it is good to remember what a ministry we as nurses have.” By hosting a Christian nursing summit, Maranatha was able to encourage Christian nurses, while at the same time, reach into the secular nursing community.
“Several individuals from secular colleges . . . commented on the tone of the conference,” Crum pointed out, “[as well as] the kindness of our students, and the fact that this conference made them consider their own positions on the sanctity of life.”
The summit focused on current relevant issues in a way that upheld Maranatha Baptist University’s biblical worldview and provided an outlet to fulfill its mission statement to “develop leaders for ministry in the local church and the world ‘To the Praise of His Glory.’”
“We all face ethical dilemmas in the world, and while your situation may be different than mine, the same principles still apply,” observed Torrey.
Plans are in the works for a Second Annual Nursing Summit, to be held on the campus of Maranatha Baptist University March 2015.
Article submitted by Grace Peters