1. Juarez, Maureen J.
  2. Friesen, Pamela K.
  3. Missal, Bernita E.
  4. Sandau, Kristin E. PhD, RN

Article Content

Welcome to the newest addition to JCN, a column just for students!! Our purpose in Student TXT is threefold:


* To encourage you as a student in your spiritual journey


* To challenge you to integrate your faith and practice in the providing wholistic care


* To wrestle with nursing education and practice issues from a Christian perspective.



In each column you'll find a devotional to lift you up or help you deal with issues you may be facing as a student. There will be other helpful tidbits, such as Web resources, trends, future employment, and the like.


If there is an issue you wish to have addressed, TXT us at It's your column!! (And, tell us how we can pray for you.)


Thinking of you,


Pamela K. Friesen, PhD, RN


Bernita E. Missal, PhD, RN


Maureen J. Juarez, MSN, RN


Bethel University Nursing Department, St. Paul, MN


Raging Pain

"A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away."

Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)


While I was a student, I had an eye-opening opportunity to work during the summer between my junior and senior years on an orthopedic unit in a large hospital. Many of our clients had acute or chronic back pain. Some underwent major surgeries, such as anteroposterior fusions. I encountered people with chronic pain who had pleasant personalities, and some who became impatient and angry. I saw some pain gradually resolved after major surgery and some pain lessened by noninvasive therapies. But for some patients, pain remained constant. Unrelieved physical suffering is like a vice-grip on one's spirit. I am respectful of this and try to alleviate pain whenever I am able.


Unrelieved emotional tension further tightens that physical vice-grip. I remember caring for a gentleman who was undergoing his second major back surgery. I assisted him to exercise while he was wearing his hard plastic brace that extended from just below his shoulders to over his hips. As we walked, he told me of his anger at his neighbor-his literal next-door neighbor. There had been some argument a decade before, the cause of which seemed to relate vaguely to a property line dispute. The intensity of this focused rage seemed to emanate from my client as I walked closely with him. I watched his muscles tense further as he spoke about his neighbor. I thought of how counteractive this was to his body's healing. I tried to ask him how he thought his anger was affecting his body, but his eyes stared straight ahead and he kept talking of his rage. He ended up requesting his oral muscle relaxants.


Pain is real. Physical pain is real. Unfortunately, some of us add to our physical suffering by harboring rage and resentment. What kind of pain do you experience? Are you hurting because other students have better academic success or never seem to lack friends? Perhaps you are angry because of financial reasons, because you have to work many hours to pay your bills and tuition while other students just hang out on the weekends. Maybe a teacher's feedback seemed less than kind.


Don't let short-term anger develop into long-term bitterness. The result may be a contractured spirit and an ugly personality. Guard your spirit by examining and praying about your outlook on life.

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"Then I realized how bitter I had become, how pained I had been by all I had seen. I was so foolish and ignorant-I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand." Psalm 73:21-23 (NLT)


Nursing Shortage Update


* In April 2006, U.S. hospitals needed approximately 118,000 RNs to fill vacant positions nationwide, a vacancy rate of 8.5%.


* Shortage projections of RNs by the year 2020 range from 340,000 to more than 1,000,000.


* 55% of nurses currently in practice plan to retire between 2011 and 2020.


Students, we need you!!

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"And God is able to make all grace abound to you,


so that in all things at all times,


having all that you need,


you will abound in every good work"


2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV).


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2007, March). Retrieved September 24, 2007, at


Student Web




Student Nurses Information Center:


BTW (by the way): Send us your great Web sites that help you as a student, and we'll share with others!!