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As one of the most dynamic professions, nursing is a natural vocation for people in a church committed to communicating Christ through caring ministries. Both in North America and around the world, nursing gives form to a theology of discipleship. Nursing is a humanistic and scientific discipline which focuses on caring behaviors and skills in assisting individuals, families, and communities to attain and maintain a health status congruent with their cultural values and life patterns, and their physiological, psychosocial, and spiritual needs. "Humanistic" refers to attributes which denote a person's abilities to express compassion, empathy, respect, and reverence for life. The scope of nursing practice involves the nursing process, observation and counseling, use of resources, managing ancillary staff, peer review and setting standards, professional growth, and research. The nursing process includes assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, intervention, and evaluation. Nursing diagnosis is the description of a condition or problem which the nurse is able and licensed to treat.

There has been a slow increase in the number of men and non-white nurses. Initially Mennonite nurses were educated in diploma (hospital) schools. With the national goal of having two levels of entry into nursing from degree programs, and the development of one Associate Degree (AD) and five Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs in Mennonite institutions (nursing education), more Mennonite nurses have collegiate degrees. The number of Mennonite nurses with master's and doctoral degrees is increasing.

Many Mennonite nurses are employed in hospitals, but increasing numbers are employed in community health settings, schools, clinics, and in nursing education. Mennonite nurses tend to he at home or be employed part-time during childrearing years, and then return to employment in nursing. Many Mennonite nurses are involved in church service including missions, Mennonite Central Committee, voluntary service, Mennonite institutions, teaching, and local congregations.

Mennonite Nurses' Association (MNA) was formed in 1942. It is a national organization promoting and supporting Christian nursing in North America and other countries. Along with the Mennonite Medical Association, MNA publishes "The Christian Nurse" in the Mennonite Medical Messenger (ceased publication in 1998).

Author(s) Norma Jean Weldy
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Weldy, Norma Jean. "Nursing." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 18 Sep 2019.

APA style

Weldy, Norma Jean. (1989). Nursing. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 September 2019, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 641-642. All rights reserved.

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