Called to Care: A Christian Vision for Nursing, By Judith Allen Shelly and Arlene B. Miller and Kimberly H. Fenstermacher
Called to Care
  • Length: 328 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: July 20, 2021
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0092
  • ISBN: 9781514000922

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Nursing is a vocation: a calling from God to care for others. The role of the nurse originally grew out of a holistic Christian understanding of humans as created in the image of God. Yet as nursing and healthcare continue to change, the effects have proven disorienting to many. Now more than ever, we need nurses who are committed both to a solid understanding of their profession and to caring well for patients and their families.

For over twenty years, Called to Care has served as a unique and essential resource for nurses. In this third edition Judith Allen Shelly and Arlene B. Miller, now joined by coauthor Kimberly H. Fenstermacher, present a definition for nursing based on a historically and theologically grounded vision of the nurse's call:

Nursing is a ministry of compassionate and restorative care for the whole person, in response to God's grace, which aims to promote and foster optimum health (shalom) and bring comfort in suffering and death for anyone in need.

Focusing on the features of the nursing metaparadigm—person, health, environment, and nursing—they provide a framework for understanding how the Christian faith relates to the many aspects of a nurse's work, from theory to everyday practice.

This new edition of Called to Care is thoroughly revised for today's nurses, including updated examples and new content on topics such as cultural competency, palliative care, and the current state of healthcare and nursing education. Each chapter features learning objectives, discussion questions, case studies, and theological reflections from Scripture to help readers engage and apply the content. For educators, students, and practitioners throughout the field of nursing, this classic text continues to provide clarity and wisdom for living out their calling.

"This is the book for which Christian schools of nursing have been waiting. This third edition of Called to Care has been thoroughly updated to address changes in nursing and provides a sound theology of Christian worldview. The updated format—including examples, questions, objectives, and case studies—provides structure for ease in classroom applications. Because the writing is clear and the content is accessible, this book also has general interest to Christian nurses beyond a classroom setting. I found it a pleasure to read. I plan to give it to my faculty members and to use it in our senior nursing synthesis courses for both our prelicensure and RN students."

Amy Rex Smith, professor and dean of the School of Nursing, Belhaven University

"The authors of the third edition of Called to Care clearly describe the theological foundation of nursing from a Christian worldview. As in previous editions, the text fills a critical need for nurses seeking to develop and explain their nursing philosophy and integrate their Christian faith in nursing practice. The biblical foundation of nursing is threaded throughout the text, assisting readers in reflecting on God as the source of their worldview and calling to nursing, supporting their motivation to be nurses. The authors encourage nurses to carefully consider biblical and theological truth when evaluating nursing theories they incorporate into their practice. Implications for caring for the whole person regardless of culture are emphasized in the text. The authors define culture, describe the person as a cultural being, and support the Christian nurse's role in providing Christ-centered care for diverse populations from a biblical perspective, emphasizing that people from all cultures should be respected and treated with kindness. The case studies and discussion questions following each chapter are good teaching tools, making this an excellent textbook for schools of nursing to include as a resource for their curriculum."

Shirlene Newbanks, associate faculty, School of Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University

"In this long-awaited third edition, authors Shelly, Miller, and Fenstermacher revive the beloved classic that presents a Christian worldview for nursing. This book has been a staple of faith-based nursing programs for decades. Readers will find chapters and content consistent with prior editions along with some new applications and stories. The vision set forth by this text remains true to the timeless Christian message that as nurses we embrace a worthy calling to bring compassion, comfort, and shalom to the persons we serve."

Kristen L. Mauk, professor of nursing and graduate program director at Colorado Christian University, coauthor of Nursing as Ministry

"This new edition of Called to Care carefully examines nursing's historical roots, theoretical tenets, and contemporary context through a Scripture-based lens, while engaging readers with vignettes, case studies, and discussion points. This thoughtful and timely invitation for reflection on nursing as Christian caring is so relevant for Christian nurses, nursing students, and nurse educators."

Sue Kim, professor at the College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, and board member of Korea Nurses Christian Fellowship

"Nursing is a science and an art. Our art of caring is built on a foundation of biblical truths. Human beings, created in the image of God, are his most prized creation, and nurses have the honor of providing holistic care to the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of each distinctive person. In the third edition of Called to Care, Shelly, Miller, and Fenstermacher present the practice of nursing as the holistic care of the unique individual created in the image of God as the person seeks peace and hope. It is must-read for all Christian nurses!"

Shanna W. Akers, dean of the School of Nursing at Liberty University and AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Fellow

"In the increasingly complex and challenging world of health care, a nurse's faith can be a necessary point of reference to avoid being just swept along in the tide of change. This book can assist quicker development of a sufficiently mature and thought-through Christian faith to enable a nurse to cope explicitly with the challenges of life, suffering, death, and an unending succession of new ethical issues, and to support others in doing so. The original biblically well-referenced discussion of nursing and concepts relevant to it, illustrated by nursing stories, gives a coherent Christian perspective on nursing. The discussion questions and points for further thinking and reflection highlight its relevance and application in practice. Many could usefully be raised in a group of nurses or students with a variety of faiths or none. The purpose, objectives, and key words for each chapter also help to focus thought and learning. This book is a welcome resource."

Pat Ashworth, former senior lecturer in nursing, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

"While the core Christian message has not changed since the first edition, the world within and beyond health care certainly has—and with it, the concrete implications of a Christian worldview. Even those familiar with the original edition will want to read the latest work of these champions of caring with heart and mind."

John F. Kilner, professor emeritus of bioethics and contemporary culture, Trinity International University

"Courageous nurses will find this new edition an essential companion that lights the way in practice and academic settings influenced by modern and postmodern worldviews."

Diane Elliott-Lee, RN, MSN, coauthor of Courage: The Backbone of Leadership

"To my mind, the first edition of Called to Care has become a classic for Christian nurses. . . . The book offers a valid challenge to those who propose to interpret notions like 'good nursing care' from the perspective of different worldviews. Shelly and Miller show a broad and deep knowledge of the literature and make a well-argued case for the strengths and weaknesses in many trends in nursing theory and practice. For those who want to interact with what the Christian tradition of nursing looks like today, Called to Care is as good a starting point as any."

Bart Cusveller, Viaa Christian University of Applied Sciences, Zwolle, Netherlands


Preface to the Third Edition

Part One: Nursing—The Call to Care
1. Caring and the Christian Story
2. Revolution in the Nursing Paradigm
3. A Christian Vision for Nursing

Part Two: The Person—Caring in Relationship
4. What Does It Mean to Be Human?
5. The Person as a Spiritual Being
6. The Person as a Cultural Being

Part Three: The Environment—Context for Care
7. The Seen Environment
8. The Unseen Environment
9. A Storied Environment

Part Four: Health—Outcomes of Care
10. Working Toward Shalom
11. Hope in Suffering
12. The Paradox of Death

Part Five: Nursing—Practice of Care
13. Nursing as Christian Caring
14. Spiritual Care
15. Looking to the Future

Appendix: Guidelines for Evaluating Alternative Therapies


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