Benefits and Challenges of Nurses Working in Secular Facilities

Catherine Burger, MSOL, RN, NEA-BC | Updated/Verified: Nov 3, 2023

Nurses who attend a faith-based nursing program become accustomed to a high standard of moral conduct and behaviors from the school, instructors and possibly the clinical rotation sites. However, while healthcare systems who are not associated with a religious sector still have written codes of conduct, the day-to-day interactions with co-workers, physicians and ancillary support may appear tremendously different than the nurse has experienced in their school environment.

Nurses of faith can continue to practice with the same moral code as in nursing school in any secular environment. Connecting with patients and colleagues of all stages of belief as a competent and confident nurse will build relationships that will enhance the work environment. Staying true to one's religious doctrine does not need to be compromised in the nonspiritual world and can be incorporated with grace and tact.

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Choosing to work only for the medical systems offered by one's church or religious affiliation is one way to avoid some of the challenges in this arena. However, the nurse may be missing opportunities for professional growth by not expanding into other non-religious healthcare systems. For example, many of the top-leading medical systems, such as Kaiser Permanente and Cleveland Clinic are not affiliated with any faith-based beliefs. No matter what the surroundings, nurses from faith-based school have proven to be highly professional nurses with excellent clinical skills.


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