The Nurses Christian Fellowship New Zealand / Te Kotahitanga Tapuhi Karaitiana o Aotearoa (Incorporated) (NCFNZ) is a national organisation providing support and advice to Christian nurses and outreach to those keen to investigate the many benefits of a life with God! NCFNZ brings the Christian perspective to national, regional, and local policy development, so ensuring the nursing profession is underpinned with sound ethical principles and that our service users have access to the best possible spiritual and bodily care.
NCFNZ was re-born on International Nurses Day 2015, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Our background is rooted in a history going back to that day, a history and genealogy appropriately and best described as our whakapapa. We all know most of Florence’s story but the key thing her writings tell us is that on February 7th 1837, at 17 years old, she heard God’s voice calling her into ‘service’, eventually leading her into nursing. Our profession has never been the same since.
Whilst the contribution of other nurse leaders was significant, nursing in Aotearoa NZ, as with many nations around the world, was strongly influenced by Florence. Early last century, our nurse leaders were facing challenges of conflict abroad and in making their contribution to the development of the country, including our profession. They stood on their commitment to Christ in doing so.
Part of this commitment was to carry on Nightingale’s Christian mission by establishing in 1924 a national organisation to support Christian nurses in their work – the Nurses Christian Union (NCU). Director of the Division of Nursing at the Department of Health (similar to our modern day Chief Nurse at the Ministry) Jessie Bicknell was the first patron of NCU and a committed advocate of Christianity as the foundation of our practice.
Eventually the ‘Union’ became the ‘Fellowship’ to effectively link with similar organisations worldwide as part of Nurses Christian Fellowship International. In time just about every hospital in NZ had a branch of NCF with meetings packed out on a regular basis. Every organisation has its season though and in the late 90s the profile of NCF became less obvious. In 2015, 90 years since nurse leaders of Aotearoa acknowledged their faith as underpinning a commitment to caring, NCFNZ once again proclaims the centrality of God to the work of our profession.
NCFNZ is an Incorporated Society and Registered Charity.
Tēnā koe e hoa,
I am pleased to be President and Chair of the re-born Nurses Christian Fellowship of New Zealand! My nursing history goes back to the UK where I progressed into primary health care, moving through practice to national policy and leadership roles. I came to live in Aotearoa NZ in 2005 to serve as Chief Nurse based in the Ministry of Health. From there I hopped over to Perth to help set up an international outreach programme teaching nurses and midwives in East Africa and was persuaded to become its Director with additional responsibilities as Professor for Transcultural Health Improvement with Curtin University. Coming back to NZ I worked with Massey University as Associate Head and Head of their School of Nursing. I am also Co-Chair of the College of Nurses Aotearoa
In the past my walk with God has been a little wobbly but I’m well on track and I now affirm Him as my Lord and Saviour. Welcome to NCFNZ, enjoy your fellowship with us.
I am excited about what God is doing through NCF. We are overflowing with His greatness in teachings, prayers and fellowship. I am personally honoured to be alongside you as you walk your Christian faith throughout your day. I have met great friends since joining NCF in 2015, have learnt a few skills and had some good hearty laughs. Our great kiwi ingenuity and can-do attitude has seen us experience and grow with events for you. NCF International is represented across the world and many countries are excited to hear about our “Nourish A Nurse” events – coined by a young nurse, formerly on our committee.
I represent NCF on the Pacific East Asia (PACEA) Regional Committee, am a trainer for the Saline Process Witness Training Programme and NCF Board Treasurer. I am a Professional Nursing Advisor and live in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland.
I hope you’ll connect with us in our ministry of Nurses Christian Fellowship, become an NCF member, attend a Nourish A Nurse event, connect on Facebook and use the resources on our website, newsletters and through our courses. We look forward to seeing God nourish you, so you may nourish and transform nursing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
I am the Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialists for two private surgical hospitals, the Connect Pastor of our local church, a wife, mother of four and grandmother of 5 and now a NCF Board member, life is full and I am blessed.
As a Christian we are called to be salt and light, so I see my career as my heavenly Father holding the door open for me to serve within the hospitals I work, although I now have very little direct patient contact, I know that what I do makes a difference in their care by facilitating a restorative environment in which healing can occur. I have been positioned in this role to bring the influence of heaven because God cares for people whether they know him or not. This is not always easy and often I feel completely stretched and out of my comfort zone, but it is in these times I lean into Jesus and trust him to do what I cannot. I heard a little while ago this statement; ‘we cannot afford to have any thoughts in our minds the Jesus does not have in his’ (Bill Johnson), I really like that as it reminds me to reflect on what I am thinking and continually be in the process of renewing my mind (Romans 12:2).
Tēnā koe e hoa
You can call me Luke. A born and breed Kiwi, currently calling Hamilton home, and Waikato Hospital as my place of work. Here I serve Christ as a registered nurse, with the remainder of my heart split between family, friends, the community, and too many activities to make me an expert in any. I have served on and off with NCFNZ since its rebirth, initially as a leader and mentor for our student nurses, and student representative on the Board. Since then my roles have included teaching spiritual care (particularly through the course Saline Process), Waikato Events Coordinator for NCFNZ, as well as working in the development and utilisation of educational resources. My desire is to see our New Zealand nurses and health professional supported and connected, encouraging one another in Christ, with engagement in material for our people of culture and spiritual richness. I look forward to seeing how Christ gathers and allows us to journey alongside one another.
Luke Stevenson (Windsor)
Hi, I am Fernah Peacey, I am married with 3 children, and 4 (soon to be 5) mokopuna. I live in Wellington and work in Wellington ICU and as an ICU flight nurse. My husband and I lived in the Solomon Islands for a couple of years, and more recently I have done short trips to Kiribati to work with the ICU nurses. I came to faith in Jesus as a child, and have always had a passion to help people. During my nursing training in Christchurch I was active in sharing my faith and helping my nursing colleagues to grow in their faith.
In 2019, after attending a conference focusing on faith in the work place I was challenged about how my work matters to God. I was stirred up (by God) to take action, and from a contact at the conference connected with Mark Jones. For a while I had wanted to set up something to support Christian nurses in Wellington ICU – but God had bigger ideas! I also enrolled in a Saline Process course and learned how I can be salt and light in my workplace. And so began my connection with NCFNZ.
In my spare time, I enjoy the outdoors – especially the south island.
After discovering the wonderful and challenging world of paramedicine, I retrained to become an emergency nurse, working to receive those patients I used to bring in. I am currently specialising in paediatric emergency which brings about its own set of rewards, difficulties and demands (mental, intellectual and spiritual). Everyday I get to stand beside people in their darkest hour but I also get to see miracles. I have a passion for understanding the human anatomy and physiology to both better my clinical understanding but also marvel at God's creation. How awesome is His design. I thank God I am able to work in emergency, and find His peace in the chaos to help others in need.
Kia Ora Tatou
Nga Mihi Nunui kia whanau Nurses Christian Fellowship New Zealand! (NCFNZ) – The hugest hello!
Ko wai au? – (Who am I?)
Ko Hikurangi raua ko Maungapohatu nga Maunga – My Mountains are Hikurangi and Maungapohatu
Ko Ngati Kahungunu raua ko Ngai Tuhoe nga Iwi – My Tribes are Ngati Kahungunu and Ngai Tuhoe
Ko Ngai te Ipu raua ko Tamakaimoana nga Hapuu – My Subtribes are Ngai te Ipu and Tamakaimoana
Ko Whakaki raua ko Whakatane nga Awa – My Rivers are Whakaki and Whakatane
Ko Kihitu Haraki raua ko Rua Kenana nga Tupuna – My Ancestors are Kihitu Haraki and Rua Kenana
Ko Jack raua ko Joenella (AKA - Dawn) Biddle oku Maatua – My Parents are Jack and Dawn Biddle
Ko Mei Biddle taku ingoa
I was born in Hastings and raised in Kahungunu on a farm by my grandmother. I have worked in the wool industry doing the many jobs pertaining to this profession including wool-handling, pressing and shearing. I am also a qualified Secondary School Teacher graduating in 2008, and teaching in Wellington for 2 years. Both my parents were not well (Diabetes and Stroke) at the time I did not understand these two conditions so in 2010 I put myself through a Health Care Assistant (Level 4) course and unbeknown to me this was a prerequisite to a Nursing Degree. My tutor at the time said I would make a wonderful Nurse and should pursue it and hence this letter. I graduated in 2015, passed my State Exam in November 2016 and did two years working for Disabilities Resource Centre Trust in Whakatane as a Assessments Co-ordinator than when I passed my State Exam I was doing HCA work until I was employed by ADHB in February 2018.
I look forward to learning and seeing Jesus work through us all as we commit to being a living sacrifice to bring Jesus glory and doing far greater things than Jesus did.
I started my General and Obstetric Nursing in 1980 at Greenlane Central School, Auckland.
My roles have been varied including Paediatrics, Radiology, and Primary Health care.
I have studied tissue viability and spinal cord injury at Southbank University when I worked at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, London.
I have worked in Sydney as an Agency Nurse, and at a General hospital in the outback.
Presently I am a Senior Plunket Nurse at Counties Manukau in the Manurewa team, where I have worked for the ladt 12 years.
My role not only includes being a Preceptor, but also Chair of the Health and Safety Committee, (and member of the Regional H&S Committee).
Nursing is a 'taxing' vocation; physically, emotionally, and mentally. It's important for me to be nourished spiritually. Podcasts are a wonderful thing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic to listen to those with a deep spiritual connection with God, and attend Catholic mass online. (Yes, I've had a Catholic education).
I use the scriptures about Moses early in my nursing career to help with my organisational skills; if the work is getting busier, more stressful; avoid getting emotional, stay calm and focus on the job at hand.
I hand over my life, my work to God daily.
I learn't about total surrender prior to having a cyst removed from my neck last year (2019), and that was ALL I could do..when I was having biopsies when a needle was in my neck, and in being vulnerable, it was all I could do, to surrender to my God.
Even prior to this (?10years ago) I experienced an apparition of Jesus during a breast biopsy..HE was a shadow leaning over the trolley, looking at me....I knew I was safe. God will always care for me.
Thank you for welcoming me to be part of this committee. I look forward to getting to know you all, supporting you all and others.
Hi my name is Una. I work as a Nurse Practitioner with Starship Community, Auckland District Health Board.
I was born and grew up in Fiji where I did my nursing training and worked for 7 years before migrating to New Zealand in 2001. I completed my post-graduate studies at Massey University in Auckland. I am married with 2 boys. I also volunteer for my local church - Grace City Church.
I am blessed to be part of the NZNCF as a representative for Pasifika Christian Nurses in New Zealand. Most of us were born in the islands and have learnt to navigate our way into the New Zealand way of life including the health system. Everyday I’m reminded of God’s love and grace. His word says in Romans: 8:28; And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. What a blessing to be part of his calling! Nursing is a calling that allows me to be the heart, hands and mouth of God to those I serve.
Psalms 90:17 “Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands”. God bless all Nurses.
Helen is the past President of NCFNZ. She lives in Whangarei and works part-time as a counsellor.
Helen is a Special Adviser to the current NCFNZ management committee.
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