The nurse should be cheerful, orderly, punctual, patient, full of faith, — receptive to Truth and Love.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 395
What is Christian Science nursing?
Christian Science nursing is a religious vocation that is distinct from registered or licensed nursing. It provides spiritual reassurance and skilled, practical, physical care to those who are relying on Christian Science prayer for healing, also known as Christian Science treatment. This prayer-based treatment specifically applies the laws of God that were evident in Christ Jesus’ ministry to address all kinds of challenges, including those involving health. Jesus proved that healing happens when consciousness is more anchored in the authority and laws of God than in material conditions, and healing results.
Christian Science nurses are first and foremost dedicated Christian Scientists. They are trained to provide practical care that meets the patient’s physical need and is consistent with the theology of Christian Science. The heart of their work is to minister to a patient’s spiritual need for love, comfort, and healing.
What might care from a Christian Science nurse look like?
Christian Science nurses provide practical care that supports a patient’s individual decision to rely on Christian Science for healing. They work in tandem with a Christian Science practitioner, who is engaged by the patient to provide healing treatment by prayer. Christian Science nurses maintain an environment that is conducive to spiritual healing and includes:
Expectation of a complete and quick healing
Assisting with things like:
Personal care and cleanliness
Standing, walking, moving about
Encouraging normal nourishment, including preparing food and assisting with eating
Cleansing and bandaging
Reassuring the patient of God’s care and ever-presence
Reading aloud from the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy
Christian Science nursing facilities or houses offer 24/7 skilled Christian Science nursing care. They are located in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to inpatient Christian Science nursing care, they may also offer:
"Outpatient" care for those in need of a single visit, or requiring brief daily attention, such as changing a bandage.
"Home visits" for those whose needs can be met within two or three hours.
"Rest and study" or "spiritual renewal" rooms for those who desire a haven for prayer and study but do not have Christian Science nursing needs.
"Respite care" for short-term assistance at the facility, so that family members and caregivers looking after loved ones are temporarily relieved of responsibility for care.
These organizations are not-for-profit, independently operated, and accredited by The Commission for Accreditation of Christian Science Nursing Organizations/Facilities, Inc. Each organization sets its own fees.
This Scope of Services is intended to clarify for patients and other interested persons what they may expect when engaging the services of a Christian Science nurse. It touches briefly on the main aspects of, and ethical considerations related to, those services.