NCS grad and bursary recipient reflects on value of Christian education
Kassandra Richardson (NCS Class of 2019), now a registered nurse, has already seen God at work in her career.
Four years ago, upon her graduation from Nanaimo Christian School, Kassandra Richardson (Class of 2019) was awarded the Oikodome Foundation Bursary of $8,000, which she applied toward her post-secondary studies at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. She graduated last month with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and now works as a registered nurse at a North Vancouver hospital.
Here's what she had to say about the impact Christian education has had on her life and career.
1. How did you decide to go into nursing?
I can’t think of an “a-ha” moment because I have always known I want to go into nursing; it has never really been a question to me. I love how person-centred the profession is, and the sciences have always fascinated me. I have always felt called to go into the medical field.
2. What impact did Christian education at NCS have on you and your future?
Nanaimo Christian School was integral to my identity formation. When I came to the school in grade 7, I felt encouraged and celebrated for who I am and supported in living out my calling. The teachers cared so much about my spiritual well-being and mentored me to develop my identity as a child of God. Many of my fundamental beliefs and the development of my faith can be attributed to NCS.
3. What do you think is the benefit of learning about nursing through a Christian lens?
Nursing from a Christian lens allows one to see a patient’s spiritual care as equally important as their psychological, mental and physical well-being. I can see how integrally intertwined one's spiritual health is with one's overall holistic health. It allows me to see each patient with inherent and inestimable worth and care for them, knowing I am serving God.
4. How have you been equipped through your studies to live and serve in a God-honouring way?
Throughout my degree, we are constantly challenged to think about what it means to “look through a Christian perspective.” This perspective has challenged me to refine my idea of living in a God-honouring way. I see serving, specifically as a nurse, as selflessly loving and ultimately serving God. When it can be tiresome or stressful, I know there is a greater purpose at play, to honour God and show His love as I care for others. Actions speak louder than words, and I hope that as I serve selflessly, it models the goodness of God and gives glory to Him.
5. Can you remember a time maybe in your clinicals when you were caring for someone and you saw God at work?
I had a patient who, as a result of many procedures and treatments, had severe expressive aphasia (meaning she found it challenging to produce speech). Her husband was by her side every hour of the day and told me a lot about their kids and life together. One night when the husband had gone for a few hours, I sat by her bedside to feed her. I told her the love story of her and her husband and how much her husband loves her. Though she could not coherently express her gratefulness through words, she had the biggest smile on her face and tears of joy down her cheeks. In this beautiful and sacred moment, with no one else around, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I felt that the Holy Spirit used me to bring joy and love to this patient. This is not a story to be boastful or say, “look how good of a nurse I was,” but rather to depict the beauty of being present with the Holy Spirit while caring for others.
6. Anything else you’d like to share with the Oikodome Foundation?
Thank you so much for supporting my Christian education in nursing!
The Oikodome Foundation, based in Langley, supports and encourages individuals by means of bursaries or scholarships to pursue courses of study that are beneficial to the Church of Jesus Christ. Read more about the bursary and foundation.