The Lutheran Nurses Association of Australia (LNAA) was established in 1991 as an auxiliary of the Lutheran Church of Australia, and as a support group for Lutheran nurses.
It has members throughout Australia. It was the ‘brainchild’ of the late Pastor Doug Tscharke, who was chaplain at the Lutheran Homes complex (LHI) in Glynde in suburban Adelaide at the time. He was concerned that, while the pastors of the church have their national and District pastors conferences and zone meetings, and the church’s teachers have their regular conferences, there was no comparable structure to provide support for the growing number of Lutheran nurses serving both in the church and in society at large.
The inaugural meeting was convened by the then Director of Nursing at LHI, Mrs Val Matters. The founding president was Lynette Wiebusch.
Current LNAA president, Sylvia Hutt, recently wrote: ‘Christian nurses and carers have the honour of being placed in different areas to serve the Lord, and members of the LNAA come together to support one another’. This summarises why LNAA exists.
LNAA has six aims:
- to encourage members to see their profession as a service to Christ …
- to provide spiritual support and practical guidance for members, foster their deeper spiritual understanding, and provide opportunities for the study of practical and ethical issues related to their work;
- to provide opportunities for discussion, mutual sharing, moral support, social contact and fellowship among members;
- to communicate with members via a regular publication;
- to keep members informed of opportunities for service in the church;
- to support nurses experiencing difficulties in the work place, especially student nurses.
To achieve these aims, LNAA meets bi-monthly in the SA-NT office in North Adelaide. A guest speaker at these meetings provides input that practising nurses can count as part of their Continuing Professional Development. Topics vary widely, and have included:
- Health and climate change
- Continence control
- Chinese medicine and acupuncture
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Organ transplants and ethics
- Legal issues facing Christian nurses
- Health and medicine in Bible times.
Occasional gatherings have also been held in SA country areas and interstate. Last year LNAA established a Facebook page, which is attracting a growing amount of interest. It publishes a bi-monthly newsletter – IN TOUCH – which reaches readers throughout Australia and also overseas.
LNAA is also the Lutheran Church of Australia’s support body for Pastoral Care Nursing – a role in which a trained nurse who has also undertaken some theological education serves in a wholistic ministry in a congregation, church school, aged-care facility or other similar agency. LNAA provides funding for the production of promotional materials and other resources, including a newsletter for the LCA’s Pastoral Care Nurses, the pastors who work with them, as well as other church personnel. An Introduction to Pastoral Care Nursing course is now available by Distance Education.
Lutheran Nurse of the Year award launched
The Lutheran Nurses Association of Australia (LNAA) has established a Lutheran Nurse of the Year award. The recipient will be announced each year on International Nurses Day (12 May), beginning next year.
The award recognises faithful and outstanding service during the preceding calendar year by a nurse who is an active member of a Lutheran congregation in Australia or New Zealand. It comprises a certificate and a $100 monetary gift.
Nominations may be submitted by congregations, aged-care facilities or other bodies or agencies within the Lutheran church. Nominations for the first award must be lodged with the LNAA secretary on the official nomination form by 31 March 2020, together with a separate sheet giving details of the service that forms the basis of the nomination, and references from three people, including the congregation’s pastor.
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Next year will be the 200th anniversary of her birth. The World Health Organization Executive Board, through its Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebeyesus, has recommended to the World Health Assembly meeting in May that 2020 be designated as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
You can download an official nomination form by using the button below.