School of Nursing professor presents lectures in Jordan
Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, PhD
It is not often that a professor from the United States is invited to lecture in an Arab country. That’s why Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, PhD, associate professor of nursing in the School of Nursing, jumped at the chance.
Beginning September 16, 2006, Dr. Taylor presented a two-day lecture series on spiritual care for nursing faculty and graduate students at the Jordanian University of Science and Technology (JUST), located in Irbid, about an hour north of Amman, the capital of Jordan.
According to Dr. Taylor, the audience was thirsty for information about spiritual care and eager to implement it in their nursing practice.
“The audiences responded very favorably to my lecture,” says Dr. Taylor. “They were incredibly appreciative and often told me that my Western Christian perspective was little different from their Muslim perspective.”
The Jordanian University of Science and Technology is a 23-year-old university with approximately 20,000 students. It is a massive, modern campus complete with a mosque, and is located next to King Abdulleh Medical Center.
The JUST nursing school has nearly 2,000 students including more than 100 master’s level students. Their faculty includes 20-plus doctorally prepared faculty, and about 20 master’s-prepared faculty.
According to Dr. Taylor, both the dean and the president of the Jordanian University of Science and Technology discussed with her their desire to further educate their non-doctorally prepared faculty.
“It is their hope that they can send faculty to Loma Linda University for graduate education,” she recounts. “They prefer the United States system of graduate education, and are more comfortable with conservative environments such as that offered by Loma Linda University.”
In attendance were faculty from other nursing programs, members of the Jordanian Nursing Council, and Senator Rawaida Almai’tha, who is the counselor for Princess Muna, the mother of King Abdullah and the patron of Jordanian nursing.
The senator asked Dr. Taylor for a copy of her slides so that she could share them with the princess. “I felt the presence of God and was joyful to share what I could,” says Dr. Taylor. “I plan to collaborate with some of the JUST faculty in doing some cross-cultural research and continue our new friendships.”
Dr. Taylor’s new book, What Should I Say? Talking With Patients About Spirituality, will be available in May from Templeton Press.
By Dustin Jones, MA