Faith-Based Nursing as a 2nd Career


Making a career change is never an easy decision. Another struggle professional Christians deal with is how to be a light in their secular workplaces. Ilene Vought is a nurse at Baylor Plano and talks with us today about what led her to leave a 30-year career as a sales person to become a nurse and how she infuses her Christianity into the daily care of her patients.


4word: Tell us a little about yourself and what drew you to the nursing field.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 11.13.29 AMIlene: Nursing is my second career. For 30 years, I was a straight commissioned sales person, and it was time to do something different, interesting, and meaningful for the rest of my life. It took me 10 years to complete my Bachelor Degree in Nursing, with a speciality in Cardiovascular Nursing.


4word: What is your current role at Baylor Plano?

Ilene: I see patients who are scheduled for surgery, complete their health history and medications, and review their labs, chest x-ray report, and EKG results to be certain they are healthy and ready for surgery. I give them education, telling them what medications to take and how to best prepare themselves for a safe outcome.


4word: You practice “faith-based nursing.” Can you explain what that is and how it impacts your daily nursing duties?

Ilene: I pray every morning on my way to work for God to lead me in the direction He wants for me this day. I love my patients, and I reassure them that we are taking very good care of them while they are with us. My Christian faith comes through every interaction I have with my patients and their family members.  I intertwine my strong faith and trust in God with every action, thought, touch, and prayer. It is the bedrock of my foundation in nursing.


4word: What impact has your nursing style had on your patients? How have you been able to use your role as a nurse to be a light to others around you?

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 11.13.43 AMIlene: My patients realize that God, our staff, and I are striving to heal, comfort, and encourage them though their journey. My patients tell me they feel calmer, more reassured, and cared for.


4word: As a nurse, your schedule is probably quite full. How do you balance your time at work with your time at home?

Ilene: When I am at home…..I am at home! I love my solitude and also time with those who are special in my life. I stay in the moment, and I do not over schedule or over commit.


4word: What advice would you give to those struggling to find that work/life balance?

Ilene: When I close the door to my car and start home, that is my official signal that I am off duty. I take a deep breath, give a big smile to the world, and begin to focus on myself, my husband, my family, and my friends. They deserve every single bit of me that my patients receive, and they get it! It all gives me a deep satisfaction.


Ilene was recently an attending nurse for Diane Paddison’s daughter Annie. Diane spoke with us about Ilene and the impact she had on Annie.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 11.13.57 AM4word: Your daughter Annie was recently attended to by Ilene. Compared to other nurses and doctors that you have interacted with in the past few months, how did Ilene’s faith-based nursing influence yours and Annie’s time at Baylor?

Diane: Ilene checked us into Baylor Plano for her surgery. Upon meeting her, we felt her joy, empathy, genuineness, and spunk. Not only did she sincerely care about Annie and her “check in” at the hospital, but she also cared about “Annie.” Ilene didn’t just check us in; she came by our room daily to see how Annie was doing after surgery. That meant so much to both of us. She became someone that we would enjoy as a friend.

She had such a positive attitude that Annie was really drawn to. Ilene affected her in more areas than just her care at Baylor Plano. Example: Annie interviews everyone she meets. God definitely gifted her to be an amazing counselor. As she asked Ilene questions about marriage, Ilene’s answers were good for Annie to hear from someone who wasn’t her Mom. She talked about “really waiting” for the “right one” and keeping yourself employable.


Like Ilene, are you at a place in your life where you feel like your career might not be your “perfect” job? Or are you struggling with how to find your place and voice in your current job? These questions and more can be answered with the help of a mentor! The 4word: Mentor Program is accepting applications through May 29th for the upcoming Summer Session. Let 4word help you get a mentor in your corner to help you make your next career move!


How can you put more Christ into your daily interactions with co-workers and clients? Ilene shared great tips for staying true to your beliefs in the workplace and including those beliefs in your time with others. Be encouraged by her example and start showing Christ at work! 


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My name is Ilene Vought and I am a native Texan. My husband and I have five adult children and thirteen grandchildren. This is a second marriage for both of us. I was so blessed to have met my husband at a church function twenty seven years ago. We enjoy at vibrant life with our friends at church, love traveling, movies and cooking. I attend Bible Study Fellowship with my nine year old grandson. What an eye opener and a blessing to see the Bible come alive for both of us!

Years before my husband and I met, neither one of us were walking the straight and narrow. My history gives me an advantage when befriending those who do not share the faith. I understand where they are and can effectively relate and pray for them. Hopefully, they are able to see the peace and fulfillment in my life that only comes with living in the Spirit.

I once had a vision, while on duty, of Jesus holding my hand and leading me down the hallway of the hospital; and, I knew that was where I belonged. To touch the lives of others and to help heal, in His name, is very gratifying.

I do not overschedule myself so that I am available to be refreshed and to tend to the needs of myself, husband and family.