In the past two months a total of 1 591 nursing students graduated from Netcare Education's five campuses around the country, thereby making a tangible contribution to a profession long plagued by shortages worldwide.
Netcare Education has been in existence for 25 years and strives to be the education, training and development provider of choice for the South African healthcare industry. With two Netcare Education campuses in Gauteng, and one campus each in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, Netcare Education has a national footprint.
For the past three years, as many as 3 300 students registered annually with Netcare Education's Faculty of Nursing and Ancillary Healthcare (FNAC). The faculty, with campuses in all major centres around the country, is accredited by the South African Nursing Council (SANC) as a private nursing education institution. The FNAC offers a diverse range of formal accredited programmes, such as basic nursing programmes and post basic specialty diploma programmes in Critical Care, Operating Room Nursing and Trauma and Emergency Nursing. There are also informal and in-service certificate programmes on offer that focus on providing nursing knowledge and skills in highly specialised areas.
Over the last five-year period, Netcare Education has placed considerable emphasis on the development of academic staff, as well as campus resources, to ensure compliance with the Council of Higher Education. Netcare Education's Faculty of Nursing and Ancillary Healthcare is in the process of complying with future nursing qualifications scheduled to commence from January 2016.
"Our courses are designed both for nurses looking to specialise in a particular area and for high school graduates who are interested in pursuing nursing as a career. In addition, Netcare Education offers management development programmes for its own employees. The calibre of our students is impressive, which is illustrated by the fact that 134 of our 2013 graduates were awarded their diplomas and certificates with honours," says Toy Vermaak, manager: Faculty of Nursing and Ancillary Care at Netcare Education.
The recent graduation ceremonies acknowledged students who completed their qualifications in 2013, and honoured those who distinguished themselves in their chosen profession.
One of the students who excelled is Natasha de Klerk, who attained her General Nursing Diploma from Netcare Education's Eastern Cape campus. Natasha, who graduated with an average of 89%, was awarded the Gold Medal, which recognises the student who has consistently obtained the highest overall theoretical and clinical results throughout the two-year general nursing diploma course to become a registered nurse. Natasha furthermore achieved the highest overall national average of all Netcare Education's gold medalists. She also received an award at the end of her second year, leading to her enrolment as a nurse in 2011.
"It was a great honour to receive the Gold Medal for a second time," comments Natasha. "I believe in working hard to attain my goals and in setting my mind on achieving them." She is currently working at Netcare Greenacres Hospital ICU in Port Elizabeth and is studying part time towards her postgraduate BCur Honours degree in Advanced General Nursing Science and Critical Care at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. "With my passion to work and help people, I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field. I found my niche as a nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU) the first day I walked into the ICU," says Natasha.
Natasha is very happy with the quality and high standard of courses that Netcare Education offers. "The benefit of studying through Netcare Education is that the way the courses are structured allow me to focus solely on individual nursing career subjects in which I have immense interest in for specialisation purposes," Natasha explains.
Paola Nkomo, another student who distinguished herself during the 2013 academic year, won the Academic Award for Enrolled Nurses for Netcare Education's Gauteng South West Campus. Paola now follows her passion for nursing at Netcare Linksfield Hospital where she works as an enrolled nurse. "Nursing is my calling, it is what I've always wanted to do. Nothing is more rewarding than helping people feel better," says an enthusiastic and proud Paola.
Paola's road to attaining her certificate was, however, not an easy one. Her father passed away in her first year of study, thereby placing a considerable emotional and financial burden on the young student. In her second year of study, Paola's young daughter fell ill and she often had to leave her in the care of other family members while she worked towards attaining her certificate. "The knowledge we get from our lecturers and facilitators is invaluable. The courses offered by Netcare Education are of a very high standard, that makes it all the more rewarding," says Paola.
"At Netcare Education we strive towards strengthening the pool of well qualified and caring nurses in South Africa. We are immensely proud of all our graduates and know that they will serve their communities with passion and purpose," concludes Vermaak.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Education
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Beswick or Jillian Penaluna
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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