Netcare Education recently honoured 1 428 nurses who graduated in a ceremony that took place virtually across five Netcare Education campuses countrywide.
In her address to the graduates, Dr Shannon Nell, Group Director Nursing and Nursing Education paid tribute to the students for overcoming what was a tough and challenging journey. “Care, compassion and commitment does have a face and it is yours,” she told the audience.
“You, our graduates of 2020 and 2021 have shown that despite multiple challenges you were able to complete your education and training with honour. No matter what challenges you were faced with, you remained committed to your studies and persevered through unprecedented difficulties. We honour you, your many achievements and your boundless dedication.
“It is a tremendous privilege to celebrate the graduation of the classes of 2020 and 2021 virtually. It is a uniquely proud day to witness our first group of new, auxiliary nurses graduate, particularly as they have experienced the most difficult period in recent medical history and have overcome the seemingly impossible to reach this significant milestone in their careers. I salute our academic staff and management for their passion and commitment to their students, to the profession of nursing and to Netcare Education, as well as our graduates for successfully completing their programmes and their contribution to caring for our patients in trying times,” said Dr Nell.
|Chioma Love Nnathu of Netcare Olivedale Hospital, Gauteng South West Region, class of 2020 achieved an average mark 81%. She was one of six gold medal winners, all of whom completed the course for enrolled nurses leading to registration as a general nurse with distinction, thereby obtaining the highest overall clinical and theoretical marks for all formative and summative assessments during the two year course.
|The annual regional Netcare Education Campus Manager’s Award is usually presented to a student who best epitomises the Netcare core values at hospital level as well as within the campus environment. This year the Netcare Education Gauteng North East Campus bestowed their award upon all the students of the campus. A few of the students are pictured here, they are from left to right: Wessel Johannes Vosloo, Tshegofatso Emily Kgaladi, Marshiah Sithole and Alice January.
According to Toy Vermaak, manager: Faculty of Nursing and Ancillary Healthcare (FNAH) at Netcare Education, the past two years had brought about a myriad of changes and challenges within Netcare Education. This included the transition in 2020 from legacy qualifications to the long-awaited new nursing qualification programmes, which are pitched at a higher education level. In addition, the multiple curveballs of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the rapid implementation of digital emergency teaching and learning among other solutions, were successfully embraced.
“Netcare Education has been the leading private nursing education institution since 1989 and has trained more than 45 000 nurses for Netcare and South Africa over the past two decades. Having said that, at Netcare Education it is not only about how many nurses we train – it is also about nurturing their commitment to continued growth in the journey of lifelong learning that is nursing.
“A total of 1 885 students graduated, with 1 210 graduating in 2020, 531 in 2021 and an additional 144 completing the management development programme. We are confident that these graduates will make a much needed contribution to the profession, which now more than ever needs qualified, dedicated and committed nurses,” she noted.
We remember you
Vermaak called for a moment of silence in memory of the fallen heroes who have lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We honour and remember Michele Singh, a student from Netcare Education KZN campus, who was studying towards her advanced diploma in critical care, and Shamima Moideen, a unit manager from Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, who was a management development programme student at the Netcare Education Western Cape campus.”
Clinical and theoretical excellence
During the ceremony, several awards were conferred on students who have excelled. Among these were six gold medal winners, all of whom completed the course for enrolled nurses leading to registration as a general nurse with distinction, thereby obtaining the highest overall clinical and theoretical marks for all formative and summative assessments during the two year course.
- Chioma Love Nnathu of Netcare Olivedale Hospital, Gauteng South West Region, class of 2020 achieved an average mark 81%
- Marshiah Sithole of Netcare Jakaranda Hospital, Gauteng North East Region, class of 2020 achieved an average mark 77%
- Tshegofatso Emily Kgaladi of Netcare Ferncrest Hospital, Gauteng North East Region, class of 2021 achieved an average mark 75%
- Kinola Sivagopal of Netcare Alberlito Hospital, KwaZulu Natal Region, class of 2020 achieved an average mark 77.3%
- Meagan Koopman of Netcare Kuils River Hospital, Western Cape Region, class of 2020 achieved an average mark 81.5%
- Liezel Botha of Netcare N1 City Hospital, Western Cape Region, class of 2021 achieved an average mark 75.4%
The annual Netcare Education Campus Manager’s Award at each campus is presented to a student who best epitomises the Netcare core values at hospital level as well as within the campus environment. One such award was bestowed by the Netcare Education Gauteng North East campus upon all the students of the campus.
Faced with challenges such as interrupted course work and adapting to online learning, often on cell phones, both the classes of 2020 and 2021 still went on to volunteer to support Netcare hospital staff within the hardest hit areas of the Eastern and Western Cape during the first COVID-19 wave and thereafter in KwaZulu-Natal during the second wave. Each student worked overtime and looked after many more patients than they would have done under normal circumstances.
When the vaccines became available, they once again stepped up to the plate to help with vaccinations. During the second and third waves, these very same students continued with their classes and studies to pass their exams while battling the disease in the frontlines at Netcare’s hospitals.
|From left to right: Dr Shannon Nell, Netcare director of Nursing and Nursing Education; Netcare Education Gold Medal 2021 winner, Liezel Botha from Netcare N1 City Hospital; and Molemoeng Shebi-Magadla, NSM Netcare N1 City Hospital.
|From left to right: Dr Shannon Nell, Netcare director of Nursing and Nursing Education; Netcare Education Gold Medal 2021 winner, Meagan Koopman from Netcare Kuils River Hospital; and Charmaine Stephanus, NSM Netcare Kuils River Hospital. Meagan achieved an average mark 81.5%. She was one of six gold medal winners, all of whom completed the course for enrolled nurses leading to registration as a general nurse with distinction, thereby obtaining the highest overall clinical and theoretical marks for all formative and summative assessments during the two year course.
Global recognition and appreciation
In congratulating the graduates, Dr Nceba Ndzwayiba, Netcare’s Group director: human resources and transformation said they were entering a profession that is presently being recognised globally on an unprecedented scale for its enormous contribution to society.
“Never ever, at least in most recent history, have nurses been recognised and appreciated to this extent. The world has come to the realisation that not even the most highly trained and well equipped military force could defend us against this pandemic. You, as nurses, together with other healthcare workers, have stepped up in ways that are hard to describe. You courageously stood on the frontline to defend and take care of your fellow human beings during one of the most traumatic, deadly and lonely moments in history.
“We salute you with huge respect and we are confident that you will continue to claim and uphold this, your rightful position in society and at Netcare, as a central point in the delivery of the person centred health and care upon which our society so heavily depends,” noted Dr Ndzwayiba.
In closing, Dr Nell commented that Netcare Education was playing an increasingly important role in the South African healthcare sector. “I am honoured to be associated with the growth, development and tangible contribution that Netcare Education has made and continues to make towards addressing the nursing skills shortage in South Africa.
“I wish to convey my appreciation and grateful thanks to each individual who played any role in the teaching of our precious students. This includes every encounter or experience – whether positive or negative. It is what enriches our lives. The time, effort and care shared are what has brought us together for this graduation.
“This achievement has taken place in an unprecedented period of COVID-19 that has ravaged our society, our communities, our workplaces and our families. We are all from the same human race – let us be kind and compassionate to all as we do not know what others are going through. Never has the function of a nurse been more critical and necessary. Never have so many people needed a nurse to be available 24/7 and nurses have responded freely and bravely,” concluded Dr Nell.
Netcare Education campuses are based in Johannesburg, Pretoria, KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town and Gqeberha. In the 2020 and 2021 academic years:
- 776 students graduated from Netcare Education Gauteng South-West campus
- 309 students graduated from Netcare Education Gauteng North East campus
- 250 students graduated from Netcare Education Western Cape campus
- 108 students graduated from the Netcare Education Eastern Cape campus
- 373 students graduated from Netcare Education KwaZulu-Natal campus.
Are you interested in a career in nursing?
If you are looking for a dynamic, exciting, and fast-paced working environment in a career where you can make a difference to people’s lives, think nursing. Nurses’ lead extraordinary lives and opportunities in nursing are unlimited. It includes a range of specialties that few professions can match and is a demanding and stimulating career that comes with exceptional rewards.
Information regarding applications for admission to Netcare Education Faculty of Nursing and Ancillary Healthcare programmes is available on www.kreducation.co.za/netcare. Selection assessments are currently taking place. Should you require additional assistance, please contact our logistical partners, the KREducation team, on 0645083892 via WhatsApp or call.
For more information on this media release, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Education
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clemmy Forsthofer
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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