Fort Hare Future Nurses Lauded with Heartfelt Pinning Ceremony

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Today, the Nursing Science Department at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) honoured its final-year nursing students with a heartfelt pinning ceremony, marking a significant milestone in their journey toward becoming qualified healthcare professionals.

The event, held at the Miriam Makeba Arts Centre on the East London campus, recognized the dedication and hard work of the forty-five (45) soon-to-be graduates as they prepare to enter the noble field of nursing.

Delivering the keynote address, the Acting Deputy Director for Nursing Services at the Eastern Cape Department of Health, Dr Sizeka Monakali, an alumna of the department, highlighted the significance of the occasion in servicing the nation.

“You will be joining this profession at a time when the country is burdened with disease and in dire need of professional nurses. You will also be among the first cohort of newly qualified nurses to implement the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill that was recently introduced, thus leading the path for those to follow.”

Dr Monakali commended the students for choosing the noble profession. “You will soon be transitioning from student nurses to professional nurses, and this moment underscores your readiness to assume the role of dedicating your lives to saving human lives.”

She also encouraged and reminded the student nurses that their learning journey had not ended; instead, it was just starting. “Nursing is a lifelong learning journey; it never ends. The pin that you have just received represents accountability and the responsibility of being a nurse. It also reinforces the importance of professionalism boundaries to maintain the high standards of the profession as you serve your communities.”

Also present were representatives from Frere and Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, two clinical partners of the Department. Mrs Lizzette Jennings, who is the Nursing Services Manager at Frere spoke fondly about the relation between the department and the hospital, and the professional conduct of the graduates produced by the department. “The student nurses produced at Fort Hare are young and always eager to learn. We work with them from the first year, and it is wonderful to witness them transitioning from being students to professional nurses.”

Among the cohort was 42-year-old Mr. Thando Hlango from Ngqamakwe, who collected and proudly wore his pin. “This moment means a lot to us; it signifies the end of one journey and the beginning of another. It is a moment of pride.”

Staff at the Department, including the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Liezel Cilliers, urged the students to continue upholding the image of the university when entering the field as professionals.