Many of the new professional nurses' family and friends were there to witness as they graduated with Bachelor of Nursing degrees.
At the special ceremony, UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, told the graduands that they play an important role in the healthcare profession.
He highlighted the fact that they are the backbone of the healthcare system and that they play a crucial role in effective and professional care: “The work that you do has real meaning and real value and real potential to contribute to improving the lives of others.”
Prof Pretorius encouraged them to enter into their careers with passion and dedication.
During the School of Nursing pledge ceremony, nursing graduands make a commitment to the nursing profession's ethics and code of conduct.
The Dean of the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, Professor Anthea Rhoda, acknowledged that this group of graduands had a difficult path to graduation: “When I think about the journey that you have had, navigating your academic programme through the pandemic… it was most difficult for the nursing students. When everyone took their bags and went on holiday, some of you had to continue working on the clinical platform.”
Professor Patricia Mayers, who had lectured many of the graduands, delivered the keynote speech. She said: “Your purpose as a nurse is relatively clear… being passionate is the ingredient that will make you the nurse that you want to be. Education is the basis for achievement, but in the absence of compassion, it is unfulfilled.”
Mayers said: “Caring is at the core of the nursing profession and considered the heart of the humanistic clinical practice, distinguishing nurses from other health care professionals. Nurses are encouraged to deliver the highest standard of possible care…and think, what do we need to be able to do this? We need to believe in ourselves; we need to have confidence. New graduates are the lifeblood of the profession.”
“Your contributions will be valuable. You are much wanted and much needed and you are the future of our profession,” said Mayers (pictured).
Many of the graduands will now complete their community service before embarking on their nursing careers.
See below for a gallery of the oath-taking ceremony. All images by Ruvan Boshoff (UWC Media)