May was Nursing Month and to these heroes we say: thank you and we salute you!

On 12 May, which was International Nurses and Midwives Day, the Student Life Division and the School of Nursing celebrated our nurses for the vital role they play in society, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Student Life shows appreciation


Student Life on the Mahikeng Campus celebrated the day by reaching out to the nurses at the Health Centre to show appreciation for the work they are doing.


Lerato Wana from Student Life said the Health Centre’s nurses play an important role in the wellness of students and employees alike.


“Right now, nurses are at the frontline of the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, and they are not given sufficient recognition. Therefore, we wanted to pay them the respect they deserve on this special day.”


Lerato also thanked the centre’s nurses for the sterling job they are doing.


Stephanie van der Walt, who has been a professional nurse for 14 years, said she was humbled by the division’s gesture.


“Being a nurse is such a wonderful career, especially because I get to connect with my patients on a level not many other individuals have the opportunity to do.


“The Covid-19 pandemic is a challenge to all healthcare workers, but we try to stay positive and focused,” said Stephanie.


A silent vigil for their sacrifices


On the Potchefstroom Campus, lecturers from the School of Nursing held a silent vigil in Lovers’ Lane.


Observing Covid-19 regulations and standing two metres apart, lecturers stood with bowed heads, holding posters and pledge lamps in honour of those colleagues who have lost their lives, as well as those who continue to fight the virus every day.


“Our lecturers, students and colleagues are acutely aware of the sacrifices that nurses and their loved ones make every day to attend to patients diagnosed with Covid-19,” said Dr Elsabé Bornman, deputy director of the school.


Why 12 May?


International Nurses Day is celebrated annually on the birthday of the founder of modern-day nursing, Florence Nightingale.


Florence Nightingale was born on 12 May 1820 in Florence, Italy. Although her parents were from England, she was born in Italy while they were travelling. Both Florence and her older sister Parthenope were named after the Italian cities where they were born.


Source: National Women’s History Museum

Nursing profession will survive


“This year the International Day of Nurses comes at a time where the world is facing a cruel pandemic that is causing devastation in all aspects of life,” said Tshepo Theletsane, manager of the Health Centre and a nurse by profession.


“The nursing profession has over the years faced and survived many challenges, pandemics included, and will continue to do so,” he said.


“On this day we commemorate all the nurses who have passed on due to Covid-19-related complications, and we also extend this commemoration to their families.


“To the nurses who continue to care for the sick and the aged, we applaud you and wish you good health and strong mental focus,” concluded Tshepo.



School of Nursing staff members present at the Silent Wake event are in front from left Dr Precious Chibuike Chukwuere and Mariska Oosthuizen van Tonder. At the back from left are Kathleen Froneman, Anelle Erasmus and Stephani Botha.

Staff members of the Mahikeng Campus Clinic are from left Sr Tshepo Theletsane, head nurse, Sr Amanda Matseka and Sr Stephanie van der Walt, occupational health nurse.