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Thursday, 25 March 2010

CPUT and Nursing Education Association celebrate 100 years of nursing in South Africa


The Western Cape chapter of the Nursing Education Association (NEA) recently gathered at CPUT, where they celebrated 100 years of professional nursing in South Africa.

The gathering, which was held on 12 March 2010, was the first general meeting of the year for the Western Cape branch.

The NEA, which has chapters in each province, represents the nurse educator community at all levels. It promotes nursing education, research and continuing professional development.

Western Cape Chairperson, Hilda Vember, who is also a lecturer at the CPUT Nursing Department, said this is a significant year for the nursing fraternity

It has been declared the International Year of the Nurse and is also the centennial year of the death of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. In South Africa 2010 marks the celebration of 100 years of professional nursing.

Addressing delegates who attended the meeting at the Bellville Campus, Vember said the NEA has called on nurses to do something special for an organisation or individual for 100 minutes.

Vember, who will volunteer at the Susan La Porta Old Age Home in Kuils River for 100 minutes, said this is an opportunity for nurses to “positively influence the image of the nursing profession.”

“We must put quality back into nursing,” she said.

Vember said the NEA will host various events during the year to celebrate professional nursing in South Africa.

Meanwhile, Prof Gerri Lubbe, the CEO of the Desmond Tutu Trust, who delivered an address at the general meeting called on nurses to become more aware of the religious aspects of caring for patients.

Prof Lubbe, who is the author of Simply Ask - A Guide to Religious Sensitivity for Healthcare Professionals said often hospitals do not make space for patients’ religious needs.

Prof Lubbe said individuals are vulnerable when they face illness and often draw on spiritual resources. He said issues such as prayer activities, worship, last rites and other religious elements must have a space in hospitals.

“Healthcare professionals must show sensitivity to spiritual and religious needs of patients,” he said.

Prof Lubbe encouraged nurses to take up this issue during this significant year and make a difference in their working environments.

For those interested in joining the NEA please contact Hilda Vember at

For more information on the NEA Conference, which will be held at the Cape Town Convention Centre from 11 to 13 October 2010 go to

By Candes Keating

Photograph: Western Cape Chairperson of the NEA Hilda Vember, who is also a lecturer at the CPUT Nursing Department, with Prof Gerri Lubbe.

Written by CPUT News