Award-winning Cape Town nursing graduate “an inspiration”

Nursing a calling that requires enormous dedication

Monday, September 17 2018

“Nursing is a calling rather than a job and requires one to be passionate about caring for others. It’s demanding but also a most rewarding profession for those who have the necessary aptitude and are dedicated to helping their fellow South Africans.”

So says Sr Michelle Cronje, who recently won a number of awards and graduated with honours as a registered nurse (RN) at the Netcare Education Western Cape campus graduation ceremony held in Cape Town. Sr Cronje completed Netcare Education’s two-year Bridging Course for Enrolled Nurses, leading to registration as an RN.

Dirk Truter, the general manager of Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital, where Cronje has been working at the emergency department of the hospital as an enrolled nurse for the past six years, describes her as: “A most remarkable nursing professional and human being, and an inspiration to all of us at the hospital.”

According to Truter, Cronje received the Netcare Education Gold Medal, the Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital Professional Development Prize, as well as the Netcare Education Western Cape Campus Manager’s Award at the graduation ceremony. “Not only did Sr Cronje achieve extraordinary academic results while undertaking studies to qualify as an RN, but she was also a role model to her fellow students and nursing professionals over that time,” he adds.

Ilse Crafford, head of the Netcare Education Western Cape Campus said, “Sr Cronje is one of the most outstanding students to pass through the doors of Netcare Education, not just in the Western Cape province but nationally. We commend her not only for her superb academic performance but also for the dedication she has shown to the nursing profession and her patients.”

Crafford explains that the Netcare Education Gold Medal is awarded to the student who obtained the highest overall clinical and theoretical mark for all assessments nationally during training. The Netcare Education Campus Manager’s Award is bestowed on the student who is employed at a Netcare hospital for work-integrated learning, and who best epitomises the Netcare values, both within the facility and within the campus environment.

“The Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital Professional Development Prize, meanwhile, is awarded to the Western Cape student who demonstrates the most professional growth over the duration of the course,” she explains.

As if her other commitments were not already sufficient, Sr Cronje also took on the role of chair of the local Netcare Education Western Cape Students’ Representative Council. Within a month of completing the bridging course, she also completed a further three short specialist courses in the trauma and emergency field.

Sr Cronje says that she had been “taken aback and humbled” to be recognised with the awards at the graduation ceremony. Asked how she had managed to juggle work and home life demands, she said that it had not been easy, as the Netcare Education bridging course is demanding, and she had found it particularly challenging to adjust in her first year.

“I have worked for 14 years in the nursing profession as an enrolled nurse, and also had a decade of experience at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital. This was all invaluable experience and certainly assisted me to do well on the course. I would highly recommend nursing to anyone who wants to pursue an exciting, stimulating and challenging career; the opportunities are unlimited.

“I am also passionate about my work as a nurse within the emergency department, and while it can be tough, it is also exceptionally rewarding when you see that you have assisted a patient to get better, and made a positive contribution to their lives. I am looking forward to taking on more responsibilities as a registered nurse within the emergency department.”

Toy Vermaak, manager of the Faculty of Nursing and Ancillary Healthcare (FNAH) at Netcare Education, says that Netcare Education continues to make an important contribution to nursing education and training in South Africa.

This year a total of 1 008 students have graduated in Basic, Post-basic and In-service training from its Western Cape, Gauteng South West, Gauteng North East, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal campuses.

“Sr Cronje has dedicated herself to a life of excellence in caring for others, and embodies all of the qualities and commitment that Netcare holds dear in its nursing staff, who play such an important role at our facilities around the country,” adds Shannon Nell, director of nursing and nursing education at Netcare.

“We congratulate Sr Cronje for her numerous achievements and thank her for the positive contribution she has made not only within Netcare but to the profession,” concludes Nell.


Issued by:         MNA on behalf of Netcare
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]