Fourth year nursing student, Zulcke Cleophas from Hopefield, is currently one of hundreds of students juggling their studies and practising nursing.
As challenging as she finds changing between theory and practice, it’s this work experience that is actually helping her make sense of the academics.
“I am starting to enjoy it and find that I learn a lot more doing the practical work. I have also found that this profession is helping my personal development,” explained Zulcke, who is currently studying towards a BTech Nursing Science qualification at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Worcester.
The practical training will help to prepare 23-year-old Zulcke for her compulsory community service (CCS), which she will start as soon as she graduates. Since 2008, qualifying nurses, with four-year diplomas or degrees in nursing, have been required to carry out CCS in public health institutions before their qualifications can be registered with the South African Nursing Council.
Zulcke, a beneficiary of the Umoya Energy Scholarship Programme, has been able to follow her childhood dream that was inspired after a visit to the emergency services.
“Nursing is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager, a decision that came about when one day I was rushed to the emergency centre. Seeing the way the nurses worked with the patients made me feel like I wanted to make a change in this space,” she explains.
For many young people financial assistance of this nature offers youth the opportunity to follow their dreams, while helping to relieve the financial strain on parents or guardians.
“The bursary has been such a great help because we were really struggling with finances, wondering how I was going to complete my final year of studies. The allowances have been a huge help as well, because there are so many other expenses that come with studying when you are living away from home,” said Zulcke.
Once she has graduated and completed her CCS, she is hoping to secure work closer to home in the West Coast, which will allow her to be close to her family.
“Being a bursary recipient showed me that the people at Umoya Energy Wind Farm believed in me and saw potential in me. It has inspired me to work harder and be better at what I do,” concluded Zulcke.
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