The Durban University of Technology Nursing Department celebrated the fifth-lamp-lighting and award ceremony last month (December 2017) at the Indumiso Campus, Pietermaritzburg.
Lamp-lighting is a tradition followed by all Nursing graduates to remind them on the noble traditions of their profession. This tradition commemorates the heroine of nursing, Florence Nightingale, who was seen in the dark alleys with a lamp while caring for the injured soldiers of the Crimean War. The lamp symbolises the light that a nurse becomes to her patients and as a symbol of hope and comfort to those who are suffering. Graduates light this lamp as a commitment and they recite the Nursing pledge of service.
Since the commencement of the DUT undergraduate Nursing Bachelor degree, its purpose has been to alleviate poverty for underprivileged communities in South Africa. This programme was the idea of the DVC: Academic, Professor Nomthandazo Gwele, whom a nurse by profession herself, saw the importance of educating women from poor communities. The first cohort that underwent the lamp-lighting tradition and graduated was a group of students from the class of 2017, these students graduated during the 2013 graduation ceremonies.
Every year prior to graduation, the Nursing department hosts an award ceremony interlinked with the lamp-lighting tradition. During the award ceremony, students are honoured for their hardwork and dedication during their time at DUT. Thembeni Ngcobo was the overall achiever for the class of 2017, she was awarded seven awards. Ngcobo obtained the highest results in Midwifery, Community Health Nursing, General Nursing Science and Mental Health Nursing. She was also voted the best Clinical Nurse in General Nursing Science and Mental Health. She further obtained an award for the Most Caring and Compassionate Nurse.
Pictured: Nursing students during their lamp-lighting and awards ceremony in Indumiso campus, December 2017.
Dr Thembelihle Ngxongo and Noxolo Memela