Fourth-year nursing student, Zulcke Cleophas, from Hopefield in the Western Cape, is currently one of hundreds of students juggling their studies and nursing practical in South Africa at the moment.
Zulcke, 23, is a beneficiary of the Umoya Energy Scholarship Programme. She has been able to follow her childhood dream that was inspired after a visit to the emergency services.
Her training will also help prepare Zulcke for her compulsory community service (CCS), which she’ll 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.
Nursing is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager, a decision that came about when one day when 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, being awarded a scholarship is often the only option available for after-school education. Financial assistance of this nature offers youth the opportunity to follow their dreams, while helping relieve the financial strain on parents or guardians.
Once she has graduated and completed her CCS, she is hoping to secure work closer to home, or in the West Coast area, to allow her to be near to her close-knit family. There is also an option to specialise in a certain field of nursing, but for now she is looking forward to graduating.
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