Mzuzu’s St John’s Nursing College to offer degree programme

St. John’s Nursing College, a Roman Catholic owned nursing training institution in Mzuzu, has announced plans to start offering a degree programme of State Registered Nurses.

The college’s principal Lilly Elizabeth Thindwa made the announcement during graduation ceremony of 29 students who were awarded with Technician Diplomas in Nursing and Midwifery on Saturday.

She explained that currently the institution is working on logistics of the programme but said the initiative would come into fruition after a year or two.

She said the students who were trained at the college who had attained technician Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery at the college and were considering upgrading their qualification would be considered.

Nurses in Malawi

Nurses in Malawi

Currently, it’s University of Malawi through Kamuzu College of Nursing and Mzuzu University that offer graduate degree programme of State registered nurses.

Students’ representative Andrew Kacheche described the three-year journey to the day of graduation as not been an easy one. He said they had joined the college in 2009 at a time when suddenly government decided to stop paying grants for nursing students.

“You can imagine we were ready to pay K35, 000 only to wake up one morning and be told we have to square the whole K335, 000 by ourselves. We had to struggle through thick and thin.

“But thank God, the government had resumed the grants in 2010. And now here we are graduating,” he said.

Bishop Joseph Zuza who was guest of honour at the gala asked the students to serve the people of Malawi and beyond with love and dedication.

“Malawi has a shortage of nurses, doctors and clinicians, so I urge you my friends to always remember that you are dealing with life -something sacred and beyond any monetary gains. So, go out there and serve all people with love and dedication,” Zuza said.

“Do not treat your patients as a case but as a loved one, like you would your own brother, sister, mother, father or spouse,” he added.

He then thanked Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM), the Malawi Government and Norwegian Church Aid, among others, for supporting the institution.

CHAM’s Board Chair Kamphambe Nkhoma urged the students to be role models and rise above challenges they meet with professionalism and integrity.

Kamphambe also advised them not to be taken up with monetary gains and other opportunities in the industry to indulge in practices that would make them contract HIV, a virus that causes AIDS.

“HIV/ AIDS is real my friends. Take good care of yourselves because you will meet very exciting opportunities in the industry,” Nkhoma said.

The 29 graduates could not hide their joy as they recited the nurse’s pledge while holding lit candles.

“I solemnly pledge myself to the service of humanity…so help me Lord.” They recited chorused in unison amidst ululations from the parents, guardians and guests that had graced the occasion.

Alice Kapandansalu emerged as best overall student having passed with a distinction while Josephine Mhone was awarded “most coachable student” accolade. The two attributed their success to hard work and dedication to God.

St John’s Nursing College was established in 1963 by Bishop Jobbidon of the Mzuzu Diocese with an aim of training nurses for St John’s Hospital but later it started training nurses for government hospitals and other health facilities in the country.—Malawi News Agency

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