Sadly this will be my last message as President. After 13 years it has come time for me to step down as President of NNASA. I will be leaving you in the capable hands of Carin Maree and the rest of the board. Don’t despair-I will remain on the board to assist and support them during this transition. Thank you to all who have contributed to and supported NNASA thus far. Together we are greater than the sum of our parts! I look forward to all that NNASA and our members will achieve in the years to come.

NNASA was founded at the end of 2006 by a passionate group of KZN neonatal nurses who had a vision to unite and support neonatal nurses in South Africa and beyond. Since that time we have grown to include members in most provinces, the public and private sector, universities and in the trade. We have strengthened bonds with other associations eg SOMSA and USANA and are represented on many national/ international organisations eg  COINN, FUNDISA, SACSoWACH and Forum for Professional Nursing Associations et al. We have hosted 8 National conferences and 1 International conference. We have a few members beyond our boarders and as of this last month have been joined by the newly formed Kenyan Neonatal Nurses Association and have interest from a nurse in Ghana. Our passion is spreading!

Founding Board

I thought it would be a good time to reflect on our three core values: Care, Passion and Excellence.


“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around!” Leo Buscalgia

On those days when our work seems overwhelming and it is tempting to just go through the motions, to seek greener pastures or to finally give up-remember the incredible privilege we have been given: to mold a life! The potential of that precious prem’s future is in our hands. At no other time in their life does nursing play such a crucial role in saving and shaping their life as in their first month.

Take time to swaddle, give sucrose, provide skin to skin care, engage with families, provide breast milk,  touch, take photos and do all those little things. It is in those moments that it all becomes worthwhile.


At our conference last year, inspired by President Ramaphosa’s ‘Tuma Mina’ call, we lit sparklers and each recommitted ourselves to giving of our best in caring for our precious babies.

“Passion begins when a fire is lit inside us but it always seeks outward expression. Our passions energise us to take action. If we are passionate about something, we will give it our all! If a goal or endeavor is important enough to us, we can transform even a daunting challenge into a deeply engaging process by charging our effort with inner passion.”  2012-Celebrations of life.


“We are what we repeatedly do-therefore excellence is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle

 “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude” Ralph Martson.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” Arthur Ashe.

Pursuit of money and position will only grant momentary happiness but when you impact a life for good its ripples impact you and the receiver for life. Assess what is motivating and driving the decisions and actions you make. In desiring to give of your best in service to others you are seeking a treasure that money cannot buy.

Nelson Mandela said:  “Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest assets as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth and those who care for and protect our people.”

I therefore charge you to guard our future well-serve your babies and their families with care, passion and excellence. Unite with other nurses and the people of our beautiful rainbow nation in seeking “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—anything that is excellent or praiseworthy” Philippians 4:8

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