The trade union Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Nursing says that there is a vital need to align the health department, higher education and training with the South African Nursing Council (SANC) to resolve the current training crisis. A Polity report quotes head of Solidarity’s Occupational Guilds, Hennie Bierman as saying that South Africa was experiencing critical problems with the training of nurses.
“The SANC’s ineffectiveness has a negative impact on the finalisation of regulations on nursing training and the accreditation of new training institutions for nursing training, practice, and programmes, as well as the re-accreditation of existing institutions and programmes offering nurses’ training,” he said.
“The main problem is that accreditation of all nursing courses and the approval of private training institutions have been dragging on since 2014. The delays can be ascribed to a lack of communication between the SANC and the Department of Higher Education,” Bierman said, adding that the Strategic Plan for Nursing Education, Training and Practice of 2013, which provides for new qualifications, came into effect in 2013.
“Unfortunately, neither the private training institutions nor the new curricula have been approved or accredited. Therefore, nurses’ training has ground to a halt to a large extent. Due to these problems, most private training institutions have not taken in any new nursing students since 2016,” he added.
The report says Bierman further added that the delay was impeding accredited private nursing training institutions and that no private institution had received approval for training over the past three years, and the SANC has suspended many of the courses offered by the existing private institutions back in 2015.
“This means that even fewer nurses are being trained, putting extra pressure on the existing nurses in the profession, which again impacts service delivery. Given that 60 percent of the country’s nursing training is done by private training institutions, accreditation of these institutions can prevent shortages of nursing staff in the future,” he said.
“The SANC and the department of health must urgently prioritise their training framework for nursing, and they must see to it that they align themselves to avert a training disaster that is in the making.”Polity report