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National Policy on Nursing Education and Training Set Down

April 9, 2019

Department of Health

9 April 2019

The National Policy on Nursing Education and Training is in place.

The health department published the policy in Government Gazette 42380.

In his foreword, the health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, described the South African health system as being predominantly nurse based.

“The ever -changing health needs demand high levels of competence to ensure responsiveness to current and future population health needs.”

The minister highlighted the responsibility of government to ensure that caring and competent nurses were educated and trained to meet the needs of the health services.

“It is therefore essential that the nursing education and training system be harmonised with service delivery needs while ensuring that qualifications obtained are commensurate with the scopes of practice.”

Currently qualifications for nursing are being offered by various providers.

“Some of these programmes are not informed by or designed around sound education principles regarding admission into the programme; progression and articulation; nor are they designed to meet pressing national and regional needs to respond to new realities and opportunities.”

According to Chapter 2, a general lack of a nationally determined educational minimum entry requirement into enrolled nursing auxiliary and enrolled nurse programmes has resulted in problems associated with these graduates.

The rationale behind the policy includes the phasing out of non -HEQSF aligned nursing programmes, the need for a unified system of nursing education and training and the introduction of new categories of nurses and qualifications.

The aim of the policy is to put a national framework for nursing education in place that will align nursing qualifications with post-school education legislative prescripts and regulatory requirements for professional registration in the new nursing categories.

The policy applies to all current and future providers of nursing education and training programmes that lead to registration in the nursing categories.

Policy directives focus on registration and accreditation, entry and admission and selection requirements, recognition of prior learning, progression and articulation in nursing, integration of students into the profession and clinical teaching and learning.