Placing of new nurses is ‘going smoothly’
Nearly all of SA’s newly qualified nurses have been placed in public-sector posts for 2019, a senior health department official assured MPs on Wednesday.
In contrast to the last-minute scramble to find positions for new nurses in previous years, the process of placing nurses who qualified in 2018 has gone smoothly, according to the department’s chief operating officer, Gail Andrews.
A total of 3,535 nurses qualified in 2018, of whom 3,470 had already been placed, she told parliament’s portfolio committee on health. SA nurses have been given priority, and the handful of nurses who have not been offered posts in the public sector are foreigners who are studying in SA, she said.
All 248 bursary holders from Limpopo have been placed in the province, she said. Bursary holders are required to work for a period in the province that funded their studies.
The department’s chief nursing officer, Nonhlanhla Makhanya, briefed MPs on ongoing reforms to nursing qualifications, and the rationalisation of nursing colleges.
Nursing colleges fall under the jurisdiction of provincial health departments, which determine their five-year enrolment plans based on their needs and the available resources.
Following several years of reorganisation, each province now has a single nursing college with satellite campuses, and the schools previously in hospitals are being converted into clinical training units, she said.
From 2020, a new threeyear diploma in general nursing will be offered by nursing colleges. This will be the entry-level nursing qualification. Studies that lead to qualifying as an enrolled nurse or staff nurse will not be offered after 2019.