Plac­ing of new nurses is ‘go­ing smoothly’

Business Day - - NATIONAL - Ta­mar Kahn Science and Health Writer [email protected]­

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.

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