The continued uncertainty surrounding qualifications for the post school education of nurses is having a negative effect on delivery. A nurse training programme extends over several years but the existing legacy qualifications are simply being extended on a year to year basis; institutions (and learners) are unable to plan with any degree of real certainty.
New qualifications are proposed but the published drafts for submission to SAQA are a mere outline of the competences necessary at the various levels of nursing practice. The draft qualifications are not Unit Standard and Specific Outcome based and therefore do not encourage a detailed programme of learning that will reliably include all the essential elements of work in the nursing profession. This will allow a range of different interpretations by different training establishments and limit opportunities for consistent assessment. It will also limit the opportunity of individuals declared competent against a particular Unit Standard to find employment where only the skills represented by that Unit Standard are required.
The DHET Green Paper on Post School Education clear shows the intention to include the profession of nursing within the scope of the QCTO but that appears to be in conflict with statement from the SANC (the relevant ETQA) that the draft qualifications are aligned to “the new higher education framework”.
A clear policy statement from SANC, SAQA & QCTO would eliminate the current uncertainty.
John Scarrott for APPETD
What has happened to the four year degree course for Nursing??/
Go to www.sanc.co.za and on the Home page you will find a box containing a link to "The new qualifications . . ."
They include an outline qualification for a Batchelors Degree in Nursing - 480 credits, therefore four years.
The comments above apply to this qualification and the others shown there.
If I may, I would also like to throw in another dimension of Nursing Education. In the States people can study nursing via correspondence and complete their practicals at hospitals where registered nurses / doctors observe them and sign them off on various practical skills (notwithstanding practical and theoretical exams that need to be completed).
Why is this option not available in South Africa? I became interested in the Medical field late in my current training career and would have loved to change direction in occupation, but I realised this too late as I had already started a career in training and education. The Department of Higher Education and Training should really lay down clear guidelines as to what is to be covered in the different levels of Nursing education and should consider the establishment of some sort of Correspondence course where student nurses can complete their modules via correspondence and their practicals at registered State Hospitals where students can be assessed according to the standards as laid down.
We are behind in terms of the rest of the world where it comes to training that requires a lot of practical application - surely a distance learning approach with observed practicals can be accommodated?
Some colleagues and I are looking at the pro's & con's of distance learning. We will keep the portal informed.