15 January 2009
Update on Community Service
A number of issues have arisen as a result of nurses who are completing Community Service. South African Nursing Council urges you to take note of the matters clarified below as this will reduce the confusion and resulting delays.
Once a nurse has completed the 12 month period of Community Service, he/she may be registered as Nurse (General, Psychiatric and Community) and Midwife. In order for these registrations to be effected, the correct procedure must be followed.
If all of the community service requirements mentioned above are in order, the Nursing Council will delete the registration in the category Community Service from its register and will register the practitioner as Nurse (General, Psychiatric and Community) and Midwife with effect from the end of the month in which Community Service was completed.
There have been a number of queries about the expiry date of the Community Service registration as shown on the Annual Practising Certificate for 2009. These nurses commenced Community Service on 1 January 2008 and if everything has gone well will have completed Community Service on 31 December 2008. Given this situation, the query is then raised as to why the Annual Practising Certificate shows the expiry date of the Community Service registration as 31 December 2009?
In fact, 31 December 2009 is quite correct. The reason is simply that a nurse is given TWO years in which to complete the period of community service – and is registered in that capacity for the full two year period (i.e. in this case from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2009).
SANC will continue to show the end of the TWO year period as the expiry date of the Community Service registration until such time as the completion of Community Service record is received by the Council.
Nurses doing Community Service who have already paid the Annual Fee for 2009 will have been issued an Annual Practising Certificate that shows that they are registered in the category Community Service. When these nurses complete their Community Service and are registered as Nurse (General, Psychiatric and Community) and Midwife, they may feel that it is necessary to update their Annual Practising Certificate to reflect these new categories. In fact, some employers may insist on this “updating”.
This is generally unnecessary. The Nursing Act, 2005 makes it quite clear that a registration certificate is proof of registration for a period of 12 months from the date of registration shown on the certificate. For nurses who are completing Community Service at the end of December, 2008, the certificates of registration in the categories Nurse and Midwife will be dated 31 December 2008 and will be proof of registration in these categories up to 31 December 2009.
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