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Circular 1/2018

1 February 2018

TO: National Departmentsof Health
Provincial Departments of Health
Nursing Education Institutions
All Relevant Stakeholders

 

Phasing out of the 'legacy' qualifications

 

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this document is to update the National Department of Health, Provincial Departments of Health, Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) and relevant stakeholders about the following matters pertaining to nursing education and training:

bulletPhasing out of the ‘legacy’ qualifications in 2019;
bulletRemoval of the names of certain Nursing Education Institutions, that were previously approved to offer the following phased out nursing programmes, from the South African Nursing Council (SANC) website;
bulletCourse leading to Enrolment as a Nurse (Government Notice Regulation No. 2175 of November 1993); and 
bulletCourse leading to Enrolment as a Nursing Auxiliary (Government Notice Regulation No. 2176 of November 1993);
bulletRegistration of learners/students undergoing Nursing Education and Training programmes; and
bulletMaintenance of registration or enrolment for learners/students who are pursuing basic/ undergraduate or additional/post-graduate ‘legacy’ qualifications.

 

2. PHASING OUT OF THE ‘LEGACY’ NURSING QUALIFICATIONS

Based on:

a) Circular 13 of 2014, wherein the South African Nursing Council (SANC) informed Nursing Education Institutions and stakeholders that the ‘legacy’ nursing qualifications in point 1 above would no longer be offered after 30 June 2015 (duly gazetted as per Government Notice No. R928 of 09 October 2015); and

b) Circular 7 of 2016, issued in December 2016, informing all NEIs and stakeholders about the process of the phasing out of ‘legacy’ nursing qualifications and implementation of the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF)-aligned nursing qualifications, the SANC has phased out those two legacy programmes, namely:

bulletCourse leading to Enrolment as a Nurse (Government Notice Regulation No. 2175 of November 1993); and 
bulletCourse leading to Enrolment as a Nursing Auxiliary (Government Notice Regulation No. 2176 of November 1993).

In a Board Notice published in Government Gazette No. R. 801 of 06 July 2016, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, declared that the last enrolment date for first time entering students into academic programmes that are not aligned to the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework (HEQSF), will be 31 December 2019.

The implications of the phasing out of the ‘legacy’ nursing programmes for the affected NEIs are as follows:

bulletAdherence to their approved numbers of students per intake;
bulletAdherence to their approved number of intakes per year;
bulletAdherence to their intake month/s; and
bulletNo learner/student will be registered with the SANC if the NEIs did not adhere to all of the above stipulations.

 

The SANC wishes to remind all NEI’s that are affected in respect of the above-mentioned programmes that May 2018 is the last examination date for the two-year programme leading to Enrolment as a Nurse, and that no further examinations for this programme shall be undertaken by the SANC. 

3. REMOVAL OF NAMES OF NURSING EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN NURSING COUNCIL (SANC) WEBSITE

Institutions that are accredited by the SANC to offer nursing programmes are published on the SANC website in order to provide the public with up-to-date information. Prospective students and the general public are encouraged to visit the SANC website to verify the name of the institution where they want to register for a nursing programme, in order to ensure that they do not apply at bogus schools.

 

Noting that displaying the names of NEIs that are no longer offering any nursing programme(s) on the SANC website could create confusion for potential nursing students who want to register for nursing programmes, the Council of the South African Nursing Council at its meeting held on 29-30 November 2017 took the following resolutions: 

bulletThe names of NEIs that were only approved for those nursing programmes that have already been phased out, will be removed from the SANC website, as the NEIs no longer offer programmes for which they are accredited by the SANC. Such removal is effected in the interest of the public.
bulletHenceforth, there shall be two (02) separate lists of NEIs displayed on the SANC website, namely:

- NEI’s that were only accredited for the ‘legacy’ programmes that are currently being phased out; and

- NEIs accredited for the ‘new’ nursing programmes.

4. REGISTRATION OF LEARNERS/STUDENTS UNDERGOING NURSING EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMMES

In terms of section 32(1) of the Nursing Act No. 33 of 2005, “a person undergoing education and training in nursing must apply to the Council to be registered as a learner nurse or a learner midwife”.

 

The responsibility to register learners / students resides with the Head/ Person in charge of the NEI as provided for in section 32(3) of the Act, as follows: 
“The person in charge of a Nursing Education Institution must, within 30 days, notify and furnish to the Council information prescribed by the Council in respect of each learner who has commenced, completed, transferred to or abandoned a nursing education and training programme”. (Our emphasis added.)

These provisions in the Act are applicable to all students, both under-graduates and post-graduates. 

The provisions also place increased responsibility on the persons in charge of health facilities that are used as clinical facilities by different NEIs, as provided for in section 32(5) of the Act, as follows: “A health establishment must not allow access to clinical facilities for training purposes to anyone who is not registered in terms of this Act.’’

 

Currently some Higher Education Institutions are not compliant with these provisions, especially in respect of students undergoing nursing programmes in Clinical Nursing Science leading to registration of an additional qualification (Government Notice No. R212 of 1993). This gives rise to many actual and potential challenges, including but not limited to the following:

bulletHealth facilities will not allow access to clinical facilities for training purposes to anyone who is not registered, in terms of this Act.
bulletA Learner/ Student database which is incomplete and inaccurate; and
bulletRegistration as practitioners after completion of the learning programme may legitimately be refused. 
All NEIs are therefore reminded of these provisions and are urged to comply with them in respect of ALL learners/students. Failure to comply will render learners/students illegible to access clinical facilities, and result in refusal by the SANC to grant a registration certificate on completion of education and training.

 

5. MAINTENANCE OF ENROLMENT OR REGISTRATION FOR LEARNERS/STUDENTS WHO ARE PURSUING UNDERGRADUATE (BASIC) OR POSTGRADUATE (ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS) STUDIES

This Circular serves as a reminder that all learners/students who are pursuing basic studies or additional qualifications must maintain their enrolment/registration with the SANC, failing which the education and training that was done while a learner/student was removed from the register/roll will be considered null and void. 

IMPLEMENTATION DATE: This Circular becomes implementable on the date of issue.

For further information on this Circular, you are advised to contact the Senior Manager: Education and Training, Ms SJ Nxumalo at 012 420 1022 or at jnxumalo@sanc.co.za 

Kind regards,

(Signed)

Ms SA Mchunu
Registrar & CEO
South African Nursing Council


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