Circular 1/2019

4 February 2019

 

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

 

Provisions of nursing programmes

 

1. PURPOSE
The purpose of this Circular is to: 

bullet1.1 Update/remind the National Department of Health, Provincial Departments of Health, Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) and other relevant stakeholders about the provisions of the following nursing programmes: 

- Bridging course for Enrolled Nurses leading to registration as a General/Psychiatric Nurse; 
- Diploma Course in Midwifery for registration as a Midwife.

bullet1.2 Inform the National Department of Health, the Provincial Departments of Health, Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) and other relevant stakeholders of an amended Learner Application form, which should be submitted to the South African Nursing Council (SANC) upon application for registration of learners with the SANC.

 

2. LEGISLATED DURATION OF THE RELEVANT PROGRAMMES

bullet2.1. Bridging course for Enrolled Nurses leading to registration as a General/Psychiatric Nurse 
This programme is regulated by the Regulations relating to the minimum requirements for a Bridging Course for Enrolled Nurses leading to registration as a General Nurse or a Psychiatric Nurse (Government Notice Regulation No.683 of 14 April 1989, as amended). In terms of Regulation 6 (1) of these regulations, the duration of this programme shall be two academic years. An “academic year” as defined in these regulations “shall mean a period of at least 44 weeks in any calendar year”. 
bullet2.2. Diploma course in Midwifery for registration as a Midwife
This programme is regulated by the Regulations relating to the minimum requirements for a Diploma course in Midwifery for registration as a Midwife (Government Notice Regulation No. 254 of 10 March 1978, as amended). In terms of Regulation 4 (1) of these regulations, the duration of the course shall be two years

This regulation must be read in conjunction with Regulation 7 of these regulations, which deals with exemptions. One such exemption is provided for in Regulation 7 (2), as follows: “A student who is a registered general nurse or a registered psychiatric nurse, is exempted from one (1) year of the prescribed period for the course”. 

 

3. IMPLICATIONS 
Based on the content under point 2 above, the South African Nursing Council would like to remind all Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) that are still offering the above-mentioned programmes of the following:

bullet3.1 Students are required to undergo the above-mentioned programmes on a full-time basis, as it is practically impossible for any person in employment, especially full-time employment, to achieve all the theoretical and practical requirements of the programmes within the prescribed time frames. The programme shall therefore not be undertaken on a part-time basis.
bullet3.2 The persons in charge of NEIs, who are responsible for signing the learner application forms, must ensure that employed learners have been granted study leave by their employers and must attach such proof upon submission of the respective learners’ application forms to the SANC, failing which the applications will not be processed. In addition, each learner must declare that he/she is undergoing the programme on a full-time basis.
bullet3.3 The Learner Application form has been amended to capture the above requirements. The amended form can be accessed under the “Services” link on the home page of the SANC website (www.sanc.co.za) and thereafter by clicking on the “Learners” link on the menu. A sample is attached to this circular as Annexure A, for ease of reference.
bullet3.4 The persons in charge of NEIs, who are responsible for submission of learner applications to the SANC, should also in their covering letters to the SANC declare that the listed learners are undergoing the programme on a full-time basis.
bullet3.5 Please note that, should it be discovered that learners followed these full-time programmes while in full-time employment, it would amount to the requirements of the programmes not having been complied with. This would result in the SANC invoking Section 44 (1) (i) of the Nursing Act (Act No, 33 of 2005) which states that “The Council may instruct the Registrar to remove from the register the name of any practitioner whose registration is proved to the satisfaction of the Council to have been made in error or through fraudulent misrepresentation or concealment of material facts or information”. 
Consequently, the NEIs involved in such incidents would thereafter be deemed fully responsible for the affected persons and any potential litigation that may ensue.
bullet3.6 Nursing Education Institutions that were approved by the Council to offer these programmes using a decentralized model, are not exempted from the applicability of these requirements.

4. IMPLEMENTATION DATE
This Circular becomes implementable and valid 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

Yours sincerely

 

(Signed)

Ms SA Mchunu
Registrar and CEO
South African Nursing Council

 

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