Government Notice No. R. 203
6 February 1987
South African Nursing Council
Regulations for the Diploma in Unit Management for Registered Nurses
The Minister of National Health and Population Development has, on the
recommendation of the South African Nursing Council, in terms of section 45(1)
of the Nursing Act,1978 (Act 50 of 1978), made the regulations as set out in the
1. In these regulations "the Act"
shall mean the Nursing Act, 1978 (Act 50 of 1978), and any expression to which a
meaning has been assigned in the Act shall bear such meaning and, unless the
context otherwise indicates-
"course of study" shall mean a programme of education and training
leading to the obtaining of a qualification which confers on the holder thereof
the right to registration of the additional qualification in unit management.
Conditions for registration of the additional qualification
2. An additional qualification in unit
management shall be registered in terms of section 22 of the Act, if-
(a) the applicant followed the course of study at an approved
(b) he was registered as a student in terms of the regulations
relating to registers for students published under Government Notice R. 3735 of
14 November 1969, as amended by Government Notices R. 171 of 12 February 1971,
R. 1204 of 7 July 1972, R. 1647 of 20 September 1974 and R. 2207 of 31 October
(c) he successfully completed the course of study and
complied with all the requirements for the award of the qualification
Conditions for the approval of a nursing school
3. A nursing school shall be approved for the
offering of a course of study if-
(a) the organisational structure and the facilities for the
conduct of the teaching programme for the course of study are satisfactory in
the opinion of the council;
(b) the educational programme is satisfactory in the opinion
of the council;
(c) a person who is registered both as a general nurse and as
a midwife and against whose name an additional qualification in nursing
education and an additional qualification in nursing administration are
registered, is designated to the council as the person in charge of the nursing
(d) members of the nursing staff who take part in the clinical
instruction of students are registered general nurses and midwives.
Admission to the course of study
4. (1) A candidate for the course of study shall submit
to the person in charge of the nursing school:
(a) Proof of current registration as a general nurse and proof
of registration in the discipline for the special study in terms of regulation
(b) A senior certificate or an equivalent qualification which
gives admission to formal post secondary education, unless the council accepts a
(2) The registration mentioned in subregulation (1)(a) shall
be maintained throughout the prescribed period for the course and until the
results of the examination are published, failing which the period of the course
of study undergone from the date of removal from the register to the date of
restoration, shall be forfeited.
Duration of the course of study
5. (1) The course shall extend over at least 44 weeks.
(2) If a student transfers from one nursing school to another
or terminates the course of study before completion, the course of study shall
be commenced de novo, unless the council determines otherwise.
Submission of curriculum to Council
6. The curriculum shall be submitted by the nursing
school concerned to the council beforehand for approval.
7. (1) The curriculum shall provide for personal and
professional development of the student so that, on completion of the course of
(a) shows respect for the dignity and uniqueness of man in his
socialcultural and religious context and approaches and understands him as a
psychological, physical and social being within this context;
(b) is skilled in the diagnosing of individual, family, group
and community health problems and in the planning and implementing of
therapeutic action and nursing care for the health service consumers at any
point along the health/illness continuum in all stages of the life cycle
(including care of the dying), and evaluation thereof;
(c) is able to direct and control the interaction with health
service consumers in such a way that sympathetic and empathic interaction takes
(d) is able to maintain the ethical and moral codes of the
profession and practise within the prescriptions of the relevant laws;
(e) endorses the principle that a comprehensive health service
is essential to raise the standard of health of the total population;
(f) is able to collaborate harmoniously within the nursing and
multidisciplinary team in terms of the principle of interdependence and
co-operation in attaining a common goal;
(g) is able to delineate personal practice according to
personal knowledge and skill, practise it independently and accept
(h) is able to evaluate personal practice continuously and
accept responsibility for continuing professional and personal development;
(i) evinces an enquiring and scientific approach to the
problems of practice and is prepared to initiate and/or to accept change;
(j) is able to manage a health service unit effectively;
(k) is able to provide effective clinical training within the
health service unit;
(l) is able to promote community involvement at any point
along the health/illness continuum in all stages of the life cycle.
(2) The curriculum shall consist of the following subjects
with the minimum number of periods as indicated:
(a) Nursing Science- 150 periods consisting of-
(i) an introductory study of 60 periods of the principles and
skills common to the four basic disciplines of nursing science, namely:
(aa) General nursing science;
(cc) psychiatric nursing science;
(dd) community nursing science;
and the integration of these in the discipline of special study;
(ii) a special study of 90 periods of one of the abovenamed disciplines.
(b) The Principles of Administration and the Practice of Unit
Management: 90 periods.
(c) Clinical Teaching and Health
Education/Patient Teaching: 60 periods.
Organization and Control of the Nursing Profession and Professional Practice: 60
(3) All the subjects of the curriculum shall be taught at an
applied level throughout the course of study and shall include the following:
(a) The law governing the practice of nursing;
(b) the regulations regarding the conduct of registered nurses which
shall constitute improper or disgraceful conduct;
regulations regarding the conduct of registered midwives which shall constitute
improper or disgraceful conduct;
(d) the regulations regarding
the conduct of enrolled nurses which shall constitute improper or disgraceful
(e) the regulations regarding the conduct of enrolled
nursing assistants which shall constitute improper or disgraceful conduct;
(f) legislation applicable to the various aspects of the
(4) The following aspects shall be emphasised throughout the
course of study:
(a) Medico-legal risks;
(b) the social, psychological, cultural and physical relationships in
health and disease.
8. (1) Clinical
practica shall be of not less than 960 hours duration out of the minimum
prescribed period of 44 weeks referred to in regulation 5(1).
(2) Clinical practica shall provide experience in clinical nursing care
for all age groups in primary, secondary and tertiary health care systems, and
in unit management, clinical teaching and evaluation, health education and
9. (1) The
following sections must be continuously evaluated chiefly in the fields of
clinical practice, management and teaching:
(b) psycho-motor skills;
(c) the use
of the scientific method;
(d) management and teaching skills;
(e) functioning as an independent nurse, as a leader, and as a
co-ordinator of the multi-disciplinary health team.
(2) Instruments for
evaluation with regard to the sections referred to in subregulation (1) must be
drawn up by the school and submitted to the council for approval.
Examination which shall be passed
10. (1) the examination
consists of two portions, namely:
(a) Written portion
consisting of two papers, each of three hours duration, covering the course
(b) practical portion consisting of an evaluation
conducted by the nursing school according to the objectives contained in the
directive for the course of study, which may be obtained from the council.
(2) To pass in the examination a candidate shall obtain-
(a) at least 50% in the aggregate for the two papers referred
to in subregulation (1)(a), provided that he may obtain a minimum of 40% in one
(b) at least 50% in the practical portion referred to
in subregulation (1)(b).
(3) To pass with honours, a candidate shall
obtain at least 75% in the aggregate.
(4) Candidates shall not be placed
in order of merit and places shall not be disclosed except in connection with a
prize or award approved by the council.
Admission to the examination
11. A candidate for admission
to the examination shall lodge-
(a) an application
in terms of regulation 13;
(b) a certificate by the person in
charge of the nursing school that the candidate-
(i) on the basis of a system of continual assessment, has been found
competent and suitable in respect of attitudes, approach, insight, knowledge and
(ii) will complete the period referred to in
regulation 5(1) for the course of study by the end of the month in which the
examination is held;
(iii) will comply with the
provisions of regulations 5, 6, 7 and 8 by the date of the examination.
Re-admission to the examination
12. (1) For re-admission
to the examination a candidate shall lodge an application in terms of regulation
(2) A candidate who fails in the examination at the first attempt
but obtains at least 50% in one of the portions referred to in regulation 10(1),
may re-enter at the second attempt only for that portion in which less than 50%
but at least 40% was obtained, failing which the candidate shall re-enter for
the examination as a whole: Provided that the candidate shall re-enter for the
examination within one year of the date of the examination in which the
candidate failed, failing which the candidate shall not retain any credit and
shall repeat the course of study, comply with all admission requirements for the
examination and re-enter for the examination as a whole, unless the council
(3) A candidate who fails in the examination at
the second attempt, shall not retain any credit and shall repeat the course of
study, comply with all admission requirements for the examination and re-enter
for the examination as a whole, unless the council determines otherwise.
Dates of examination, applications for admission and re-admission and
13. (1) The person in charge of a nursing school shall
notify the council forthwith, giving reasons, if a candidate becomes ineligible
for admission or re-admission subsequent to the lodging of an application in
terms of this regulation.
(2) (a) The examination shall be held twice a
year during the months May and November and applications for admission and
re-admission shall be lodged with the council on or before 7 March and 7
(b) A fee of R25 per three hour paper shall be
paid to the council upon application for admission or re-admission to the
examination or any portion of the examination.
(c) An application lodged
not more than seven days after the prescribed date shall be accepted only on
payment of an additional fee of R15.
(d) An application lodged more than
seven days after the date referred to in subregulation (2)(a) shall not be
(3) The lodging of an application for admission or
re-admission in terms of subregulation (2)(a) shall not be deemed to have been
"lodged" unless a duly completed application form, together
with the prescribed certificates, the examination fee and, where applicable, the
additional fee referred to in subregulation (2)(c) shall have reached the
(4) Examination fees referred to in subregulation (2)(b) as
well as the additional fee referred to in subregulation (2)(c) shall be
forfeited if an entry is cancelled or if a candidate is absent, unless the
council determines otherwise.
14. Examination centres shall be established at such places as the
council may determine.
Registration of additional qualification
15. A certificate of registration of the additional qualification in
unit management shall be issued to a candidate-
(a) who has passed the examination referred to in regulation 10; and
(b) if the notice prescribed in regulation 3(3) of the
regulations regarding registers for students published under Government Notice
R. 3735 of 14 November 1969 has been submitted.
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