Circular 11/2020: Extension of Education and Training to meet outstanding clinical requirements

6 November 2020


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


Extension of  Education and Training to meet outstanding clinical requirements



The purpose of this circular is to notify the National Department of Health, Provincial Departments of Health, Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) and other relevant stakeholders about the Council’s resolution regarding extension of education and training to meet outstanding clinical requirements resulting from an interruption in clinical education and training during national lockdown.


2.1. The effect of measures which were instituted to limit the spread of Corona Virus resulted in limited clinical placement for students. NEIs have indicated that to a certain degree online facilitation of theoretical learning was possible though some challenges were also experienced. The main challenge that was highlighted was regarding clinical placement of students in order to meet the clinical requirements during the current academic year especially during level 5 lockdown. Some of the challenges included the following:

  • Some Nurse Educators and students tested positive and had to self-isolate;
  • Close contact of the Nurse Educators and students who tested positive had to be on quarantine;
  • Some units/wards were turned into COVID-19 facilities leading to reduction of platforms for clinical learning experiences that were planned;
  • Limited access to clinical facilities by students created by a need to observe social distancing; and
  • Other facilities allowed students to be placed during the week but not during weekends and holidays.

2.2. In the light of the above, the Council at its virtual meeting of 21-22 October 2020, resolved that in order to ensure that all the clinical requirements are met for the different nursing programmes, NEIs should consider extending the period of training to 31 March 2021. The Council further resolved that where simulation is used, it should be well structured and should not be more than 20% of the total clinical hours / work-integrated learning (WIL) per programme. This is to ensure that most clinical hours/WIL credits are acquired in the real life situation.


  • The NEIs that have already assessed their needs and made a determination should not be affected by this circular.
  • In line with this circular, records of extended training and declarations for students who will complete in March 2021 must be submitted to the SANC in May 2021.

This Circular becomes implementable and valid on the date of issue.

For further information in respect of this Circular, you are advised to contact Ms SJ Nxumalo, SANC Senior Manager: Education & Training at (012) 420 1022 or on e-mail at:

Yours sincerely,


Ms SA Mchunu
Registrar and CEO
South African Nursing Council