Circular 5/2019

31 May 2019

 

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

 

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this Circular is to update the National Department of Health, Provincial Departments of Health, Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) and other relevant stakeholders about the following matters:

1.1 Special concession granted by the South African Nursing Council to qualifying Nursing Education Institutions to have a final intake of students in 2019 for the following nursing programmes:

bulletCourse leading to registration as a Nurse (General, Psychiatric and Community) and Midwife (Government Notice No. R.425 of 22 February 1985, as amended);
bulletCourse in Clinical Nursing Science leading to registration of an Additional Qualification (Government Notice No. R.212 of 19 February 1993, as amended);
bulletDiploma course in Clinical Nursing Science, Health Assessment, Treatment and Care (Government Notice No. R.48 of 22 January 1982, as amended);
bulletCourse leading to registration of the Additional Qualification in Nursing Education (Government Notice No. R.118 of 23 January 1987, as amended);
bulletCourse for the Diploma in Nursing Administration (Government Notice No. R.1501 of 08 July 1983, as amended).

1.2 De-accreditation of Nursing Education Institutions that are only accredited to offer the phased out nursing qualifications, as follows:

bulletCourse leading to enrolment as a Nursing Auxiliary (Government Notice No. R.2176 of 19 November 1993, as amended);
bulletCourse leading to enrolment as an Enrolled Nurse (Government Notice No. R.2175 of 19 November 1993, as amended).

2. SPECIAL CONCESSION

2.1. The Minister of Higher Education and Training has, in line with the provisions of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No. 101 of 1997) declared that the last date for first time entering students enrolling in academic programmes that are not aligned to the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework (HEQSF) is 31 December 2019. The implication of this declaration for nursing is that new intakes of students as of January 2020 should be for the new nursing qualifications only.

2.2. The South African Nursing Council is aware of the importance of ensuring that the transition between the offering of ‘legacy’ qualifications and the offering of the new nursing qualifications does not create a gap in the education and training of nurses.

2.3. The Council is further aware of the following matters pertaining to the education and training of nurses and nurse specialists, which are of paramount importance:

2.3.1 Despite the Regulations for undergraduate programmes having been promulgated by the Minister of Health in March 2013 already, many NEIs, including universities, public nursing colleges and private nursing schools have either not submitted any applications for offering these programmes, or only submitted their applications by late 2018. Some NEIs have been fully or conditionally accredited to offer the programmes applied for, while other applications are currently under review.

2.3.2 In terms of Section 2(1) of the Regulations relating to the accreditation of institutions as Nursing Education Institutions (Government Notice No. R.173 of 08 March 2019) an institution may be accredited as a nursing education institution “if, in the case of a public entity, it is established or declared by the Minister of Education as a higher education and training institution”.

Public Nursing Colleges have not been declared higher education and training institutions as yet, and therefore may not offer the new HEQSF-aligned nursing qualifications in 2020. In this regard, it is important also to note that public nursing colleges produce the majority of registered nurses that are comprehensively trained.

2.3.3 Regulations that regulate the postgraduate diploma programmes and the Advanced Diploma in Midwifery have not been promulgated as yet.

2.4. The Council therefore, at its meeting of 27 - 28 March 2019 resolved that all NEIs that are currently accredited to offer the programmes listed under section 1.1 above are allowed to have a last (final) intake of students during the final quarter of the academic year 2019, prior to 31 December 2019. This is a concession and is not mandatory. It is intended to mitigate the risk of creating a gap in comprehensively trained new nurses entering the profession, while the regulatory/ structural issues around the long term education and training of nurses as referred to above are being finalized. The concession will also ensure that there is no gap in training of nurse specialists.

 

3. IMPLICATIONS OF THE SPECIAL CONCESSION

3.1 The Nursing Education Institutions that are currently approved to have one intake per year (in January) for the programmes listed under section 1.1of this Circular may use the concession to have the last (special) intake in June 2019, rather than during the last quarter of the 2019 academic year. Should the NEI not wish to have an intake in June 2019, they may have their last intake during the last quarter of the academic year. However, if they have an intake in June 2019, they cannot have another (third) intake during the last quarter of the 2019 academic year.

3.2 Nursing Education Institutions who are currently approved to have two intakes per year, one in January and one in June of each year, may have the additional last (special) intake during the last quarter of the 2019 academic year.

3.3 Nursing Education Institutions intending to utilize the special concession during the last quarter of the academic year should ensure that all student applications are submitted to the SANC before 20 December 2019.

3.4 The Nursing Education Institutions must adhere to the approved numbers per intake.

 

4. DE-ACCREDITATION OF THE NURSING EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE ONLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THE PHASED OUT NURSING QUALIFICATIONS

4.1 The phasing out of the two nursing programmes listed under item 1.2 of this Circular was communicated by the Council via Circular 13/2014, published on 30 September 2014. This was further gazetted as Government Notice No. R.928 of 09 October 2015.

4.2 The Regulations relating to the accreditation of institutions as Nursing Education Institutions (Government Notice No. R.173 of 08 March 2019) stipulate all the conditions and requirements for accreditation of an institution as a nursing education institution.

4.3 In terms of the Regulations relating to the accreditation of institutions as Nursing Education Institutions (Government Notice No. R.173 of 08 March 2019), a Nursing Education Institution must be accredited for and offer an accredited Nursing Programme; therefore all the Nursing Education Institutions that were offering only the phased out ‘legacy’ programmes can no longer be recognized as Nursing Education Institutions, as they no longer meet the criteria in terms of these Regulations.

4.4 The Council therefore, at its meeting of 27 - 28 March 2019, resolved that all the Nursing Education Institutions which were accredited to offer only the phased out legacy programmes listed under section 1.2 of this Circular are to be de-accredited, as they no longer offer any nursing programme.

 

5. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE NURSING EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THE PHASED OUT NURSING QUALIFICATIONS ONLY

Based on the content as set out under section 4 above, the SANC would like to notify all the Nursing Education Institutions that were previously accredited to only offer the phased out nursing programmes listed under 1.2 of this Circular of the following: 

5.1 The names of the affected NEIs will be reflected as ‘de-accredited’ in the SANC database.

5.2 These institutions must remove any reference to ‘accreditation by the South African Nursing Council (SANC)’ from all documentation, marketing/advertising material or displays containing such reference.

5.3 These institutions are free to apply to offer the HEQSF-aligned nursing qualifications. In order to be accredited as a Nursing Education Institution, each applicant must not only meet the Council’s requirements and any standards as may be determined from time to time, but all other requirements for the offering of such programmes as well.

 

6. IMPLEMENTATION

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

 

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

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(Signed)

Ms SA Mchunu
Registrar and CEO
South African Nursing Council

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