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SANC standpoint on Public Nursing
Colleges transition into Higher Education


  • To provide support for Public Nursing Colleges to ensure adequate, quality production and supply of nurses to address community needs.
  • To inform nursing education institutions and strategic stakeholders regarding the South African Nursing Council (SANC ) standpoint about Public Nursing Colleges in transitioning to Higher Education as per National Qualifications Framework Act, Act No.67 of 2008


  • Promote and maintain a high standard and quality of nursing and midwifery education and training;
  • Guide the production of sufficient numbers and the appropriate categories of nurses required to deliver healthcare services within the policy framework for the healthcare system.


  • The following pieces of legislation guide this standpoint.
  • Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act (No. 108 of 1996) bullet Higher Education Act (No.101 of 1997)
  • Higher Education Amendment Act (No. 39 of 2008)
  • National Qualifications Act (No.67 of 2008)
  • Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005)
  • Health Act (No. 63 of 2003)


  • SANC has the primary function of regulating education and training of nurses and midwives, therefore, SANC must drive the process of any changes to maximize compliance and adherence.
  • The primary aim of nursing education and training is to provide adequate numbers of competent, caring nurses to meet the health needs of the country.
  • The Department of Health has a responsibility to ensure that this primary aim is realized.
  • Sufficient well trained nurse educators are required in both the clinical and theoretical areas to support and teach nursing students to ensure integration of theory and practice
  • Nursing education and training must be harmonized with the service needs of the health services to ensure qualifications are commensurate with scopes of practice.
  • Nursing education must be in line with legislative requirements. 
  • The quality of the health facilities and the quality of supervision where students are placed for clinical learning opportunities has a profound impact on the quality of learning. The competence of trained nurses is therefore important for the provision of adequate health care and for teaching.
  • The current capacity and quality of nursing education institutions needs to be improved and monitored.
  • Aligning nursing education through re-engineering Primary Health Care ward-based training in order to strengthen Primary Health Care teams which comprise of Advanced Midwives, Paediatric Nurses, Primary Health Care Nurses and School Health Nurses. 

SANC shall continue supporting Public Nursing Colleges when working towards becoming Higher Education Institutions through improving on accreditation processes, provision of curriculum guidelines, nursing education and training standards, relevant regulations and scopes of practice.