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High failure rate at nursing college

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There's great concern that the output within the institution was very poor

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CONCERN has been expressed at the high failure rate among student nurses at the Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College in Kimberley.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa)’s Northern Cape Student Movement said in a statement yesterday that it noted with great concern that the output within the institution was very poor.

The organisation blamed the non-provision of books before the start of the academic year, a lack of clinical support due to no clinical preceptors and no permanent accommodation that was conducive for learning.

The statement was issued following the organisation’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), held at Denosa’s offices recently.

“The student leadership in the Province, together with the national chairperson of Student Movement, Thabiso Molusi, deliberated and resolved on a number of issues faced by student nurses in the Province,” Dimpho Disipi, Student Movement provincial chairperson, said.

According to Disipi, the Province is still experiencing challenges regarding accommodation of student nurses.

“We acknowledge the effort made by the Department of Health in placing students in alternative temporary accommodation while the new nurses’ home is under construction.”

He added that some students were still having some problems, with, for example, food, safety and transport.

“The PEC also noted that students and educators at the Henrietta Stockdale Nursing College do not have a well-resourced library with current and sufficient literature and studying space to support their teaching and learning outcomes,” Disipi said.

“The simulations and skills laboratories are not sufficient and are not updated with relevant equipment to prepare students thoroughly for the clinical environment. These resources are a right to all role-players at the college and not a privilege.”.

He added that there was also a huge concern about the inconsistencies between the theoretical and clinical environment.

“The content provided to students in the classroom is not consistent with practices in the clinical area. Furthermore, nurse educators are not informed about the new policies and health programmes such as APH (Adult Primary Health).

“Students deserve properly designed learning programmes that are aligned to current policies and practices to ensure that newly-qualified nurses are fully capacitated.”

The student organisation also called for the department to support the development of in-service/skills developments training for nurse educators, preceptors and clinical supervisors on current and new health policies and programmes in the health system and to establish partnership with the trained experts.

“The status of the students in the Province has also not yet been declared, resulting in the misinterpretation that students may be used as workforce. This hampers their development and learning gets neglected in the process.”

It called for the return of the Persal system.

“The PEC also noted with concern that the college seems to be relaxed on the issue of the new qualifications. This raises the question about whether our institution is ready?”

It pointed out also that in terms of infrastructure and staffing, most of the lecturers only had a BSC degree in their possession, with only a few having a Masters qualification.