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Student nurses start training

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The students were recruited from across the Province and will be equipped with the knowledge to join the nursing fraternity.

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NINETY nursing students will assist in the alleviation of the shortage of nursing staff currently being experienced in the Northern Cape.

This was the sentiment shared by the provincial Department of Health during the official welcoming of the students at the Office of the MEC in Kimberley yesterday.

The four-year training of the students commenced on July 1 this year.

Departmental spokesperson Lebogang Mahaja said the students were recruited from across the Province and will be equipped with the knowledge to join the nursing fraternity.

“The students will complete a Diploma in Nursing, including midwifery, community nursing and mental health nursing and 17 lecturers for clinical support.

“Currently, there are over 220 000 registered nurses of all categories practising in the country and of these 220 000 nurses, according to Nursing Council, 3 780 are registered in our Province. This means that a mere 1.7% of the nurses in the country are in the Northern Cape.

“The department currently employs about 1 546 professional nurses, 237 staff nurses and 859 nursing assistants – amounting to 2 642 nurses. That is not sufficient to be responsive to the needs of our communities in the Province,” said Mahaja.

The MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong, said that the department is in the process of establishing more nursing satellite campuses in the Province.

“Whilst the department accelerates the plans to establish nursing satellite campuses in Tshwaragano, Doctor Harry Surtie and De Aar hospitals, we are awaiting the accreditation by the South African Nursing Council.

“We had to be deliberate in ensuring that we begin to address the challenges that we face as a Province in regards to the shortage of nurses at our facilities. This is basically why we had to increase the numbers. We will also be having another intake in January 2019. We at this stage are still envisaging to stick to 60 but we are working on plans to see if we cannot sustain the 90.

“The department undertook a workshop on the Workload Indicators for Staffing Norms, also known as WISN, to indicate the needs and to close the gap on the approximately 1 700 nursing staff shortage in the Province,” Makatong said.