Public Nursing Colleges

The situation with regard
to SA public nursing
May 2012
New Qualifications Framework for
Nursing in South Africa
 Three entry levels
 1 Year certificate to become a registered
assistant nurse
 3 year diploma to become a staff nurse
 4 year B degree to become a professional nurse
 All at Higher Education level (level 5 or above)
 Public Nursing Colleges currently train about 70%
of all nurses, including professional nurses
A Higher Education Institution
Higher Education Act 101 of 1997
 Any institution that provides higher education on a full-time,
part-time or distance basis and which is:
 Established or deemed to be established as a public higher education
institution under this Act;
 Declared as a public higher education institution under this Act; or
 Registered or conditionally registered as a private higher education institution
under this Act.
 Public higher education institution means any institution
that is established, deemed to be established or declared
as a public higher education institution under this act
 Higher education means all learning programmes leading
to qualifications higher than grade 12 or its equivalent in
terms of the NQF and includes tertiary education.
Rest of the Act
 Chapter 1: CHE
 Chapter 2: Public Higher Education Institutions
 Chapter 4: Governance of Public Higher Education
 Chapter 5: Funding of Public Higher Education
 Chapter 6: Independent assessors
 Chapter 7: Private Higher Education Institutions
 Chapter 8: General
 Chapter 9: Transitional and other arrangements
 Can provincial DOH Colleges of Nursing offer
Higher Education?
 Answer: In terms of a letter received from the CEO
of the CHE, they can
 But all their programmes have to be accredited by
the Higher Education Quality Committee.
Question 2
 Should the Nursing Colleges advocate declaration
as a Higher Education Institution?
 Implications:
 They will be funded by DHE&T according to the
current formula, which will be less than 50% of
what they receive currently
 There is little political will to do this
HE funding formula
University income
Student fees
T&L subsidy
So what is the way forward then?
 Colleges can stay as they are, where they are, but
apply for all their programmes to be accredited.
 Let us explore this option
Council for Higher Education HE
Quality Committee (HEQC)
 They do not accredit institutions, but only programmes.
 They are funded by the DHE&T
 Who will fund programme accreditation of nursing programmes?
Agricultural programme accreditation is funded by DAF.
 Application is made online, by the institution with two
 Institutional information
 Programme information
 The Criteria for Programme Accreditation is the foundational
 Process of approval for new programmes:
 Candidacy phase
 Accreditation phase
Candidacy phase
 An institution has to demonstrate, firstly, that it meets
the HEQC criteria for candidacy phase (input criteria)
or that it has the potential or capability to meet these
criteria in a stipulated period of time.
 The institution’s application should be based on a
critical self-evaluation of the new programme against
requirements of the HEQC programme input criteria.
 Secondly the institution should submit a plan for the
implementation of the new programme specifying
implementation steps (including time frames and
resource) and strategies to meet process, output and
impact criteria.
Outcomes and impact
Some major problems
 Colleges cannot have developmental funds –
something without which no modern HEI can exist.
 They do not control their own student fees.
 They do not have their own financial policies and
 Colleges have no independent HR policies
 A single discipline staff teaching (in B degree) in a
multidisciplinary programme.
 Can these problems be solved within provinces?
 Perhaps in some, but not everywhere.
 The majority has no provincial Acts to legitimize
 Is there another option?
 Agriculture is developing a national Act for
Agricultural Colleges
 This might be the way to go for nursing:
 A Public Nursing Colleges Act (PNC Act)
Arguments for and against a PNC
 It may be an acceptable political solution:
 The DOH get what they want – nursing stays in
 The DHE&T gets a legal way to not have to take
on a whole new sector.
 It allows issues in nursing colleges to be
addressed to improve control and quality
 External funding
 HR policies
If this is the solution, what is the
way forward?
 Objectives:
 1. Get support in principal
 2. Clarify process and timelines
 Targets:
 Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
 DOH and DHE&T
 Getting it approved by the sector
 Submitting it to DOH
Document for initial lobbying
 Set out legislative and practical problems
 Suggest the PNC Act as a possible solution
 Outline main principles of the Act
 Suggest a Task Team
 Suggest a timeline
 This is a period of intense activity which should be
planned carefully and executed with the support of
all Nursing Education Stakeholders

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