THE Health Department is finalising a comprehensive audit of public and private nursing colleges and schools in the country, including schools of nursing in higher education institutions, according to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
In reply to a parliamentary question by Donald Lee of the DA, he said the findings would be available "after May 2010".
The audit was intended to obtain a comprehensive picture of the status and condition of infrastructure at these facilities, the student nurse enrolment figures, the number of qualifications of nursing educators, as well as programmes offered by the institutions.
The data would be used as a basis for developing a national nursing college revitalisation plan and to mobilise resources to revitalise the nursing colleges on a sustained basis, Motsoaledi said.
Lee also wanted to know whether any new nursing colleges or previously closed colleges would be opened or reopened.
Motsoaledi said an earlier announcement on reopening nursing colleges was one of the key drivers for developing interventions designed to increase the number of nurses in the country.
He said it should be noted that the number of individual nursing colleges dropped over the years because of an amalgamation of small nursing colleges into multi-campuses, largely to strengthen their governance and administration.
Most of the colleges therefore remained as campuses/sub-campuses after the amalgamation.
For instance in Limpopo, the Gazankulu, Venda and Lebowa nursing colleges were amalgamated into the Limpopo Nursing College, based in Polokwane. Gazankulu (Giyani), Venda and Lebowa (Mankweng) remained as campuses of the college.
In Limpopo two additional campuses had been established to serve the Sekhukhune and Waterberg districts.
Altogether the campuses would have a student enrolment of 500 with the first students envisaged to be admitted in 2011.
In the Eastern Cape two sub-campuses at Dora Nginza and Cacadu were in the process of being established to feed the Port Elizabeth campus under Lilitha College.
The sub-campus would admit 40 students per intake three times a year. The first students were expected to be admitted in 2011.
In the Western Cape a nursing campus in the Boland-Overberg was opened in 2008/09 under the Western Cape College of Nursing.
Plans were under way to open another nursing campus in the Southern Cape Karoo this year. The student admission per campus was 80 to 100 per intake.
In Mpumalanga processes were under way to open a new nursing campus under the Mpumalanga Nursing College at Marapyane in Nkangala district.
It was expected that the campus would start operating in the 2010/11 financial year and would accommodate 50 students per intake.
In Gauteng two nursing campuses had been opened under the Chris Hani Nursing College. The campuses had been admitting students from last year and their student capacity was 500 and 450 respectively. - Sapa