Q: Is the romanticism of the past still present in nursing - nursing as a vocation vs a profession?

Q: Is the romanticism of the past still present in nursing - nursing as a vocation vs a profession?

A: Nursing is regarded as a fully fledged profession and a profession comes with its own responsibilities and criteria.

Among other things it is the establishment of self- regulation which, in this case, the South African Nursing Council is a typical example of self-regulation.

The issue of peer review which actually comes with aspects of sanction in cases of misconduct. A profession is also characterised by the profession setting its own professional standards

Q: What are the challenges facing nursing in South Africa?


A: Each and every nurse is expected to keep abreast with modern technology and most of the nurses make sure that they do so.

nAdvances in medicine

A: Our nurses are regarded as being among the best in the world because of their ability to adapt to advancement in medicine


A: The existing nursing qualifications were not aligned to South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) requirements. However the Nursing Council will ensure new nursing qualifications are aligned to SAQA and will meet service delivery needs.

nForeign-trained nurses

A: The education and training in South Africa stresses collaboration of theory and practice and is based on Primary Health Care Approach.

For a nurse to qualify for registration she or he should have met the requirement both of theory and practice.

Some of the challenges are that nurses who were trained in other countries expect to be registered in the same categories in our country but their clinical exposure does not meet our minimum requirements for registration and that, sometimes, becomes a problem for them to understand.

Q: If our nurses are good enough to be employed overseas, why is everybody complaining about the quality of nursing in the country?

A: The complaints result from different factors - overcrowding, lack of, or inadequate equipment, poor management, dilapidated health institutions and fewer good role models because they have left the nursing profession. Efforts are being made to make sure that the culture of professionalism is reinforced among the nurses. The South African Nursing Council participated in the Department of Health's initiative to develop the Nursing Strategy and will support the department in its implementation.

Q: What is the future of nursing and the opportunities for younger women in the profession?

A: The future of nursing is very bright especially with the improvement in the salary scales for nurses by government.

On a yearly basis nursing colleges receive thousands of applications but nursing colleges can only admit so many students at a time.

One of the challenging factors is that when training is done there should be adequate facilities for experiential learning (clinical training).

The Nursing Council will be implementing the new nursing qualifications which are in line with the South African Qualifications Authority Framework which will make it easy for portability of credits as well as applying Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

The nursing qualifications will be registered in the National Qualifications Framework.

We have seen an increase in nurses who are being trained in private nursing schools and are paying tuition in the region of R5000.

That is a sign that younger women are interested in the nursing profession.