Nurse your career back to life


South Africa is in short supply of trained nurses and the government has been
calling on students who have a passion for serving others to join the ranks of health
care professionals. South African Nursing Council (SANC) Registrar and CEO, Mr
Tendani Mabuda shares his insights on this noble yet demanding profession.

Students who are keen on pursuing a nursing career need to be in possession of
a National Senior Certificate in order to enrol in the four year Bachelor or diploma
courses. Alternatively a grade 10 certificate will suffice for the auxiliary nursing and
enrolled nursing programmes which are one to two years respectively .

According to Mr Mabuda, there are no part-time study options for the basic
training courses, however part-time post registration and postgraduate nursing
programmes are available at certain institutions.

The cost of training will depend on the institute but Mr Mabuda encourages students
who don’t have the means to fund their studies, to apply for training in the provincial
colleges and department of health where they can receive a stipend or bursary.

Candidates should be prepared to work long hours once they enter the nursing
field. "A love for people, willingness to help and a passion for caring' are traits that
separate medical professionals from ordinary people, says Mr Mabuda.

Mr Mabuda explains that the medical industry is multifaceted and contains
varying levels of healthcare such as clinics, health centres, district or regional
hospitals as well as tertiary and academic institutions.

The career and employment options for prospective students include practicing
as a "general nurse or specialising in a number of nursing speciality fields such as
midwifery, psychiatry, intensive care, trauma nursing and paediatric nursing etc .'

He says that nurses can practice in any area on any level of healthcare, and are
only limited by their training and skills. Beyond the hospital environment nurses can
find other challenging employment opportunities in pharmaceutical companies,
medical aid schemes, occupational health and flight nursing.

He states that one of the biggest misconceptions is that "nurses are subservient
to doctors'. "The truth is nurses are independent practitioners who work with other
members of a multidisciplinary team including doctors. Nurse practitioners do not
work for doctors but work with doctors'.

Nursing is no longer seen as a "female only’ occupation and the stigma attached
to male nurses is slowly being shed. "Nursing is a profession for anyone with a
passion to nurse and currently more and more males across the country are joining
the medical profession in this role' asserts Mr Mabuda.

"Hard work, a passion for caring and an attitude of lifelong learning and professional
development' are the elements that medical professional must have in order to
succeed concludes Mr Mabuda.

The SANC website contains a list of approved nursing education institutions and
contact details.

Click here for the South African Nursing
Council website
to find an accredited nursing institution in your area.