147 Professional Nurses join the new Postgraduate Diploma programmes at the WCCN | Western Cape Government


147 Professional Nurses join the new Postgraduate Diploma programmes at the WCCN

13 March 2024

147 Professional Nurses join the new Postgraduate Diploma programmes at the Western Cape College of Nursing (WCCN) 

Yesterday, 12 March 2024, Western Cape Minister of Health and Wellness, Professor Nomafrench Mbombo, welcomed the nursing students of the various programmes at the Western Cape College of Nursing (WCCN) metro campus.

The WCCN welcomed the 147 professional nurses who are the first cohort of the Postgraduate Diploma (R635) programmes, which is not only a first for the WCCN but for a public nursing college in the country.

The WCCN has previously offered the Advanced Diploma in Midwifery (R1497) as a NQF Level 7 qualification, but the R635 programme is now accredited as a NQF Level 8 qualification.

Through approval from the South African Nursing Council (SANC) and Council on Higher Education (CHE), WCCN is now offering seven Postgraduate Diploma nursing specialty programmes namely: Perioperative Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Trauma and Emergency Nursing, Midwifery, Primary Care Nursing and Orthopedic Nursing. The graduates from these programmes will then be allowed to be registered as as a nurse or midwifery specialist.

In total, there are 1 036 students across the WCCN’s three campuses in their respective courses, of which 436 have been offered bursaries to study. 

One-Year Higher Certificate in Nursing (Code: R169)

This progamme allows an individual to register as an auxiliary nurse, and is a good entry point for those would like to work in the health sector and help people. Graduates in this course are able to study further in a Diploma in Nursing or Advanced Diploma in Midwifery.

Joining the programme was Ms Latita-lkamva Wright who said, “I’m looking forward to being the change in hospitals and helping to ensure that good quality healthcare is offered to patients and that all patients are treated equally. My journey so far has been nothing but adventurous and an eye opener. I have learnt the importance of teamwork and how to practice my passion of helping others. My aim is to be a nurse that will be able to encourage the youth and join the healthcare sector. 

Diploma in Nursing (Code: R171)

This is a three-year programme that allows one to register as a General Nurse upon graduation, in which you are required to complete both theory and clinical components every academic year.

Mr Xholani Manakaza, who had been an enrolled nursing assistant (ENA) for nine years before joining the R171 programme, said, “I am a young man from the Eastern Cape and have been in nursing for quite some time as an ENA. Nursing is my calling, as I have a desire to help the needy, relieve pain, promote life and comfort. These are the reasons as to why I chose the WCCN as the college that will make my dreams come true.” 

Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery (Code: R174)

Available only at the Metro Campus should one study through the WCCN, this course builds on from the R171 programme and allows graduates to qualified in a wider range of nursing care across the different healthcare settings. Once graduated, the students can register as Professional Nurses through SANC.

Speaking to the programme was Ms Salomie Mew, who is currently a second-year student, “At the Western Cape College of Nursing, academics in nursing provide students with the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities necessary to excel in the complex and demanding field of healthcare. Through rigorous academic study, future nurses learn about anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, ethics, research, and more, enabling them to understand the underlying principles of nursing practice and develop the expertise needed to deliver safe and effective care to patients.” 

Postgraduate Diploma Programmes (Code: R635)

The various programmes offered in the Postgraduate Diploma is specifically designed to fill the gaps in specialised nurses in the healthcare system in our country. Students wishing to apply are required to be a registered Professional Nurse.

Sr Sive Ningiza, a Postgraduate Diploma student in Primary Care Nursing, added that, “I am currently a professional nurse working in Scottsdene CDC and originally qualified in 2018 at the University of the Western Cape. This year I have started my Advanced Diploma in Primary Care Nursing at the WCCN and will register as a clinical nurse practitioner after completing this course. I am enjoying the course and am looking forward to how it will assist me in being able to manage all patients of all ages holistically.”

Minister Mbombo highlighted important role of the WCCN by saying that, “As you begin your academic journeys, you must make the most of every opportunity you are given in this institution. As nurses, no matter your discipline or specialty, we are the ones caring for patients at the most vulnerable times of their lives. Despite the many challenges that you will face in this career, my hope is that you may remain dedicated and persevere to offer your future patients the best quality of care.”