Let's Celebrate Nursing in Our Province
International Nurses' Day is celebrated around the world on 12 May every year and coincides with the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birthday. The Western Cape Government's Department of Health uses this day to celebrate the nursing profession and to recognise the importance of nursing professionals in the improvement of the province's health system.
This year's theme for International Nurses' Day is: "Closing the Gap: From Evidence to Action". The theme places emphasis on research and the discovery of new products, drugs, innovative healthcare strategies and application and sharing of knowledge within the health sector.
The Western Cape Department of Health will honour the excellent work and commitment of the nursing professionals in the province's public health facilities. Although various public health centres around the province will hold celebratory events, the main event will take place on Monday, 14 May, at Nelsons Creek Estate, Paarl.
Health Minister Theuns Botha said that maintaining skills and competency levels in a rapidly changing nursing profession remains a challenge.
"In the Western Cape, we have now reached a point where we have the required number of professional nurses. We need to focus on the continuous training of nurses so that we have a readily available pool of nurses to provide sustainable nursing services. This means that our immediate requirement is to train approximately 450 professional nurses increasing by 50 for every academic year, notwithstanding the number of students already in training," Minister Botha said.
Due to the ever-increasing demand for nursing professionals, the Western Cape Government has undertaken to incorporate six nursing schools housed at provincial hospitals as satellite campuses of the Western Cape College of Nursing.
"This means that the Worcester Hospital will become the Boland-Overberg satellite campus and George Hospital will become the Southern Cape-Karoo satellite campus and the same with the nursing schools at Beaufort West Hospital, Western Cape Rehab Centre, Groote Schuur and Tygerberg hospitals," said Minister Botha.
Are You Interested in Becoming a Nurse?
Read more about the nursing profession and where you can study.
What is Nursing?
Nursing is one of the oldest and most trusted professions in the world. It has over the years evolved to embrace more areas of healthcare other than the traditional forms of nursing. Delivering safe and quality healthcare and putting a patient's life first is the basic principle of the nursing profession.
What Do Nurses Do?
Modern day nursing professionals cover a variety of fields in the health sector and some of a nurse's daily duties may include:
- Perform physical examination on patients.
- Promote health education and counselling.
- Analyse patient health history and electronic graphics.
- Administer injections, care for wounds and perform several personal patient interventions.
- Interpret patient information and issue medication.
- Perform administrative duties working in collaboration with other health professionals such as doctors.
- Monitor healthcare trends and contribute towards improved practice research.
What Career Options Does Nursing Offer?
Healthcare has advanced to the extent that opportunities can be found in a variety of work environments other than hospitals and clinics. Places where nurses can be employed include:
- Schools and universities.
- Correctional facilities.
- Sporting events.
- Corporate companies.
- Shopping malls.
- Shelters for homeless persons.
- Recreational areas such as beaches.
- War zone camps and at sea.
What Do I Need to Do to Become a Nurse?
Nurses are some of the most needed professionals and an accredited post-matric qualification stands you a good chance of getting employed.
Where Can I Get Financial Assistance towards My Studies?
The Western Cape Department of Health offers a limited number of bursaries for full-time study each year. You can access more information on the Western Cape Government Health Bursaries page.
Where Can I Study Nursing in the Western Cape?
Some of the institutions where you can study to become a nurse include:
Western Cape College of Nursing
Tel: 021 684 1200
University of Stellenbosch
Faculty of Health Sciences
Tel: 021 938 9111
Web: Health Sciences
University of the Western Cape
The School of Nursing
Tel: 021 959 2911
How will I Know if an Institution is Accredited?
It is important that you register with an accredited institution in order to obtain an accredited qualification. To verify the accreditation status of an institution, you can contact any of the following:
South African Nursing Council
Telephone (Call Centre)
National: 012 420 1000
South African National Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
Tel: 012 431 5000
Fax: 012 431 5147