Investing in our Nurses’ future, to ensure ongoing quality health care provision | Western Cape Government



Investing in our Nurses’ future, to ensure ongoing quality health care provision

11 May 2023

Investing in our Nurses’ future, to ensure continued quality health care provision


Nurses remain at the core of health service delivery. On the occasion of the International Day of the Nurse (IND) on 12 May, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) has declared this year’s theme for IND “Our Nurses Our Future”.

The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness welcomes this emphasis, which is in line with our commitment to the development of the next generation of nurses.

In the Western Cape’s public health sector, 13 403 nurses continue to provide quality care to those in need – be it in a health facility, in someone’s home, in a mobile clinic, on a bus, walking door-to-door – these heroes should be celebrated, supported, and empowered as they are the first point of contact for many within the health system.

Provincial Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo added: "On behalf of the Western Cape Government, I want to thank all our nurses for their dedication towards their work. On a daily basis, our nurses are on the frontline of service delivery in our facilities and ensure that patients are well-cared for.”

“I am proud to celebrate this day which promotes and celebrates these excellent professionals in our healthcare sector. A health facility without a nurse is like a building without a foundation. From cradle to grave, nurses are always there for our patients. Let us spend today giving them the recognition they deserve."

The Department has invested heavily towards training of nurses in the province, implemented interventions to increase the supply of nurses such as establishing an integrated nurse-training framework, a coordinated clinical nurse-training platform and obtaining accreditation of additional nursing programmes.

We are proud that the Western Cape College of Nursing (WCCN) has received accreditation by the South African Nursing Council (SANC) and the Council on Higher Education (CHE) to offer  all-undergraduate nursing  programmes and seven (7) Post-Graduate Diplomas (PGD’s) to ensure continued upskilling and development of the heartbeat of our workforce. The WCCN is also the only public nursing college currently accredited by CHE and SANC to teach a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, which leads to registration as a Professional Nurse and Midwife. This year the College has 803 students from first to fourth year. The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness’ Provincial Nursing Strategy 2016-2030 places our nurses at the coalface of our healthcare-delivery system, which provides a blueprint for nursing as we move towards Healthcare 2030. The Department’s vision of Patient-Centred Care is closely related to the nursing philosophy of caring and compassion.

In realising the need to empower and upskill our nurses, the department has already invested in many interventions and initiatives aimed at improving skills, increasing the number of specialist trained nurses, and developing leadership capacity amongst nurses and nursing teams in the province. This strategy has been developed taking into consideration the changing landscape of nursing education and training that has an impact on health service delivery.

We are pleased that this year’s theme for IND directly links with the committed plans we have already started to put in place that ensures the continuous development and upskilling of our nurses as they are our future. A skilled workforce is a cornerstone of our journey towards universal health coverage.