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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Diploma: Nursing 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
59236  National Diploma: Nursing 
ORIGINATOR ORIGINATING PROVIDER
SGB Nursing   
QUALITY ASSURING BODY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
The individual Quality Assuring Body for each Learning Programme recorded against this qualification is shown in the table at the end of this report.  The individual NQF Sub-framework for each Learning Programme recorded against this qualification is shown in the table at the end of the qualification report. 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Diploma  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Curative Health 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  286  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 0695/12  2012-07-01  2015-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2016-06-30   2020-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:

This qualification will enable the learner to function as a clinically focused, service orientated, independent registered staff nurse, who is able to render basic care to persons with stable and uncomplicated general health problems, as determined by the appropriate legislative framework (stable is defined as: situations in which the client's health status can be predicted or anticipated; and where interventions have predictable outcomes and/or a known level and range of negative outcomes).

The qualification will provide a basis for decision-making about what is within and beyond the defined scope of practice as well as understanding of the referral system in place for anything outside of the scope of practice. Recipients of this qualification will also be able to deal with specified emergencies beyond their scope in case of need. The qualifying learner will apply evidence-based nursing practice, which is based on research, or established practices that have proven to be effective both nationally and internationally within the profession.

On successful completion of this qualification, the learner is eligible for registration with the relevant statutory body as a Staff Nurse. Successful registration will license nurses to practice as a staff nurse as defined in the Nursing Act No.33 of 2005. [The Act defines a Staff Nurse as: "a person educated to practice basic nursing in the manner and to the level prescribed - according to relevant legislation and regulations"].

More specifically, the qualification aims to:
  • Produce high quality diplomates who are able to be competent nursing practitioners in a range of health service settings.
  • Provide diplomates with a range of skills, knowledge and attitudes that will enable them to make a meaningful and sustained contribution to health services.
  • Equip diplomates with a developed sense of equity, justice and service ethics that will ensure that they work in an accountable manner, irrespective of their chosen work place.
  • Offer a wide range of transferable skills for application in other professions, disciplines and general life. These include:
    > A methodical, solution-based approach to problem solving.
    > An empowerment strengths-based approach to personal development.
    > Competence in written and oral communication.
    > Capacity to assess and implement health and other policy.
    > Ability to plan, implement and manage projects of a varied nature.
    > An ability to work independently and as part of a team.

    As such, the qualification will also be valuable for those in the profession who may have been practising within the field, but without formal recognition for registration purposes.

    In particular, this qualification will be useful for:
  • Ancillary health workers, auxiliary nurses, and community health workers who wish to progress into nursing as a career.
  • Persons in Health and Allied Health Sciences who wish to change direction and move into nursing.
  • Those wishing to progress towards qualification as a Professional Nurse and beyond.

    This qualification articulates:
  • All competency requirements and outcomes (academic, specialist theory and practical/workplace experience) necessary to achieve professional registration.
  • The requirements and provisions of the Professional Body for Professional registration.
  • Designation/s that may be achieved.
  • The ongoing requirements (including the Code of Ethics and the requirement for Continuing Professional Development) for retention of registration, and the implications of non-compliance on use of the Professional Designation and right to practice and/or licence to practice.

    Recipients of this qualification will be able to:
  • Maintain professionalism in own practice of nursing.
  • Apply knowledge of biomedical, biotechnological and psychosocial sciences to the practice of nursing.
  • Develop, implement and evaluate population-based health care.
  • Assess, plan, implement and evaluate nursing care for individuals and groups with stable uncomplicated health problems based on thorough assessment.
  • Deliver nursing care to sick or disabled individuals and groups with stable uncomplicated health problems.
  • Promote rehabilitation of individuals and groups with disabilities.
  • Diagnose and treat minor ailments.
  • Deliver safe maternal care.
  • Manage a health care unit.
  • Utilise principles of science and methodology in investigating nursing and health related problems.

    Learners will function within the current scope of practice of the staff nurse as formulated by the relevant statutory council, in conjunction with the policies of the institutions of employment.

    Professionals carry out their duties:
  • As a member, or leader, of a team.
  • In accordance with the Professional Code of Ethics for Nurses.
  • In accordance with the provisions of the norms and standards for nursing.
  • By taking full responsibility for basic health care.

    Rationale:

    This qualification is intended to prepare the qualifying learner to meet the service delivery needs of the country. It is envisaged that the majority of the nursing learner population will access this qualification. Practice is focused on quality service delivery within a broad spectrum of health services.

    A significant report by Pick, Nevhutalu, Cornwall, and Masuku (2001, July) on the current situation of human resources in health in South Africa, outlines a background of extreme economic and health inequalities of the past, and describes the current landscape still characterised by complex distortions of supply, production, distribution, and development of health personnel.

    Pick et al (2001) found that there was considerable overlap of services in the primary health care package; seen as normal, but that some of the professional categories were not available at all points of Primary Health Care delivery. Nurses who had undergone no curative clinical care training provide primary clinical care for large sections of the population, while many health personnel currently provide many service components contained in the PHC package in contravention of their scopes of practice. Scopes often overlap, are too general, are not clearly defined, or are restrictive. The report strongly recommended that scopes of practice of different professionals be revised.

    The Report further identified a shortage of professionals - e.g. doctors, nurses, and therapists - mostly in the rural areas. To address these shortages the Report proposed that the scopes of practice of upper- and mid-level workers be redesigned to allow some tasks traditionally assigned to upper-level professionals to be given, with training and associated controls, to workers at a lower level.

    Striking inequalities were found between urban and rural facilities in the staffing of nurses. The Report further recommended that the scopes of practice of all categories of nurses be revised to ensure that all categories are able to progress to the next level in the nursing skill hierarchy.

    Based on the above findings, Pick et al (2001) then recommended that some of the tasks, traditionally provided by highly specialised professionals, be reassigned, with training and supervision, to workers at a different professional level.

    Extension of the tasks of the enrolled nurse is suggested as:
  • Health promotion.
  • Execution of nursing care plan.
  • Prevention of deformity.
  • Monitoring of vital signs.
  • Monitoring of reactions to disease, stress, anxiety, medication and treatment.
  • Promotion of health and family planning.
  • Basic optometry and oral health checks.
  • Immunisation.
  • Administering prescribed medicine.
  • Services for children under 15 years of age.
  • Reproductive and other women's health care services.

    The Act No.33 of 2005, passed in May 2006, makes reference to four categories of nurses and also outlines the scope of practice.

    This qualification, one of those categories, is intended for the majority of those nurses in, or wishing to enter the profession, because it meets the minimum requirements for registration as a Staff Nurse. The intention behind the qualification is to create a mid-level practitioner to practice nursing, by far the highest demand category for the existing and projected needs in health service delivery to the community.

    Nurses in this category will assume responsibility for the broad scope of health service delivery. It is a more comprehensive qualification than existing qualifications, and upgrades current requirements to meet the new scope of practice for the Nursing Profession, and align emerging practitioners to the health delivery needs of the country. Nurses receiving this qualification will be competent to practice in all contexts, and will no longer be bound by old distinctions between regional and area hospitals. The focus of the qualification is on providing a broad range of maintenance skills rather than dealing with complications of serious illnesses. Qualified persons will plan for basic health care, and carry through the planning of professional nurses.

    The qualification is intended to focus on practice rather than academic routes and provides for high quality learning opportunities with a focus on nursing practice. It replaces the old NQF Level 4 qualification - in line with the increased demands placed on the nursing profession in the new health care system - but also allows for more rapid entrance into practice.

    The qualification is unit standard based to provide clear indications of how the new qualification links to the revised scope of practice for the profession, and to facilitate the upgrade of existing practitioners. It is further intended to assist in bringing coherence to training provision by providing clearly defined outcomes of learning, and a single standard for the sector. This will make it possible for quality assurance bodies to challenge quality of training provision, and assist training providers in their re-curriculation processes towards the new requirements. The unit standards will also allow for recognition of incremental learning through RPL processes; where the scope has changed, it is easy for currently registered nurses to identify new requirements. The qualification and its unit standards will further facilitate ongoing professional development.

    The qualification is intended to promote higher-level cognitive thinking skills. Unit standards assist in clearly demarcating areas for experiential learning (vs. theoretical) - to meet requirements for registration. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Successful completion of a Grade 12 certificate or recognised equivalent qualification.
  • Communication skills at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematical literacy at NQF Level 4.
  • Computer literacy at NQF Level 3.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    Learners may provide evidence of prior learning for which they may receive credit towards the qualification by means of portfolios, other forms of appropriate evidence and/or challenge examinations, as agreed to between the relevant provider and relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA.

    RPL is particularly important, as there are people in the profession with a variety of qualifications of differing quality and scope. It is important that an RPL process be available to assist in making sense of existing qualifications, and helping to standardise qualifications around a common standard. A related issue is that the nursing profession is facing a new scope of practice, based on international standards. It is essential that existing qualifications and all new provisions are aligned to the new scope of practice, and the vision for health care in South Africa.

    A further consideration is that there is a big change in the needs of the community that nurses have to serve; this partly explains the 'migration' amongst practitioners to other qualifications. Nurses are finding that their existing qualifications do not meet emerging needs or requirements, and they move to another to meet those needs.

    Nursing has historically provided an access to learning for people without education. People have gained entry into nursing through different routes (usually via auxiliary and ancillary health). There are increased numbers of people wanting to access higher education, and RPL will assist in formalising what exists and providing access to learning pathways.

    There are also existing staff nurses (those qualified under single bridging courses - the old course was a 2 year qualification that allowed 'enrolled nurses' to become registered nurses); as well as currently enrolled nurses. There are gaps between old qualifications and the requirements of the new scope of practice, and a consequent need to upgrade qualifications. RPL is seen as vitally important in every case to given recognition to learning already in place, making sense of the plethora of different levels and standards in the field, and providing a means for all to gain access to, and progress within, a common learning pathway for the profession.

    Access to the Qualification:

    In terms of current relevant legislation:
  • Learners are required to be registered with the relevant statutory health council as learners for the duration of the period of learning.
  • Learners must have access to clinical facilities of health service providers that are accredited by the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA for the practical component.
  • Clinical and work-based experiences must comply with the current regulations of the relevant statutory health council. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    Nursing training is based on an assumption of 1540 hours of learning per annum - (35 hours per week for duration of 44 weeks).

    In order to be credited with this qualification, learners are required to achieve a minimum of 286 credits - to be compiled as follows:
  • Fundamental: All 6 Fundamental component credits are compulsory.
  • Core: All 270 Core component credits are compulsory.
  • Elective: At least 10 Elective component credits must be attained to complete the qualification. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Communicate in a helping manner.

    2. Maintain professionalism in own practice of nursing.

    3. Apply knowledge of biomedical, biotechnological and psychosocial sciences to the practice of nursing.

    4. Develop, implement and evaluate population-based health care.

    5. Assess, plan, implement and evaluate nursing care for individuals and groups with stable uncomplicated health problems based on thorough assessment.

    6. Deliver nursing care to sick or disabled individuals and groups with stable uncomplicated health problems.

    7. Promote rehabilitation of individuals and groups with disabilities.

    8. Deliver safe maternal care.

    9. Manage a health care unit.

    10. Utilise principles of science and methodology in investigating nursing and health related problems.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    This qualification addresses the following critical cross-field outcomes, as detailed in the associated unit standards:
  • Identifying and solving problems in which responses indicate that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made.
  • Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information.
  • Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral/written persuasion.
  • Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Demonstrating and understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Learning programmes directed towards this qualification will also contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large, by making individuals aware of the importance of:
  • Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively.
  • Participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities.
  • Being culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts.
  • Exploring education and career opportunities; and developing entrepreneurial opportunities. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:

    1.1 Communication is supportive of patients' needs, and deals sensitively with diversity in all respects, and for all contexts.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 Practice is applied consistently in a manner that reflects a clear understanding and interpretation of the requirements of SA Nursing and Health Care legislation.
    2.2 Ethical codes, professional accountability and responsibility, and standards for the practice of nursing are interpreted and applied consistently in line with their spirit and intent.
    2.3 Own personal development and management maintains emotional balance, and promotes effective and professional service delivery.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 Knowledge of applied psychology and sociology is applied in ways, which benefit the level and quality of health care delivery to patients.
    3.2 Knowledge of anatomy, micro-organisms and physiology meets requirements for professional health care, and promotes effective health care delivery.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 Health care provided is appropriate to the particular context, and based on proper health assessment.
    4.2 Community involvement in health care is promoted through information sharing, and contact, which promotes ongoing collaboration with the community or group.
    4.3 Community health assessments assist in prioritising community needs and reporting findings for effective health care delivery.
    4.4 Counselling, where required, is supportive of a range of different needs, including needs of those affected by abuse, neglect, or violence.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:

    5.1 Planning and provision for health care is based on sound assessment, and informed decision making. Planning is inclusive of the patient and other key stakeholders.
    5.2 Nursing care is implemented in an integrated manner, according to plans.
    5.3 Health care status of individuals, groups and/or communities identifies changes in general status in time to implement preventive or corrective measures in the interests of general well being.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:

    6.1 Nursing care delivered provides the necessary physical and psychological care and support for long term and or terminally ill patients, in line with the accepted scope of practice for nursing.
    6.2 Support provided to patients recovering from acute illness prepares them for discharge in ways that enable the patient, family and significant others to cope with the management of the patient at home.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:

    7.1 Goals set are realistic in terms of functional ability and possible barriers to rehabilitation.
    7.2 Assistance provided to the client identifies indicators of relapse or complications and ways of preventing these.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:

    8.1 Care delivered is integrated and provides for the long-term wellbeing of mother and child, in line with the accepted scope of practice for nursing.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 9:

    9.1 Management activities are directed towards the establishment of a team approach to health care, and the effective delivery of services within a physically safe and emotionally supportive environment.
    9.2 Pharmacological preparations and treatment are managed in ways that ensure the correct storage of drugs, and the correct preparation and administration of pharmacological treatment.
    9.3 Assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation is documented accurately and timeously, and promotes effective service delivery as well as security and confidentiality of information.
    9.4 Standards set for unit health care delivery are monitored regularly, and information gathered identified areas for improvement on an ongoing basis.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 10:

    10.1 Technology is used in ways that facilitate the effective diagnosis and treatment of hearing and breathing related conditions.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Evidence of integration will be required as per the following broad criteria, all within the context of an active learning environment. The guidelines of the relevant statutory health council are used as a reference for clinical competence.

    Assessment should take place within the context of:
  • Given Quality Assurance policies, procedures and processes.
  • A guided and supported learning environment.

    Assessment will take place according to the detailed specifications indicated in the unit standards associated with each exit level outcome (see "associated unit standards" above).

    Over and above the achievement of the specified unit standards, evidence of integration will be required as per the following broad criteria, all within the context of an active learning environment.

    Assessors should note that the evidence of integration could well be presented by candidates when being assessed against the unit standards - thus there should not necessarily be separate assessments for each unit standard and then further assessment for integration. Well designed assessments should make it possible to gain evidence against each unit standard while at the same time gain evidence of integration.

    Formative assessment:

    Throughout the qualification programme formative assessment strategies are used to ensure that exit level and critical cross-field outcomes are achieved and include:
  • Written assignments.
  • Tests (or examination equivalent tests).
  • Projects.
  • Demonstrations.
  • Clinical Assessments.

    And/or any applicable method, including evidence of involvement in a research project.

    Summative assessment:

    Can take the form of:
  • Oral.
  • Written.
  • Practical examinations.

    As agreed to by the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    South Africa is an active member of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), member of the African Union (AU), formerly the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth. The proposed qualification would meet recognition requirements in most of the member countries of these organisations and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Comparison of Qualifications:

    In recognition of the reality of globalisation of nursing and nursing personnel, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) (2001) recommended "global" competencies for the generalist nurse. The ICN defined the generalist nurse as:

    "A person who has completed a programme of basic nursing education and is qualified in her/his country to practice nursing. The educational programme prepares the nurse, through study of behavioural, life and nursing sciences and clinical experience, for effective practice and direction of nursing care, and for the leadership role. The first level (generalist) nurse is responsible for planning, providing and evaluating nursing care in all settings for the promotion of health, prevention of illness, care of the sick and rehabilitation; and functions as a member of a health team" (ICN, 200, p. 2).

    The ICN further differentiates between what they refer to as a first and a second level nurse. The first level nurse refers to the generalist nurse or the equivalent of a professional nurse in current SA terms. The second level nurse on the other hand refers to a nurse who has completed a programme of study including "nursing theory and clinical practice" (p. 2) in preparation for practising nursing under the supervision of the first level nurse. This would be the equivalent of either the enrolled and nurse or the enrolled nursing assistant in SA terms.

    The Role of the Generalist Nurse:

    The role includes: "Promotion of health, and prevention of illness of individuals of all ages, families and communities; planning and management of care if individuals of all ages, families and communities with physical or mental illness, disabilities or rehabilitation needs in institutional and community settings and care at the end-stage of life" (p. 3).

    Competencies of the Generalist Nurse:

    The ICN defined competence as: "a level of performance demonstrating the effective application of knowledge, skill and judgment" (1997, 44; 2001, p. 3). Three broad categories of competencies are identified. These include:
  • Professional, ethical and legal competence.
  • Care provision and management.
  • Professional development.

    The World Health Organisation (1987) on the other hand has placed emphasis on the issues surrounding the relevance of the education of health professionals. The basic premise on which the WHO's recommendations are based is that effective education of health professionals must produce health professionals who are "responsive to needs to the needs of the populations they serve, in order to achieve the goal of health for all" (WHO, 1987, p. 5), and that such an education should be "based largely in the community, or in any of a variety of health service settings" (p. 5). In this regard, the WHO recommends that education of health professionals be community-based. The WHO views community-based education as "consisting of learning activities that use the community extensively as a learning environment".

    Required Competencies of Graduates of Community Based Education Programmes:

    The WHO work study group on community-based education classifies competencies of graduates of CBE programmes into:
  • General competencies for all Health Professionals:
    All health professionals should be able to:

    > Respond to health needs and expressed demands of the community by working with the community, in order to stimulate self-care and a healthy life-style.
    > Educate both the community and their co-workers.
    > Solve or stimulate action for the solution of both individual and community health problems.
    > Direct their own and community efforts towards the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, unnecessary suffering, disability and avoidance of death.
    > Work as members of health teams and with other health other health teams.
    > Act as leaders of such teams when necessary.
    > Continue to learn throughout their working experience, in order to maintain and improve personal competence.
  • Professional functions:

    Include the following:
  • Provision of preventive care.
  • Provision of curative care.
  • Health education of the population.
  • Management of services.
  • Participation in health team work.
  • Training other members of the health team.
  • Participation in research activities.
  • Collaboration with other sectors involved in community development.
  • Finding solutions to unfamiliar problems.
  • Self-assessment and the continuous development of personal professional skills.

    The proposed National Diploma: Nursing NQF Level 5 compares with the ICN requirements in the relevant categories of professional nurses.

    Scope of Practice:

    In developing the scope of practice for nursing in South Africa, the South African Nursing Council (SANC) looked at all the countries where SA Nurses can register. In particular, models were examined for New Zealand, Canada, New Mexico, United Kingdom (UK), and ECSACON (East Central Southern Africa College of Nursing) - which attempts to provide a professional regulatory framework; attempt to benchmark all educational standards for the region.

    The scope of practice for nurses in South Africa is based on guidelines produced by the International Council of Nurses (which provides the guidelines and/or competency framework for most countries), as well as the results of research into the countries and regions described above.

    The Review:

    The Review of the Scope of Practice of Nursing and the profession of nursing began in 1999 when the South African Nursing Council prioritised the need to revise the scope of practice. The factors that influenced the review of the scope of practice was a changing health care system identified in the White Paper for the Transformation of Health and the changes in education system brought about by the National Qualifications Framework and the South African Qualifications Act.

    The purpose of the review is to align the practice of nursing to the changes in the national health policy and the legislative framework. Purpose includes:
  • Ensure that nursing practice is in keeping with and is responsive to a changing health care delivery system.
  • Develop a scope for nursing practice that is informed by the core competencies required for nursing practice.
  • Review the scope applicable to different categories of nurse to ensure that each category of nurse is enabled to practice independently within their scope.
  • The new scope of practice and the competencies required for nursing practice will then inform the education and training of nurses required for such practice. This will assist in facilitating the development of a framework for a single unitary education pathway for nursing qualifications that is in line with the principles of the National Qualifications Framework.

    Challenges facing Nursing Education:

    The changes in both the health care system and the education system has created numerous challenges for nursing education and training and some of these challenges are:
  • Promoting and maintaining a caring ethos within the nursing profession.
  • Ensuring National Health Priorities are addressed in all nursing education programmes.
  • Creation of a cadre of nurses who are lifelong learners and critical thinkers.
  • Promote the ability in every nurse to evaluate and assure quality in this/her practice.
  • Access to Nursing Education by learners is limited due to the slow implementation of the National Qualifications Framework in the Health Sector.
  • Selection and recruitment criteria in many instances remain restrictive limiting access to nursing qualifications.
  • The distinct nursing qualifications for each category of nurse is not in keeping with the NQF principles and thereby limiting access to higher education training opportunities for existing enrolled & auxiliary nurses.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) as a selection criterion is not widely applied because RPL assessment is complex, costly and there is a general lack of knowledge on how to give recognition to prior learning.

    Challenges facing the Profession:

    South Africa requires nurses that are comprehensively trained to provide nursing care in various contexts (Primary health care, institutional/hospitals, midwifery and mental health settings) and in both rural and urban setting. Comprehensive training does not imply or focus on attaining separate qualifications but rather on the ability to integrate knowledge and skills for the provision of comprehensive nursing care. Each category of nurse will be an independent practitioner in accordance with their scope of practice and the level of training and competence attained.

    The Scope, and a Competency Framework:

    The revised scope of practice focuses on outlining the practice of the three basic categories of nurses. Education and training of nurses will be informed by the scope of practice and the competencies required for nursing practice, as defined in this qualification (and three others). Where the scope of practice for current categories of nurses is expanded, training to upgrade the skills and competencies will be required.

    Each category of nurse is defined and a clear distinction in terms of the practice is made. The scope distinguishes between different areas of practice viz. clinical, ethical and professional and quality of practice. The scope of practice is supported by a competency framework for the profession of nursing. The competency framework provides detailed for and supports an outcomes based approach to nursing education and training.

    The scope is outlined:

    Definitions:

    A staff nurse is a person who:
  • Is educated and competent to practise basic nursing.
  • Assumes responsibility and accountability for independent decision making in such practice.
  • Is registered and licensed as a staff nurse under the Nursing Act.

    Scope of Practice:

    The scope of the staff nurse is to provide basic nursing care, which entails:
  • The provision of basic nursing care and treatment of persons with stable and uncomplicated health conditions in all settings.
  • Basic Emergency care.
  • Assessing and developing a plan of nursing care for persons with stable and uncomplicated health conditions.
  • Taking responsibility for the nursing care of persons whose health condition is stable and uncomplicated in a unit of an overall health facility or service.
  • A staff nurse may not take responsibility and accountability for managing nursing care in a health facility or service.
  • A staff nurse may provide nursing care and treatment to persons who have complicated health problems or are in an unstable condition under the supervision of a professional nurse.

    Scope of Professional and Ethical Practice:

    The Professional and Ethical practice of a Staff Nurse requires a practitioner to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of laws and regulations relevant to the practice of the staff nurse.
  • Practise as a staff nurse in accordance with the laws and regulations relevant to nursing and health care in South Africa.
  • Protect and advocate for the rights of individuals and groups in relation to health care.
  • Practise nursing in accordance with the standards and ethical code set by the profession.
  • Understand and accept accountability and responsibility for his/her own nursing actions and omissions within the relevant legal and ethical parameters.

    Scope of Clinical Practice:

    The clinical practice of a staff nurse is to provide basic nursing care for the treatment and rehabilitation of common health problems for individuals and groups. Such practice requires a practitioner to:
  • Assess and screen the health status through basic observation interaction and measurement.
  • Interpret data and diagnose basic nursing needs.
  • Develop nursing care plan to meet basic health care needs/nursing needs.
  • Take responsibility for the implementation of the care plan he/she developed.
  • Manage all aspects of delegated nursing care.
  • Timeous referral and appropriate consultation with a professional nurse or midwife.
  • Promote health through the provision of relevant information.
  • Maintain continuity of care through reporting and communication to care givers and members of the health care team.
  • Evaluate health care user's progress towards expected outcomes and revise the nursing plan of care in accordance with observation data.
  • Create and maintain an accurate record of nursing intervention.
  • Establish and promote a supportive and helping relationship with health care user.
  • Maintain an environment that promotes safety, security and respect of the health care user.
  • Maintain a safe environment for nursing care.
  • Advocate for the rights of health care users.
  • Promote health care user participation in health care and empowers them towards self reliance.
  • Demonstrate and maintain clinical competence to ensure safe practice as a staff nurse.

    Quality of Practice:

    The quality of nursing practice of a staff nurse is to:
  • Participate in the maintenance of set standards to improve the quality of nursing care.
  • Utilize learning opportunities to improve own nursing practice.
  • Continuously review own performance against nursing standards.

    Conclusion:

    An examination of the Scope of Practice, as well as those in operations in ICN signatory countries, clearly indicates the alignment of this proposed qualification with international practice. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification - National Diploma: Nursing - articulates with the Professional Degree in nursing at NQF Level 7, or any other bachelor's degree in the health and social sciences as determined by the provider.

    The following diagram shows the location of this qualification in terms of other possible qualifications within the field:
  • Level 1: GETC: Ancillary Health.
  • Level 2: NC: Fundamental Ancillary Health.
  • Level 3: NC: Auxiliary Nursing; NC: Community Health Work; NC: Health Sciences and Social Services.
  • Level 4: FETC: Nursing; FETC: Community Health Work; NC: Health Sciences and Social Services.
  • Level 5: Diploma: Nursing: Mental Health; Diploma: Nursing: Community Health; NC: Community Health Facilitator Training.
  • Level 7: B: Nursing; Social sciences (social work; health/social services; C&YCW; Probation).
  • Level 8: Masters: Nursing (PD prepares learners for Masters).
  • Level 8 and above: PhD: Nursing.

    Horizontal Articulation:

    Learners can move into a number of related areas in health and allied health sciences, as well as research, education and nursing management, by achieving the credits specified in each qualification, mainly related to specialisation areas particular to each sub-field.

    Vertical Articulation:

    Learners can move vertically by using this qualification as the basis for any of the qualifications indicated above NQF Level 5. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Providers offering learning towards this qualification or the component unit standards must be accredited by the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA, according to moderation principles and the agreed ETQA procedures.
  • Internal and external moderation must be conducted by moderators appointed by the provider and accredited through the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA.
  • Both internal and external moderators must be in possession of an appropriate qualification at an NQF Level above this qualification, as well as relevant clinical expertise and current experience. In addition external moderation will be conducted by the relevant ETQA for nursing and midwifery. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
  • An Assessor must be a person currently registered with the relevant statutory health council as a professional nurse and midwife, as determined by the particular exit level outcome. In addition, Assessors must have appropriate clinical expertise and/or a relevant qualification at an NQF Level above this qualification. 

  • NOTES 
    As per the SAQA decision, after consultation with the Quality Councils, to re-register all qualifications and part qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework that meet the criteria for re-registration, this qualification has been re-registered from 1 July 2012.
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  252082  Carry out a health assessment of an individual of any age group  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252112  Demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy and bio-physical functioning of the human body  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
    Core  252110  Demonstrate knowledge of the structure and biology of micro organisms as it applies to clinical practice  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Core  252113  Develop and apply strategies to cope with the emotional demands of nursing situations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252089  Ensure child and adolescent-friendly health and nursing care  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252107  Facilitate community stakeholder involvement in promoting and maintaining health  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252093  Implement and evaluate planned nursing care to achieve identified patient outcomes  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  16 
    Core  252105  Lead and participate in team approaches to health care  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252092  Manage a community health intervention  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252095  Monitor and stimulate the growth and development of a child and/or adolescent  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  252080  Practice in accordance with ethical and legal codes of nursing and the laws of the country  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252099  Provide nursing care to a terminally ill patient and support to the family  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252102  Share information to promote effective decision making in health care  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252101  Create and maintain a safe physical and emotionally supportive environment in a health care unit  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
    Core  252106  Demonstrate knowledge of applied psychology in the care of health care users  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  12 
    Core  252103  Demonstrate knowledge of applied sociology in the care of patients  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  12 
    Core  252109  Demonstrate knowledge of the physiology and biochemical functioning of all body systems  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  20 
    Core  252100  Develop a care plan in collaboration with patients and/or carers  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  10 
    Core  252091  Maintain optimum health of the pregnant woman and the family  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  12 
    Core  252081  Manage childhood illnesses in an integrated manner  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
    Core  252097  Manage individuals and groups with communicable diseases  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  14 
    Core  252111  Manage minor ailments and common illnesses  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  16 
    Core  252087  Manage pharmacological preparations and treatment  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
    Core  252096  Manage rehabilitation  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
    Core  252108  Provide nursing care to individuals with long term illness  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
    Core  252085  Provide postpartum care to the mother and neonate  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  12 
    Core  252088  Respond to physical and psychological emergency situations  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  10 
    Core  252083  Utilise relevant legislation, regulations and policy in planning in a health care unit  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
    Core  252094  Organise, co-ordinate and review the activities of a health care unit  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7 
    Fundamental  252098  Use communication skills to establish and maintain supportive relationships  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  252125  Perform a spirometry screening test in an occupational setting  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  252126  Perform an audiometric screening test in an occupational setting  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  252086  Develop, maintain and manage an effective information management system for nursing practice  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7 
    Elective  252090  Maintain physical and psychological comfort in acute and/or chronically ill patients, and significant others  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7  11 
    Elective  252084  Manage the provision of quality nursing care in a cost effective manner  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7 
    Elective  252104  Prepare the patient who has recovered from an acute illness for discharge  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7 
    Elective  244229  Provide counselling and intervention for people affected by abuse, neglect, or violence  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7  15 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    LP ID Learning Programme Title Provider Pre-2009
    NQF Level
    NQF Level Min Credits Learning Prog End Date Quality
    Assuring
    Body
    NQF Sub-Framework
    71712  National Diploma: Nursing  Medi-Clinic  Level 5  Level N/A: Pre-2009 was L5  286     CHE  HEQSF 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THESE LEARNING PROGRAMMES: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Quality Assuring Bodies have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Quality Assuring Body should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    LP ID Learning Programme Title Accredited Provider
    71712  National Diploma: Nursing  Medi-Clinic  



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