Innovative education strategies implemented for large numbers of undergraduate nursing students: the case of one South African university nursing department
Bimray, Portia B.
Le Roux, Loretta
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The nurse education and training landscape in South Africa has changed in different ways over the past century, with the result that education and training of nurses does not necessarily translate into an adequate supply of professional nurses for the health care service. Today there is a shortage in this category. Factors which contribute to this shortage include nurses moving from the public to the private sector due to perceived better conditions of service, migration, burden of disease, reduction in bed occupancy and an ageing nurse population. Many professional nurses are now reaching retirement, and it is imperative that the training and supply of young professional nurses for the country be reconsidered in the light of this. According to Pillay, the majority of nurses’ training begins in the public sector and their knowledge is grounded on this experience. When sufficient experience is gained, they seek out better opportunities in the private sector and migrate to the more developed countries. This loss of experience from the public sector impacts negatively on the capacity to mentor new graduates, which in turn results in the young, professional, trained nurses seeking better opportunities with organizations where they can develop further. The net result of this is that the public sector is left with overworked, older staff who are on the verge of retirement.