An investigation into the new graduate nurses’ care and management of patients with HIV and AIDS in two provinces of South Africa
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The Human Immunodeficiency (HIV) epidemic has been around for more than three decades and South Africa has more people living with HIV infection than any other country in Africa. Since nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system, they are the most involved in providing healthcare services to people living with HIV. For this reason, their training is expected to equip and enable them to function as soon as they have graduated, congruent to the expectations of the employers. This research investigates how new graduate nurses provide care and management for HIV and AIDS patients in South Africa while emphasising the reported weaknesses in this care. Individual interviews were conducted with 17 participants who included recent graduates, nurse educators, nurses in practice, members of the nursing governing body, and persons living with HIV. The data were analysed by using a deductive thematic content analysis. Shortcomings were reported relating to aspects required by nurses for HIV and AIDS care and management; including areas such as knowledge, holistic safe practice, and policy. The identified shortcomings should be included in the nurses’ pre-service training with the purpose of comprehensively preparing graduates to provide effective care and management for HIV patients and to respond to HIV/AIDS healthcare needs which is a national priority.