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SG Lourens Research Day reveals concerns over selection criteria and processes into a nursing course


SG Lourens Nursing College hosted its annual Research Day at the college in Pretoria on 9 May 2018, where presenters unveiled interesting findings of their research work.

Many academics, including students, lecturers, DENOSA, and representatives from the Department of Health in Gauteng attended the event.

One research work whose findings were somewhat concerning was done by Ms LP Luvhengo, on the Analysis of the selection criteria and processes into the Basic Nursing Diploma programme in the Gauteng Province, where 842 students and 300 nurse educators were targeted for the 2015 and 2016 period.

Some of the findings included that:

-        61% students said nursing was not an area of their intrinsic first choice interest and only 39% had nursing as their first choice career;

-        70% deemed Life Sciences not to be important as an entry requirement;

-        More than 80% students did not deem English proficiency as an important entry requirement;

-        Nurse educators have noted that students lack professionalism;

Some of the recommendations of the study are that:

-        The current selection criteria needs to be reviewed;

-        Tools should be developed for assessment of critical thinking and caring attributes of prospective nursing students.

-        Nursing values should be enforced early in the programme.

-        A provincial committee should be established to operationalise the proposed new framework. 

In her remarks about these findings, Professor T.E. Masango from UNISA said: "This, that there is lack of professionalism, breaks my heart. Why do we produce students who lack professionalism? I want to say, and this will make me unpopular, the reason we are losing the profession is because we have given it to the lowest quality leader, to people who are not nurses and who throw it from one pillar to the other.”

“Nursing used to be one of the most respected professions. I think we need to go back to the basics. Our profession is dying. Nurses will soon be replaced by community health workers, because they are well-behaving than us and it is cheaper to produce them. History will judge us as this generation harshly, that during our time, nursing crumbed!"