A historical perspective : private nursing institutions in South Africa (1946–2006)
Kotze, Frederika Jacoba
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During the twentieth century, Nursing Education in South Africa was traditionally provided by the public sector and religious orders. Sr Henriëtta Stockdale played a major role in the development of nursing education and the governing thereof. In 1914, the establishment of the South African Trained Nurses’ Association (SATNA) marked the drive for an improved system of education for professional nurses. Medical practitioners and members of the Colonial Medical Council supported this initiative. The Provincial Medical Councils recommended a uniform system of education, to abolish the apprenticeship system of training and that students should be supernumerary. However, it was difficult to persuade authorities to accept the recommendations. The apprenticeship system prevailed, except for Groote Schuur Hospital where a block system was introduced (Searle, 1965b:287). Nursing training at university level has been advocated by SATNA since 1914. Due to financial responsibilities and the limited number of recruits that met the entry requirements of tertiary institutions, it was unsuccessful. Furthermore, university training of nurses restricted the placement of student nurses at large hospitals linked to universities. In 1933, the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand became the first two universities in South Africa to have nurses on campus (Potgieter, 1984:1). In 1916, the training of male nurses in the mining industry was allowed for the first time. All training interventions were funded by mining houses and could therefore be regarded as the first Private Nursing Education Institution (PNEI). In 1946, a small nursing school was established on the East Rand under the Simmer and Jack Native Hospital. The purpose was to train white male orderlies for medical stations at mines. This was the beginning of PNEI in South Africa. PNEI are still functioning presently. The role and contribution of these institutions to nursing education in South Africa are often ignored. The researcher strove to answer the following question: What is the history and development of PNEI and their contribution with regard to nursing education in South Africa from a historical perspective? The objectives of the study were to explore, describe and record the history of the development of PNEI and their contribution to nursing education in South Africa. The motivation for the private health care industry to embark on the establishment of Nursing Education Institution (NEI) was investigated and described. ix A qualitative research design and an explorative, descriptive, contextual, historical research approach were applied. Explorative research involves the exploration of the phenomenon to divulge its core components. A descriptive study design aimed to find more information on the topic within this particular field of study was also used. The topic and context of this study is PNEI in South Africa between 1946 and 2006. The purpose of the study is to preserve the history of the development and contribution of PNEI including Gold Fields Nursing College, Netcare Training Academy, Life Nursing College, Medi-Clinic Learning Centres and Gandhi Mandela Nursing Academy between 1946 and 2006. This research study is presented as a chronological narrative report (Objective 1). Data collection was done by individual oral history semi-structured interviews with information-rich individuals as well as document analysis. Oral history semi-structured interviews had been recorded after which each interview was transcribed verbatim. Data analysis was done by narrative and document analysis. Scientific rigour was ensured throughout the study. Objective 2 and Objective 3 were achieved through data collection and analysis. Recommendations based on the findings are made for nursing research, nursing education and nursing practice.
- Health Sciences