There is a serious shortage of professional nurses all over the world. Currently there is an estimated shortage of 30 000 professional and specialist nurses in South Africa. 50% of the nurses currently registered with the South African Nursing Council – SANC – are over the age of 50 and will be retiring within the next 10-15 years. We are losing 9,000 nurses annually due to retirement, emigration and death. The Nursing Education Institutions in SA presently only have capacity to train 3,000 nurses annually.
The growing nursing crisis in SA is complex, the cause of which can be traced back to decisions made regarding the training of nurses in 1995. Previously the nursing profession was considered a critical skill, the training of which was fully funded by Government. After 1995, everything changed!