For over 20-years, Life Healthcare, a leading private hospital group has contributed to nurse education through accredited training programmes and upskilling of nurses through the Life College of Learning.
Globally, and nationally, nursing has been faced with a nursing skills shortage even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has only heightened the need for governments and healthcare stakeholders to address the shortage challenges that the healthcare industry is faced with worldwide.
The Life College of Learning’s 2020 and 2021 graduations were recently held via a virtual graduation event, where students were recognised for their resilience in adapting to uncomfortable and unknown environments at the onset of the pandemic.
“We are always extremely proud when our students graduate and we can empower them to step into the profession to provide high quality patient care. In particular, the 2020/21 900 graduates, had to manage with the academic calendar year being adjusted and had to adapt to the introduction of e-learning.
“Whilst we are pleased to have seen 900 students graduate recently, the challenge we face in South Africa is that we are not training as many nurses as the country requires to meet the needs of healthcare services”, says Dr Sharon Vasuthevan, Education Executive at Life Healthcare.
Dr Vasuthevan said that while both the public and private sector offer nursing education programmes, these are inadequate, and a major acceleration of training is needed at a national level to meet the healthcare demands of the country. “Currently we are limited with the number of students we can register in our programmes due to the introduction of the new qualifications.
“Registered and specialist nurses are in short supply and these categories are critical to the healthcare services and in meeting the needs of patients and communities, particularly even more so in a COVID-19 world. Upskilling and additional training is required”, she said.
The Life College of Learning offers South African Nursing Council (SANC) accredited programmes for approximately 30 students per programme at each of its five accredited learning centres, however, it has the capacity to double these numbers immediately and increase annually thereafter. It is also registered as a Private Higher Education Institution with the Department of Higher Education and Training and caters to several students from disadvantaged communities who are funded by Life Healthcare bursaries.
Life College of Learning will continue to register the maximum number of students it is permitted to according to the SANC and welcomes applications at any of the five accredited learning centres. Applications for 2023 open in June 2022 and prospective students should contact one of the five accredited Learning Centres for Life College of Learning for more information.
“We maintain an exceptional standard of nursing education where technology and innovation are pivotal to ensure clinical competency and outcomes. We see consistent and excellent results achieved in the examinations which reflect the professionalism of our educators, nursing staff and hospital management, and the quality of students accepted to the College”, added Dr Vasuthevan.
Anyone considering nursing as a career is encouraged to contact their nearest Life College of Learning centre to enquire about the nursing education programmes being offered, the acceptance criteria and the application process.