Academic support for enrolled nursing auxiliaries following the adoption of the National Qualifications Framework
Titus, Tebogo Baipidi Auditte
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Background: The study focused on the changes of nursing education in South Africa, which was aligned to the international standards post 1994. The results were that nursing education and training would then be incorporated into the Department of Higher Education since the National Qualifications Framework classified the levels of education from level (1) one to ten. Unfortunately, the Department of Higher Education in South Africa had its entry level at level (5) five, above that of the current enrolled nursing auxiliaries who are the lowest category in the hierarchy of nursing. Therefore, this higher education framework excludes the enrolled nursing auxiliaries, as they are classified as level (3) three. Certainly, these para-professionals will remain excluded in the higher education band and will need academic support following the adoption of the national qualifications framework. Clearly there are limited opportunities available for academic support to the enrolled nursing auxiliaries following the adoption of the national qualifications framework. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the academic support that is required for enrolled nursing auxiliaries following the adoption of the national qualifications framework; as well as recommendations for stakeholders involved in the education and training of enrolled nursing auxiliaries in bridging the competency and theoretical gap. Design: The research study followed a qualitative explorative approach. The population included documents on nursing transformation and national qualifications framework in relation to the lowest category in the nursing hierarchy structure. The documents were selected through purposive sampling, based on the above description. The sample size was determined by means of data saturation. The data was selected through documents, the contents were analysed by an open coding method. Data was broken down, closely studied and compared for similarities and differences whereby enquiries were then reflected on academic support for the enrolled nursing auxiliaries. Findings: Three themes and nine subthemes were identified as they emerged from the data. It was noted that the enrolled nursing auxiliaries would require support through promotion of learning by the principle of recognition of prior learning. They would need to bridge the competency and theory gap through a broadened scope of knowledge. The acquired knowledge would result in the need to acquire independent supervisory responsibilities. Although there are other support measures stated in the recommendations, collaboration with Sector Education Training Authorities came up as the main support to the stakeholders. Conclusions: Recommendations for academic support of enrolled nursing auxiliaries following the adoption of a national qualifications framework were formulated from the research findings . There were additional recommendations to stakeholders involved in the training and education of enrolled nursing auxiliaries in order to bridge the competency- and theory gap.
- Health Sciences