SA nurses want to leave profession

DURBAN – Two-thirds of South African nurses said that they were unlikely to still be in the profession in five years’€™ time, according to research released at the International Council of Nurses (ICN) congress.

More than half the nurses also said that their workload was worse today than five years ago, but added that their career prospects had improved during the same time period.

 ‘€œDespite advances made by our democracy, significant challenges for the South African nurses remain, including workload, inadequate staffing levels and renumeration,’€ said Thembeka Gwagwa, general secretary of the Democratic Association of Nurses of SA (Denosa).

Internationally, all nurses listed heavy workloads and insufficient pay as the most unfavourable parts of their job and helping patients as the most favourable part.

Some 2000 nurses were surveyed in the international 11-country study, 200 of whom were in South Africa.

Most nurses in the other two African countries surveyed ‘€“ Kenya and Uganda ‘€“ also indicated that they would be unlikely to remain in the profession.

David Benton, head of the ICN, said that giving nurses enough resources and decision-making powers were essential to encourage them to stay in their jobs.

When asked how developed countries could be prevented from poaching nurses from poorer countries, Benton said ‘€œindividual nurses have the right to move to better their own education, working environment and renumeration’€.

However, he said the ICN supported the idea of an ‘€œinternational code on recruitment’€.

In addition, said Benton, his council was about to pilot a programme in three African countries aimed at promoting a better work environment for nurses. Called the ‘€œpositive practice environment’€, the programme trains leaders and works with governments to improve nurses conditions. ‘€“ Health-e News Service.


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