Following the release of the 2023 matric results, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has warned young people to be “extra vigilant” and beware of bogus nursing colleges.
Many people, after receiving their matric results last week, are now seeking study opportunities at different institutions.
Denosa spokesperson Sibongiseni Delihlazo said fly-by-night training institutions tend to proliferate during this time of the year, taking advantage of the high desperation levels by the many school-leavers seeking to pursue their post-matric studies.
“Those who look for nursing studies to become nurses tend to also encounter these bogus colleges, where they will be asked to pay fees to secure and register for the offered courses,” said Delihlazo.
“Denosa wishes to advise those who will be looking for nursing courses to be extra vigilant and look out for suspicious signs of bogus institutions which may be nowhere by the time they have to commence with their studies.”
For starters, Delihlazo said many of South Africa’s public nursing colleges would have closed applications for the 2024 academic year in 2023 already.
“Secondly, every institution of higher learning that offers legitimate nursing studies must, by law, be registered and accredited by the South African Nursing Council (SANC), which is the country's regulatory body for nursing,” he said.
“The SANC has a list of all accredited public and private nursing schools, colleges and universities. Those who wish to study nursing, as a first stop, must visit the SANC website (www.sanc.co.za) to check if the institution they wish to study at appears on the SANC website.”
Furthermore, Denosa explained that an institution may appear on the SANC website as an accredited institution, but it is a matter of law that every nursing programme that it offers must also be accredited by the SANC.
“Post-matrics must also double-check with the SANC first if such a programme is accredited by the SANC. They can contact the SANC telephonically on 012 420 1000,” said Delihlazo.
The dangers of registering and pursuing a nursing course with an unaccredited nursing school or college is that the student will not write the SANC exams as required, or be allowed to practice as a nurse in any healthcare facility in South Africa.
“Essentially, they would have wasted both their money and time. Denosa encourages young people to consider nursing as a career of choice, because there are plenty of opportunities for work due to the shortage of nurses that the country experiences,” Delihlazo said.
“Nursing, or the noble profession as it is known, is also one of the essential careers that brings life to the world, cares for it when it is sick and ensures that every person is able to heal and partake in the country's economic activities to the best of their abilities.”
Last year, a 54-year-old woman, who had been on the run since 2017 on several cases of fraud and theft by false pretences, was arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport.
“This after she allegedly defrauded a lot of unsuspecting job seekers and persons aspiring to acquire nursing qualifications,” Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said at the time.
The woman allegedly ran bogus nursing colleges, and fraudulently registered unsuspecting students under the pretext that they were to acquire diplomas in nursing.
“The victims were also assured of employment across the province upon completion of their studies. The suspect’s fraudulent dealings were unmasked when it was eventually discovered that the colleges were not authentic,” Mojapelo said.
“The students immediately opened cases of fraud and theft under false pretences against the woman in Polokwane, Morebeng, Thohoyandou, Waterval and other places in Gauteng province.”
Police said after many cases were opened, the woman evaded arrest and had been on the run since 2017 after she left South Africa and fled to Nigeria, ahead of her arrest on her return.