‘As an institution, we have to be a centre of excellence. We need to have a competency-based curriculum that is nationally relevant and globally compatible.’
This was the sentiment of Professor Fikile Mtshali from UKZN’s Nursing Discipline at the Discipline’s Education Curriculum Transformation workshop.
The workshop, which took a closer look at the transformation of the Nursing education curriculum was attended by academics, clinical stakeholders and UKZN Bachelor of Nursing students from level one to level four.
The programme covered a number of topical issues relevant to nursing education. It focused on the importance of stakeholder voices in planning the transformation of the Nursing education curriculum.
Presenters included academics, student class reps, the Student Representative Council and clinical partners from different hospitals and nursing organisations including DENOSA, Life Mount Edgecombe Hospital, Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and KwaZulu-Natal Nursing Services.
According to Professor Sine Duma, the College of Health Sciences Dean of Teaching and Learning, the importance of stakeholder voices in the transformation of the nursing curriculum is important. She thanked participants for their active participation in assisting the Discipline with its curriculum transformation. ‘Rethinking and investing in the curriculum transformation is the great way of investing in our students. It is a way of increasing our students’ value of employability,’ she said.
Nursing Discipline’s Academic Leader, Professor Gugu Mchunu, said the University needs to maintain a balance between producing relevant nursing graduates and moving with the times. ‘While our nurses have to be relevant in the 21st century, they still need to display the original core nursing values, namely caring, integrity and compassion. Transformation is a buzzword, but, the more things change the more they stay the same. There is new technology, globalisation, patients are more demanding, more aware and sicker but the required patient care remains the same,’ she said.
Mchunu urged Nursing educators to do stock taking, ‘We need to look at the then and now of our curriculum,’ she said.
Student representatives from level one to level four were given a chance to voice their concerns and suggestions. There was positive feedback and suggestions for a way forward.
The Dean of the School of Nursing and Public Health, Professor Mosa Moshabela, congratulated Duma and the Discipline of Nursing for making the workshop possible and for involving students and external partners in the initiative. ‘As we move from curative care to preventative care, Nursing will be at the centre stage of this shift,’ said Moshabela.
Words and photographs: Nombuso Dlamini