Unless urgent intervention takes place and solutions are found for the enormous shortage of nursing staff, we will possibly face a national health crisis, the Solidarity Occupational Guild for Health Practitioners warns. \n\n\n\nHennie Bierman, Head of the Solidarity Occupational Guilds says \u201cone of the biggest challenges in the nursing industry in South Africa is the shortage of nursing staff. In 2010, a shortage of more than 44 700 nursing staff was recorded.\u201d \n\n\n\nAccording to Bierman, the nursing profession has been jeopardised over the past decade by among others, a lack of funds, a shortage of equipment, and insufficient training. \u201cThe number of qualified nursing practitioners in all nursing categories decreased by approximately 40% since 2013.\u201d \n\n\n\nSolidarity looked at Persal, the government\u2019s payroll and personnel administration system, which indicates that the ratio of nursing staff to the population is only one nurse for 401 people. According Bierman, such statistics causes great concern over the future of nursing in South Africa.\n\n\n\nBierman further said that this drastic decline in qualified students also means an enormous danger for the profession. \u201cThe South African Nursing Council (SANC) confirmed that there has been a decrease of more than 8 000 qualifying students from 2016 to 2017,\u201c Bierman added.\n\n\n\nBierman also indicated that vigorous planning and action plans are necessary to ensure the survival of this noble profession and therefore, the Solidarity Occupational Guild for Health Practitioners has taken responsibility to create a large study fund, specifically for nursing students. \u201cThis fund has been created to provide training for students who have a consuming passion to help people, but cannot afford it,\u201d Bierman said.\n\n\n\nSolidarity is also going to offer profession-specific training of high quality through S-leer, Solidarity\u2019s centre for continued learning to create a platform for nursing staff to develop their skills and abilities further. Solidarity will also focus on strengthening Akademia\u2019s endeavours regarding accreditation for its degree in Nursing.\n\n\n\n\u201cNursing as a profession in South Africa is in jeopardy, but the impact thereof on good health care for millions of South Africans is almost inconceivable,\u201d Bierman concluded.