The department would like to correct the perception that has been created in the media that nurses who are performing community service in 2008 would be paid as registered nurses from July 1, 2008, the deputy director-general of the department, Percy Mahlathi, said. This comes after the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) announced on Tuesday that those nurses would be paid registered nurses' salaries from July. Denosa said in a statement: Professional nurses who are registered in the category of community service will from July 1 be paid their salaries according to the new scale as from the date of commencement of community service (January 2008) according to a circular issued by the department. According to Denosa, this came after it lodged a complaint of non-payment of nurses who started their community service in January as registered nurses. They had completed a four-year nursing course.
Denosa said it had held several discussions with the South African Nursing Council (SANC) to discuss the matter. Denosa has argued that these nurses are being utilised as registered nurses in the institutions, therefore they must be remunerated accordingly, it said.
However, Mahlathi said anybody intending to register for the first time as a professional nurse and who had met the prescribed requirements to qualify as such, would perform remunerated community service for one year. Those performing community service would be paid a level six salary - R121 741 per annum including benefits. This means that after having completed community service in 2008, these nurses will then be paid as full registered nurses as of January 1, 2009, Mahlathi said.