Home > Education | Teaching > Postgraduate > Postgraduate Nurses Training

Child Nurse Practice Development

The purpose of this unit at the Red Cross Children's Hospital is to develop paediatric and paediatric critical care nursing education, practice and research locally, and enable practice transfer to the region, the country and the continent.

  • We work with nurse leaders and students to find the best evidence-based options for caring for infants, children and adolescents to enable the application of best practice in other clinical settings.
  • While we work with international models, we believe that local clinical child nursing contexts provide unique possibilities for excellent nursing practice.  
  • We are committed to providing an environment which supports tailored learning and research-based nurse practice development concurrently


  • Paediatric and Paediatric Critical Care Nursing Education – Postgraduate programmes with the UCT Division of Nursing and Midwifery in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences as well as various divisions within the SCAH including critical care and infectious diseases.
  • Research-based nurse practice development and improvement of care of children in clinical settings- The unit has been established with generous funding from the Harry Crossley Foundation. The approach to postgraduate nurse training is firmly established within the Child Nurse Practice Development Initiative commenced 4 years ago with funding from the Children’s Hospital Trust.

Postgraduate Child Nursing Programmes at UCT offers:

  • On-site teaching and learning programmes linked with current nursing practice and service delivery.
  • Active and broad participation in an environment of multidisciplinary child specialists.
  • A supportive learning environment created by action-oriented research  and evidence-based practice is at the core of learning in a practice setting
  • A programme which is intentionally geared towards your own clinical practice setting to ensure your experience is tailored to support and strengthen your own practice and your return to your own clinical service.
  • Nurse educators and clinical nurse specialists who work in innovative roles to support both learning and nursing practice in the clinical setting.
  • Additional funding to support practical study and newl learning opportunities that arise.

Why not contact us for more details?

Visit for more details.

Postgraduate Child Nursing programmes

The Harry Crossley Foundation Postgraduate Child Nurse Training Initiative currently supports two postgraduate diploma options, one in Child nursing and the other in Critical Care (Child) nursing

Both programmes are registered with the South African Nursing Council. The clinical learning platform is being broadened beyond Red Cross Children's Hospital but is currently offered from this campus.

Both programmes include a core of theoretical nursing, health systems within a primary health approach and includes leadership, health and human rights, professional communication and research methods.  The remaining two thirds of both programmes are clinical discipline-specific modules. These are practice-based and include 6 modules per pathway:  two covering communicating with children and families and maternal child and women’s health; two modules of health assessment of children within families and assessment of the sick and critically ill child. Both groups do a complete course in ‘Integrated Management of Childhood Illness’. The last two modules are Nursing the ill child and critically ill child respectively and Nursing Practice in both these disciplines. 

Our current students are local, from the Red Cross War Memorial Children's and Tygerberg hospitals, from further afield in South Africa, including George, Bloemfontein and Umthata and beyond, including Kenya and Ghana.  Additional study support is available for students from SADC countries - enquiries are welcome.

Child Nurse Practice Development Initiative

This learning collaborative aims to develop child-nurse practice.  It was designed to work with nurses in paediatric care settings to focus on recognizing and enhancing the practice of nurses.  Its objectives are to assist nurses to gain a sense of the skill and knowledge they have, to create an opportunity to compare their practice with the best evidence base and to initiate a practice related intervention in their own unit setting.

The project facilitates simultaneous participation from small teams of nurses from different units in the hospital in cycles of 9 month periods. In this time each team tackles a practice related problem with peer and facilitator support.  The research-based design ensures a rigorous tracking process using customised tools to ensure measurement to track practice learning and improvement.

The current focus of the initiative is Family Friendly Care of hospitalised children and adolescents and related quality indicators.

Other practice development activities include:

Participation with RCCH nurses in a partnership with USA based NGO - Children’s HeartLink  and 
Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford, California, USA in a project called BOuNCE (Best Outcomes for Nursing Children with Excellence). The project focus is twofold: developing evidence based, practice-linked care protocols and the support of in-service training activities in critical care settings in both hospitals.

Research activities

  • Current practices around end of life care of children at the Red Cross Children's Hospital – an interdisciplinary study
  • Adolescent perceptions and expectations of hospital care – MSc (Nursing) study
  • Practices that affect mother-infant interaction and relationships – MSc (Nursing) study
  • A study describing child perpetrators of abuse in the Cape Peninsula – a retrospective study – MSc(Nursing) study 
  • Various action-oriented practice improvement studies

Summary of staff

Minette Coetzee RSCN PhD
Associate professor of Child Nurse Practice Development

Hilary Barlow MCur  AUDNE  RN  RM  CNN  Dip Nurs Admin 
Senior Lecturer, Critical Care (Child) Nursing Pathway

Inger Hendry BN  RPaedN  Forensic Nurse Practitioner
Lecture Practitioner Child Nursing Pathway

Clare Davis BNurs (Child)  Dip PICU  PG Crit Care Nurse of Child Pathway Clinical  Mentorship
Lecturer Practitioner Critical Care (Child) Nursing Pathway

Jane Vos RN Dip
Programme Facilitator

Angela Leonard RN  MSc(Nurs)
Practice Development Research Coordinator & Facilitator

Candice Bonaconsa BNurs RN
Postgraduate Research Fellow – Critical Care (Child)

Lauren Rees MSc(Nurs)  RN  RM  RCHN  RPaedN
Clinical Learning Facilitator – Part time

Lee-Ann White BSc(Nurs)  RPaedN
Clinical Learning Facilitator – Part time

Lydia Ssenyonga BCur(Nurs) PG DIP(Child Nursing)

Practice Development Intern - Part time

Jean Morrissey BA Lang & Lit PGCE (FET)

Writer/Researcher - Full time

Shandre Swain

PG Programme Administrator

Additional posts still available

1. Senior lecture/ lecturer Child Nursing still inviting applicants at

2. Two three year contract posts to facilitate practice development and clinical learning in child nursing at locations in the region – based at Red Cross Children’s Hospital

Contact us

General Information:
Applicants including SADC and other countries: 
Jane Vos:

Application forms for South African applicants: 
Salega Tape, UCT Postgraduate office: