Admission Requirements

What are the Requirements to study nursing in South Africa?


What are the requirements to study nursing in South Africa? If that’s your question then no worries because as you proceed in this article on the requirements to study nursing in South Africa, the information which you will obtain is not only on the qualifications and requirements to study nursing in South Africa based on that qualification but also you will get a knowledge of the types of nurses in South Africa and steps to be a certified nurse.

What are the requirements to study nursing in South Africa?

Things to Know Before Studying Nursing in South Africa

There are a few things students need to know before they enroll in any nursing program in South Africa. We’d list out three of these things which should be known and they are:


1.  Time Duration to Study Nursing in South Africa

An undergraduate degree can be obtained within four to five years. Nurses with an undergraduate degree in nursing sciences can also gain a Master’s degree in psychiatric nursing, general nursing, and midwifery.

This study duration also depends on the kind of programs which the student undergoes in order to become a nurse. Some programs take a year (which we will show to you in this article), and others 3 years to complete.


2. Can an International Student study nursing in South Africa?

Before an International student is permitted to undergo any practical requirement, he/she is required to obtain Limited Registration with the South African Nursing Council before he/she are permitted to commence the requirements.

The Department of Nursing Education will facilitate the process with the South African Nursing Council when the registration is completed.

3. What is the Salary of South African nurses?

This depends on the hospital or the organization in which you as a health practitioner find yourself but the average salary for a Registered Nurse is R18,874 per month in South Africa.

Three Types of Nurses in South Africa

1. Registered Nurses:

They are in charge of the supervision of enrolled and enrolled nursing auxiliaries.


2. Enrolled Nurses:

They carry out limited nursing care.

3. Enrolled Nursing Auxiliaries:

They have the responsibility of carrying out basic operations and offering general care.

Steps to Become a Certified Nurse in South Africa

For one to become a certified nurse, you have to undergo these two processes:

1. You must get a qualification from an accredited school. This school could be a private nursing college or any public school. So it doesn’t matter which school you go to, they offer the same degrees and diplomas.

What are the requirements to study nursing in South Africa?

2. Registration to the South Africa Nursing Council (SANC) is compulsory. To get registered in the SANC, you have to present some documents which will be verified and approved before you are accepted into the South African Nursing Council. These documents are:

  • A Proof of identity
  • A Certificate of good character and standing
  • Proof of your qualifications
  • The Receipt of the registration fee
  • Further reports and information concerning your application may be required by the registrar
  • Lastly, the student will have to sit for the SANC-administered nursing exam that suits the specific qualification you seek. There are exams for the different categories of nursing professions.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Nurse in South Africa

1. A 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (Bcur)

The bachelor’s degree in nursing generally has a duration of 4 years and this degree is offered by most public universities in South Africa. The degree consists of two components, namely: the compulsory practical clinical component and the theoretical component.

In the practical component, the aspiring nurse will learn how to do the practical work needed to be done as a nurse; While in the theoretical component, the student will learn theory aspect of what it is to be a nurse and will study medical, biological and natural sciences, psychological and social sciences, and pharmacology so as to have the knowledge to become a competent and successful health care professional.

Entry Requirements:  To get qualified for a bachelor’s degree in nursing, one has to pass the following subjects with an average grade of (59 -59%). These subjects are:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Life sciences
  • English
  • Additional/Home language
  • Life Orientation.

In addition to these, there is a need for a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or any equivalent qualifications at exit level 4.

The Bcur usually prepares students to work in four specific fields;

  • General Nursing
  • Common Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Midwifery.

Once the student has completed this degree, he/she can be able to register as a professional nurse and midwife with the SANC.

2. A 3-year Diploma in Nursing

The diploma in nursing qualification can be found at the Vaal University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, LPUT, TUT, and other universities of technology.

This course takes a duration of 3 years to be completed and as the bachelor’s degree program, it has both practical and theoretical components.

Also during this course, the student will cover similar work to what would be covered in the Bcur degree. As the course comes to an end or gets shorter, the student will go less in-depth with the work in this degree.

The student will learn how to provide nursing care, apply the knowledge gotten in the nursing practice, diagnose and treat minor illnesses and provide reproductive health care.

After obtaining this qualification, the student will be eligible to work as a registered nurse or enrolled nurse.

Entry Requirements: There is a need for a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or any equivalent at ext level 3 or 4 depending on the institution.

However, there is no importance for mathematics and/or any physical science as it is for Bcur but you will definitely need the following:

  • English
  • Additional/Home language
  • 4 other Subjects
  • Life Orientation.

The subjects above also need an average grade of 50 -59%.

3. A 1 year Higher Certificate in Auxiliary Nursing.

This is a qualification spanning just a year that is aimed to equip the student with the skills that is needed to provide basic nurse care to individuals.

Upon the completion of this program, the student will be able to work under a registered nurse with a qualification in either a Bcur or a diploma.

This course is aimed to strengthen and enhance the knowledge in nursing and midwifery. During this course, the student will specialize in either nursing or midwifery.

Unlike other program qualifications, this course only offers the theoretical aspect. This course will teach you how to apply your theoretical knowledge, the practice of basic nursing, and how to assess, plan, evaluate and implement basic nursing care for not just individuals but as well as groups.

It will also help the student desire a career in Nursing Management. After the student has obtained this certification, he/she is eligible to work as an enrolled auxiliary nurse.

Entry Requirements: For the student to get qualified to study this program, there is a need to obtain a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or any equivalent at exit level 3 or 4. It is not important if you have taken mathematics, physical science, or life sciences.

  • English
  • Additional/Home language
  • Four other subjects
  • Life Orientation.

The above course must also have an average grade of 50 – 59%.

4. A 1 year Post Graduate Advanced Program in Nursing and Midwifery

After completing and obtaining a degree or diploma in nursing, there is a requirement to go for an advanced degree program but only if you desire a career in Nursing Management. Aside from having a degree or diploma, the student must have at least 2 years of experience as a midwife or nurse.

What are the requirements to study nursing in South Africa?

You can choose to complete your qualification at either a public university or a private nursing school. These private colleges such as Mediclinic, Netcare Education, or Life College offers the same degrees or diploma as the Universities and universities of technology in South Africa.

Entry Requirements: In order to get qualified and enroll for his program, the following requirements must be met:

  • Bachelor in Nursing Science or (equivalent) or a degree  and comprehensive Diploma
  • Diplomas in Nursing and Midwifery
  • Advanced Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery.

Colleges Offering Nursing in South Africa

The South African Nursing Council (SANC) is in charge of courses and institutions in the country. Read Institutions Offering Nursing Courses in South Africa

SANC will not register a student with a qualification from a school that it has not recognized or approved. To avoid this, there is a need to find out the schools that are accredited by the South Africa National Council.

In conclusion, the requirements to study nursing in South Africa are not impossible to acquire nor are they difficult. But with determination, resilience, discipline, and hard work, your dream of becoming a nurse in South Africa will materialize. Good luck!

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