College Admission

Requirements For Studying Nursing in South Africa

Are you desirous of becoming a nurse? Are you contemplating travelling to other prominent African countries like South Africa to study nursing? If so, then there are certain requirements that you must meet before you can be eligible to study or become a nurse in South Africa.

The incontrovertible truth is that nursing is one of the most prominent and highly esteemed professional professions in the world. No health facilities can function without nurses, as they are the people charged with the responsibility of catering to the welfare of patients. So if it is your desire to look after sick persons, then one thing is sure, you have to be certified or licensed as a nurse to be qualified for such a profession.

In this article, I will fill you in on the various requirements need to study nursing in South Africa. Also, I will update you on the various nursing schools available and the degree programs you can enrol in if you want to study nursing in South Africa. First, you need to know the type of nurses in South Africa;

Requirements For Studying Nursing in South Africa

Types of Nurses in South Africa

There are three categories of nurses in South Africa namely;

Registered Nurses or Nursing Sisters

This category of nurses supervises and grooms other lower-ranked nurses such as the enrolled and auxiliary nurses. After these ones have met the requirements, they will now be sent to the registered nurses whom they are to work under as they will be trained by these ones on the responsibilities of nurses.

Health Assistance or Auxiliary Nurses

These nurses work hand in hand with health care professionals to care for admitted patients, ensuring that these ones are properly attended to regularly until they are discharged. They also assist the registered or qualified nursing practitioners.

Auxiliary nurses carry out the job of feeding, dressing, and washing patients who have difficulty in moving or are disabled. They also help patients who are more advanced in age and have challenges with mobility, by assisting them to the toilet, etc.

Registered Nurses

Well, the responsibility of this set of nurses are not as heavy as that of the auxiliary ones, they have limited task of attending to patients needs, unlike the nurse auxiliaries.


• Worthy of note is the fact that there has been a 35% increment in the number of nurses need in South Africa according to the South African Nursing Council (SANC) which spans across the aforementioned category of nurses. Many people do not fancy the idea of working in a hospital, if that is your case then you don’t have to fidget as there are loads of clinics and other health facilities you can work in South Africa, as a nurse so far you have made the requirements; places such as nursing homes, pharmacies, research labs, government institutions, etc.

What you must do to become a Nurse in South Africa

There are just two steps you must follow before you can be qualified to be a certified nurse.

First, it is compulsory for you to get a qualification from a SANC-recognized or accredited school and thereafter you register with SANC. Irrespective of which nursing school you obtained a degree from, they both give the same degrees and diplomas.

In order to make your qualification complete, you have to apply to a recognized nursing school or college that suits your needs. As we progress, you will get to see the list of the various nursing schools and colleges in South Africa that are offering nursing programs.

You may also be wondering how many years it takes to become a Nurse in South Africa, well it depends on the type of program you are applying for. Below is a list of the various nursing degree programs in South Africa and well as their requirements and duration.

Requirements for Studying Nursing in South Africa

A Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science

First on the list is the bachelor’s degree in nursing science which lasts for four years. After obtaining this degree, you are qualified to work as a general nurse, psychiatry nurse, community nurse, and midwife. This degree program prepares you to become practically and theoretically sound.

Schools that offer the bachelor’s degree program in nursing science are the University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Cape Town, North-West University, University of Western Cape, etc.


The requirements before you must meet as a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science applicant are;

An NSC (National Senior Certificate) or an exit level 4 equivalent qualification in the under listed subjects

• Life Orientation, here you must have a score range of 50-59%

• Mathematics – 50-59%

• Home or first additional language – 50-59%

• English Language – 50-59%

• Life Sciences-50-59%

Diploma in Nursing

If you are opting for a diploma program in nursing, you have to know that the duration of this program is three years and in the course of the program, you will be equipped for the job of a staff nurse or an enrolled nurse.

Also since the duration is lesser, compared to that of the bachelor degree program, you can expect to receive less information. The Durban University of Technology, for example, is one of the schools offering diplomas in nursing.


Very important of then all, you need to have a National Senior Certificate (NSC) qualification at exit level 3 or 4. You also need to have a score range of 50-59% in the following subjects;

• English

• Life Orientation

• Home or first additional language

• Life sciences (optional)

Higher Certificate in Nursing Auxiliary (one year)

This program is set up to better equip potential nurses on how to care for admitted patients. Though subordinate to other categories of nursing, auxiliary nursing is very sensitive due to the fact that it requires that one has a special interest in patients to be able to perform the job and also needs training.


Just like in the other programs, you also need an NSC equivalent qualification at exit level 3 or 4. You also need to have a score range of 50-59% in the following subjects.

• Life Orientation

• English Language

• Home or First additional language

Post-graduate Advanced Diploma in Nursing

Here you must have enrolled in a diploma program and bachelor’s degree program before you are eligible to apply for this category.


Two years experience as a professional nurse or midwife.

Must have obtained a diploma in nursing or midwifery.

Must have obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing science.

Subject Requirements for Nursing Programs in South Africa

The core subjects you are required to be proficient in as you intend to study nursing in South Africa are;

• Life Orientation

• English Language

• Home or First additional language

• Life sciences

• Mathematics

What Institutions IN South Africa are offering Nursing Programs

Well before applying to any nursing institutions in South Africa, you need to first consult SANC through their website here to know which of the nursing colleges or universities are approved by them. Some of these approved nursing institutions are listed below.


• University of The Whitewatersand, Johannesburg. To find out more about their application process click on the link

• University of Pretoria Nursing Science Department, the program is given here

Future Nurses Nursing School

University of Technology

• University of Cape Town. For inquiries click on this link to get more information regarding the school and the nursing programs


I am a student with passion and hunger to help individuals and students get more useful, legit, accurate, and up-to-date information by providing them with valuable resources and information.

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