General Requirements To Study Nursing in South Africa

Nursing is one of the prestigious professions in the world. There are several reasons the field is unique from other careers, including high employability and job stability. In South Africa, the case is the same. There is a great demand for nurses in various health sectors, and the frequency of their demand has never gone. If you want to study nursing in South Africa, there are specific requirements you must meet to realize your dream.

These requirements largely depend on the particular nursing programme you want to study. Keep reading to find out more.

Here Are Available Nursing Certificates In South Africa To Choose From

Before you start searching for general requirements to become a nurse, choosing the type of nursing training you want to undertake is essential. Choosing a suitable nursing programme will help you prepare for the task ahead and guide you in making the right choices.

In South Africa, the following are the nursing programmes that are currently available for prospective nurses to choose from.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing
  • Senior Certificate in Nursing
  • Advanced Diploma in Nursing

Let’s throw more light on the aforementioned courses for clarity purposes.

1. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (4 Years)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing students spend four years in nursing institutions, after which they become Registered nurses. They are all the practical and theoretical aspects of general nursing, including in-depth knowledge of patient care.

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This particular degree program is comprehensive and deep. It also allows nurses to practice the profession in various settings, including aged care facilities, hospitals, private practices, community clinics, homes, rehabilitation centers, industry, and even the military. In the first year, nurses are taught anatomy, medical terminology, physiology, nursing studies, nursing practice education, and computer literacy.

Other courses like microbiology, physiology, nursing practice education, nursing Studies are taught in the second year. With a BNurs certificate, nurses can work as a midwife, psychiatry nurse, and general nurse practitioner.

2. Diploma in Nursing (3 Years)

This is the program that prepares students to become registered general nurses with the nursing council. While the three-year program lasts, nurses are taught a theory and clinical component in each academic year and equipped with the needed knowledge to pull through in the healthcare sector.

The curriculum for this program is designed to prepare graduate nurses and midwifery practitioners. Upon completion, you are eligible to work in the private and public health sectors and fields such as Occupational Health Care, Nursing Education, Primary Health Care, and Nursing management.

3. Higher Certificate in Auxiliary Nursing (1 Year)

This programme teaches students basic nursing care, which can be applied in the workplace. Training also revolves around basic knowledge, practical techniques, affective, cognitive, and conceptual tools needed for additional higher education studies in nursing.

At the end of the one-year program, students are expected to apply basic knowledge of microbiology, anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, and biophysics to provide nursing care. They can also work at a healthcare delivery center under a Registered Nurse (a nurse with a Diploma or Degree).

4. Advanced Diploma in Nursing (1 Year)

The Advanced Diploma in Nursing programme provides nurses with all advanced training on patient care. In one year, students are taught all they need to know about taking on a leading role in the nursing sector. The programme prepares registered nurses for a career in nursing management, nursing education, planning, and more.

Requirements To Meet To Study Nursing In South Africa

There are no general requirements to study nursing in South Africa; instead, the type of programme you want to run determines what you need. For each programme, there is a general requirement prospective learners must meet. You will find them below.

Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree In Nursing Science

  • Grade 12 (Standard 10) or equivalent.
  • You must pass the following subjects; Mathematics, English, First or Home Language, Life Orientation, Life Science.
  • You must enroll as a nurse with the South African Nursing Council.

Requirements for Diploma in Nursing 

  • Grade 12 (Standard 10) or equivalent.
  • You must pass the following subjects; Mathematics, English, First or Home Language, Life Orientation, Life Science.
  • You must enroll as a nurse with the South African Nursing Council.

Requirements for Higher Certificate in Auxiliary Nursing Program

  • National Senior Certificate pass (certified)
  • English or home language at least 40% (NSC level 3) as a home language or first additional language.
  • Life Science/ Biology 50% or more (NSC level 5)
  • An overall NSC score of at least 16 points.

Requirements for Advanced Diploma in Nursing

  • You must pass the following subjects; Mathematics, English, First or Home Language, Life, Orientation, Life Science.
  • Grade 12 (Standard 10) or equivalent.
  • You must enroll as a nurse with the South African Nursing Council.
  • Two years of hands-on experience as a nurse or a midwife.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Nursing or at least a Diploma in Nursing

Detailed Procedure On Becoming A Nurse 

1. Application

Your ambition to become a nurse starts from you applying for your desired nursing programme at any nursing institution in the country. To get started, you need to visit the institutions to make inquiries and obtain information on how to start, what to do, or other things. You can also check if the school you want to join has a website (most institutions have their websites online these days).

You can go ahead and make inquiries via their online platform and also take the necessary steps needed. Of course, you already know that you must meet the stipulated requirements before applying to any institution. Once everything is in place and you are offered admission, you are few steps away from living your dream.

2. Registration With SANC

Unlike in most countries, registration with the national nursing council takes place after applying to your desired nursing institution. The South African Nursing Council (SANC) is the body responsible for mapping out and maintaining standards of nursing practice, training, and education in the country.

The council offers several services, including but not limited to voluntary removal, distinguishing devices, assessor/moderator registrations, annual fee and annual practicing certificate, restoration to the register, community service, personal details update, processing of learners, fees, and fine payments into SANC’s Bank Account.

3. Completion Of Studies

Nursing is one of the professional courses that require attention and seriousness on the part of the learner. So, you must endeavor to complete your studies and also attend classes, especially practical classes. You are expected to be consistent to graduate with your mates and move to the next phase.

4. SANC Administered Nursing Exam 

Once you are done with your nursing program, a certificate of completion will be forwarded to the SANC, notifying them that you have completed your studies. The notification will help the council prepare for your exams at the scheduled time. You are expected to sit for your exams, after which you would be certified for being successful.

5. Mandatory Community Service

According to the Nursing Acts, all citizens of South Africa intending to register as professional nurses must perform remunerated community service for one year. The service must take place at a public health center.

At the end of the service, the head of the facility is expected to forward a report to the SANC, after which the council will register the practitioner as a professional nurse.

6. Application To Desired Workforce

This is the last phase on how to become a professional nurse in South Africa. However, you can still further your education after completing your community service. But if you do not consider options like a Master’s, you can apply for jobs at various health establishments as a professional nurse.

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Osondu Queen Chidinma
Osondu Queen Chidinma
Queen always has the inside scoop on the lives of your famous celebrities, she is the go-to source when it comes to everything Hollywood and South African entertainment industry, an entertainer and a true queen in her own special way.


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