The Nursing career in South Africa is governed and regulated by the South African Nursing Council (SANC). To become a registered nurse under SANC, you will have to go through a two-year training that includes 2,000 hours of practical training. In your first year, you will study courses like Basic Nursing Care, Nursing History and Ethics, and Elementary Anatomy and Physiology. And then, in your second year, you will take subjects like General Nursing Care, Psychiatric Nursing Care, among others. As a registered nurse, you will wear maroon-colored epaulets, but as you study and complete more courses, you will be adorned with other colors of epaulets.
After studying and taking on the responsibility to assist doctors to save lives, which many people do out of passion, you will expect that you will have a good pay. South Africa may not be the best country regarding nurses’ remuneration, especially compared to some other countries. However, the salary of nurses in South Africa is quite fair.
Nurses Are In High Demand In South Africa
Going into a nursing career in South Africa is absolutely a great idea seeing how lucrative it is. Compared to career nurses in other African countries such as Nigeria, South African nurses are well paid – even though the grass is definitely greener in countries like the United States.
Aside from the good salary South African nurses receive, another great reason to consider a career in nursing in the country is that nurses are in demand. So you don’t have to worry about getting a job because the labor market for nurses is not saturated yet. The shortage of nurses in the country is almost leading to a health care crisis, and to salvage this situation, more nurses are highly welcomed.
Though nursing is a good career in South Africa, the profession still has its challenges. From the challenge of studying, gaining practical clinical experience, and successfully earning a certificate to the dangers that nurses are exposed to every day when treating infected patients, the profession’s challenges are well documented. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic saw many health workers, including nurses, become front-liners who had to risk their lives daily to save the lives of others.
And even though their salary may be significantly higher than that of their counterparts in some other parts of the continent, to nurses in the country, their salary is small and not so befitting for the services they provide. A good salary is important because nurses must be well taken care of, but what makes a good nurse is not a good salary but the passion for saving lives.
Different Ranks Of Nurses In South Africa And Their Salary
The salary of nurses in South Africa is determined by the rank and type of nurse you are. Your rank will depend on the number of years you spent studying and the school. Here are the different categories of nurses in South Africa:
Registered Nurses In South Africa Earn A Yearly Salary Of R247,010
As a registered nurse in South Africa, several factors determine what you will earn at the end of the month, including years of experience and the sector you are working for. But in general, registered nurses in the country earn a salary average of R20,548 monthly, which amounts to approximately R247,010 at the end of the year.
Registered nurses, who have been in the profession for up to 20 years and have continued to upgrade their academic qualifications, can even earn a salary as much as R355,000 annually, which is a huge pay packet compared to those who just got into the profession.
The minimum amount a registered nurse goes home with as salary in South Africa is about R135,000 per year, and that’s about R11,250 every other month. This may not be mouth watery, but with years of constant practice, your salary can become way above the average. Here is a breakdown of the salary of registered nurses in South Africa based on the number of years they have worked;
- Entry Level (one year): R221,000
- Early Career (1-4 years): R235,000
- Mid Career (6-9 years): R252,000
- Late career (10-19 years): R279,000
- Experienced (20 years +): R312,000
Auxiliary Nurses In South Africa Receive An Average Salary Of R168,000
Auxiliary nurses in South Africa must also be registered with the South African Nursing Council (SANC), even though their job is not as specialized as registered nurses. They are responsible for feeding patients, making beds, checking body vitals like temperature, blood pressure, body pulse, body weight, and so on. However, everything they do must be done under the supervision of a registered nurse.
On average, auxiliary nurses in the country earn R14,000 per month, about R168,000 every year. Their salaries can even be as low as R12,425 per month. The fact is that the average earning of an auxiliary nurse in South Africa is less than that of registered nurses because registered nurses are of a higher rank. However, auxiliary nurses who have gained experience from years of service can earn as high as R35,075 every year.
Nursing Students In South Africa Earn An Average Salary of R5,119
Nursing students are those who are still undergoing training to become registered nurses in the country. Their responsibility in the hospital is to assist nurses in performing their duties, and in the process of assisting professional nurses, they learn and gain some level of practical experience.
On average, student nurses in the country earn R5,119 per month. And at the end of the year, the summation of their salaries and other allowances can get up to R84,087. However, it is important to note that not all nursing students in the country receive a salary during their practical training.
In the Nelson Mandela University of Nursing, student nurses do not get paid for their practical training, as it is not considered to be a job, but rather a time for them to learn and meet up with their practical hours, which is required for them to successfully graduate from nursing school.
Staff Nurses In South Africa Earn An Average of R162,312
Staff nurses are responsible for managing and coordinating groups of nurse attendants who work in hospitals for the long term. They are also saddled with taking care of patients, administering drugs, and keeping track of patients’ improvement.
On average, staff nurses in South Africa earn an average of R162,312 per year, about R13,526 per month. Staff nurses who have gained experience through consistent practice over the years can earn as high as R237,000 per year. As a minimum, staff nurses can earn as low as R17,000.