South African woman in a scrub suit symbolizing health and welfare careers

Additional information

body or mind



Medical Field

Boss or Team



Good Communicator

Work With


Math & Science

Maths & Science

Study Length

Prepared to Study for Years


Busy Environment


Nurses are essential healthcare workers and without them, clinics and hospitals would not be able to function. They provide essential care for patients by assisting doctors and other medical professionals.

In South Africa, there are many types of nursing careers to choose from and you can continue to specialise and study further during the course of your career. Some types of nursing careers require studying for a degree while others require shorter studies.

There are 3 types of nurses in our country and they require different levels of study:

  1. Higher Certificate in Nursing (1-Year Study) On completion you register with the SANC as a Nursing Auxiliary.
  2. Diploma in Nursing (3 Years) On completion you register with the SANC as a General Nurse. In order to be admitted to the programme, you must be in possession of at least a National Senior Certificate as issued by UMALUSI, with the relevant subject combination; or an equivalent international qualification that allows access to study towards a Diploma qualification.
  3. Bachelor of Nursing (4-Year programme at a university. On completion, you register with the SANC as a Professional Nurse and Midwife.

Here is some more information and where to study for the various types of nursing

Higher Certificate and Diploma in Nursing (1 year and 3 years)

You will need an NSC / NC(v) to apply for these qualifications.
Entry requirements may differ between the institutions. Here is a list of accredited educational institutions offering  the Higher Certificate and Diplomas in nursing qualifications from the South African nursing council:

Bachelor of Nursing Degree

Entry requirements: NSC or NC(v) Entry requirements may differ between the institutions.

Recommended school subjects:

  • English
  • Maths Literacy
  • Physical Sciences/ Life Sciences
  • Life Orientation


After you’ve received your qualification you will be required to register with the South African Nursing Council (SANC).

Nurses are in huge demand in South Africa and work opportunities include:

  • Public and private hospitals and clinics
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Pharmacies
  • Government institutions
  • Research laboratories
  • Nursing homes and private home care

Further information:

South African Nursing Council


Here is a list of Universities offering Bachelor of Nursing degrees (4-year degree):

Of course, you can continue studying for postgraduate degrees in nursing after completion of your Bachelor’s degree. The various educational institutions have many options for further studies.

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