How to become a nurse in South Africa

Nursing is viewed as one of the most important occupations in the world. It is an occupation that combines compassion, knowledge and sophisticated health technology to achieve its goal.

Not everyone possesses the qualities needed to be a nurse, but if you can handle it, you will be rewarded by doing a career that really makes a difference.

In South Africa there are many types of nurses, including nursing assistants, midwives and even psychiatric nurses. Therefore, there are many different nursing degrees and qualifications.

All nurses must first be trained at a nursing school, which can be part of a training hospital or a university, regardless of the kind of nurse you want to become.

Therefore, if you wish to learn how to become a nurse in South Africa, read on to know about the most popular nursing courses.

How do I become a nurse in South Africa?

To become a certified nurse, you have to go through two steps: you must get a qualification from an accredited school and then register with SANC. Private nursing colleges in South Africa and public institutions provide the same degrees and diplomas. To complete your qualification, simply pick a school that suits your needs.

How many years does it take to become a nurse in South Africa?

Well, just keep in mind that it depends on the type of degree or diploma that you want to complete. The programs available for students who want to pursue a career in this field are:

Higher Certificate in Auxiliary Nursing — One year

In this course, you will learn all the basics of giving care to people. After the one year course, you will be working under a registered nurse who has completed his/her degree or diploma qualification.

Bachelor Degree in Nursing Sciences — Four years

With this university degree, you will be able to work as a midwife, general, community, or psychiatry nurse. By the end of this degree, also, you will be equipped with the theoretical and practical components of the field. Public universities like the UCT (University of Cape Town) offer nursing courses in Cape Town as well as the University of the Western Cape, University of KwaZulu-Natal, North-West University, and so on.

Diploma in Nursing — Three years

With this qualification, you will be equipped to work as an enrolled nurse or staff nurse. The significant difference between this course and the bachelor’s degree is the duration, and so, you should anticipate less detailed information. The diploma in nursing qualification can be found in Vaal University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, and other universities of technology.

Post-graduate Advanced Diploma in Nursing — One year

After completing your diploma and degree, you will be required to go for an advanced degree programme if you desire a career in nursing management. To apply for this advanced diploma programme, you must have had a bachelor’s degree or diploma in nursing. You also need, at least, two years of experience as a midwife or nurse.

What subjects are needed to become a nurse in South Africa?

For diploma and degree courses, the primary subject requirements to study nursing in South Africa include the following:

  • Mathematics;
  • English;
  • Life Science;
  • Life Orientation;
  • First or home language.

Although it is good to include Mathematics, life, and physical sciences for your bachelor’s degree, however, it is not necessary if you are applying for a diploma course.

What colleges offer nursing in South Africa?

The South African Nursing Council (SANC) is in charge of approving the courses and institutions in the country. That should be your first stop if you want to find out about nursing colleges in South Africa application forms.

The SANC will not register any student with a qualification from an institution that is not recognised. Log on to their official website to find out more. Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital is one of the nursing colleges in Gauteng registered by SANC. There are other nursing colleges, including the following:

  • Tygerberg Academic Hospital;
  • Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre;
  • Worcester Nursing School;
  • Lilitha College of Nursing;
  • Rahima Moosa Campus;
  • Ga-Rankuwa Nursing College;
  • S G Lourens Nursing College;
  • SAMHS Nursing College;
  • Andries Vosloo Hospital;
  • St Lucy’s Hospital;
  • Dora Nginza Hospital;
  • Dr Malizo Mpehle Memorial Hospital;
  • Moses Kotane Nursing School;
  • Taung Community Hospital;
  • Thusong Hospital Nursing School.

One of the vital nursing requirements is the SANC registration, which you can do once you get your qualification. From there, you can begin to enjoy your fulfilling nursing profession or choose to get a master’s degree.

The clinical nurse specialist works hand-in-hand with primary medical professionals while the advanced nurse practitioners continue their function as midwives.

How much do nurses earn in South Africa?

South African nurses can earn between R13,000 and R38,000 monthly, which is very lucrative. Interestingly, you do not have to work in hospitals if such an idea scares you. Nursing South Africa schools, institutions, research laboratories, and other sectors are also possible.

The reason is that, according to a study from the SANC, the healthcare sector has recorded a 35% increase in the number of nurses in South Africa. So, jobs for people in this field are always available.

There are three categories of nurses in South Africa.

  • Enrolled nursing auxiliaries take care of the patient’s primary and general needs;
  • Enrolled nurses play a limited role in providing care for patients;
  • Registered nurses, also known as nursing sisters, are in charge of supervising other nurses.

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