Home Nurse


by Staff Reporter
If you are interested in helping people maintain their health, treating the sick, have a dedication to medicine and the ability to keep adding to your knowledge base then nursing could be the job for you!

Career Overview

Nursing is a much needed occupation in South Africa. Government and private medical institutions alike are in dire need of more nurses. More nurses would mean more efficient, better run and better care in all medical facilities. But. And this a big but. This isn’t something you should do just for the sake of it. You need to have a passion for people and a desire to care for them. Anything less and you could end up pretty unhappy. Job shadow or chat to a nurse to see if it really is something you could do.

Nursing requires an immense amount of dedication to learning, treating and caring. Nurses are the backbone of the Health Sector; everyone needs nurses. Doctors need nurses and patients need nurses. Nurses, no matter how long they have been practicing for, have to constantly update their knowledge and procedures.  Therefore, you never stop learning.  An interest in academia will help you achieve your qualification and ensure you constantly learn more about your field as you work.

Required School Subjects

Bachelor Degree in Nursing Sciences Entry Requirements:

  • English (50-59%)
  • First additional or home language (50-59%)
  • Life Sciences (50-59%)
  • Maths Literacy (50-59%)

Diploma in Nursing Entry Requirements:

  • You will need a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or equivalent qualification at a level 3 or 4, depending on the institution, to qualify to study the course. However, it is not as important that you have taken mathematics and or physical sciences as it is for BCur. You will need:
  • English (50-59%)
  • First additional or home language (50-59%)
  • Four other subjects (50-59%)
  • Life Orientation (50-59%)

Higher Certificate in Auxiliary Nursing Entry requirements:

  • You will need a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or equivalent qualification at exit level 3 or 4, depending on the institution, to qualify to study this course, however, it is not as important that you have taken mathematics, physical sciences or life sciences as it is for the BCur. You will also need:
  • English (50-59%)
  • First additional or home language (50-59%)
  • Four other subjects (50-59%)
  • Life orientation (50-59%)

Postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Nursing Entry Requirements:

  • Bachelor in Nursing Sciences or equivalent or a degree and comprehensive diploma
  • Diplomas in nursing and midwifery
  • Advanced Diploma in midwifery, staff nurse and advance diploma

Take a look at our Subject Guide to find the value of specific subjects as well as suitable subject packages for various career fields.

Institution and APS

Faculties of Health Sciences do not usually follow an APS.  Instead, they use your collective subject choices and their respective percentages.

Look left to see the entry requirements for a Nursing degree or diploma.

According to the Western Cape College of Nursing, the minimum entry requirements for a diploma in Nursing is:

  • Grade 12 (Std 10) – Minimum 28 APS points

Some of the most reputable institutions which over studies in nursing include:

  • University of Johannesburg (UJ)
  • University of Pretoria (UP)
  • Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
  • University of Cape Town (UCT)

There are also a variety of smaller nursing colleges that focus solely on nurse training which ensures that the practical element of the education and training is covered. 

Required Qualification/s

To qualify as a nurse, there are four options for you to pursue:

  • A four-year bachelor degree in nursing
  • A three-year diploma
  • A one-year higher certificate in auxiliary nursing
  • One-year postgraduate advanced diploma in nursing and midwifery on top of your degree or diploma.

After you get your qualification, you have to register with the SANCA (South Africa Nursing Council).

Required Skills

No other profession offers the opportunity to make such a profound difference on the lives of people who truly need and appreciate it. Good nurses greatly contribute to the success and stability of healthcare institutions and to the mental and physical wellbeing of their patients.. Those who succeed in nursing and gain the most personal fulfilment from it start their careers with certain unique qualities. If you are caring, responsible and have great communication skills, you may already have great qualities to become a successful nurse. Nursing is not for the faint hearted, so being resilient, focused in high stress situation while remaining compassionate to patient and family feelings, would also help maintain a great nursing career. Above all, you need to be dedicated to your position, be competent in your field and have a strong stomach.

Where you can work

Owing to nursing posts needing to be filled, most private and public hospitals are always looking to take on nurses. Even just a quick google search proves widespread job opportunities in South Africa, for all types of qualified nurses. The majority of posts will be requesting a registered nurse. Almost all posts require you to be registered with SANC (South African Nursing Council).

Working Hours

A registered nurse works in a 2 week cycle. They have a long week where they work on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The next week is a short week and is just the Wednesday and Thursday. They work 14 days in a 28 day cycle. If you’re a staff nurse/sister, you get to work overtime. You work for 12 hours, get paid overtime, and you get paid pretty well. Pay is double on a Saturday night – R1500. Day pay is R 700 and overtime is over and above your salary. This is as set out by SANC (South African Nursing Council).

Expected Salary

The market is always seeking Nurses, however nursing is a time consuming and hardworking career, that is sometimes a thankless job. South Africa specifically relies on well qualified nurses to help boost the medical treatment efficiency and quality in the public and private sector. The South African Nursing Council (SANC) register shows that as of 17 January 2017 there were 401 543 nurses and midwives eligible to practise nursing in South Africa (4), compared to 391 517 nurses in 2015. If you would like to find out what a nurse earns click on this website: https://www.indeed.co.za/salaries/Registered-Nurse-Salaries.

What to expect

Bachelor Degree in Nursing Sciences:

The degree consists of both a compulsory practical clinical training component and a theoretical component. Once you have completed a BCur or equivalent, you can register with SANC. The Bcur usually prepares you in four specifics fields:

  • General nursing (working in hospitals and medical practices)
  • Community nursing
  • Psychiatric nursing
  • Midwifery (caring for mothers and babies)

Your course will have a practical component. You will learn how to do the kind of practical work you will need to be able to do when you become a nurse. In the theoretical component, you will learn the theory of what it is to be a nurse and you will study medical, biological and natural sciences, psychological and social sciences, and pharmacology so that you have the knowledge you need to be a competent and successful healthcare professional.

Diploma in Nursing:

This course is three years and also consists of practical and theoretical work. After you have completed this qualification you are able to work as a registered staff nurse or enrolled nurse. During this course you will cover similar work to what you would cover in the Bcur degree. You will go less-in-depth with the work as the course is shorter. You will learn how to provide nursing care, apply your knowledge in the nursing practice, diagnose and treat minor illnesses and provide reproductive health care.

Higher Certificate in Auxiliary nursing:

This is a one-year qualification that is aimed to equip you with the skills that you will need to provide basic nursing care to individuals while working under the supervision of a nurse who holds a national diploma or degree. After completing your higher certificate you will be able to register as an enrolled nursing auxiliary. This course will teach you how to apply your knowledge of the theory, the practice of basic nursing and how to asses ,plan, implement and evaluate basic nursing care for individuals and groups.

Postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Nursing:

This course is designed to strengthen and deepen your knowledge in nursing and midwifery. During this course, you will specialise as a nurse or midwife (or accoucheur). This course is also only one year long and can only be completed after you have received a diploma or degree in nursing. Unlike the other courses, this course is mostly theoretical. This qualification will also be helpful if you wish to pursue a career in nursing management. This is the postgraduate course for an individual who has a diploma in nursing, will have to complete in order to work as a nursing sister in South African Hospitals.

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