How to become a nurse in one(1) year South Africa

How many years do you study for nursing?

This is dependent on the level of qualification that you choose to complete. Here are a list of programs that are available to student that want to pursue a career in nursing:

Higher certificate in auxiliary nursing – Students completing this course will learn all the basics of care-giving. Once completing this 1 year course, you will work alongside a registered nurse that has completed their degree or diploma qualification. 

Diploma in nursing – This qualification takes 3 years to be completed and students will be equipped to work as an enrolled nurse or staffing nurse. The only difference between completing a diploma versus a bachelor’s degree is the duration and less detailed information is provided to students. 

Bachelor’s degree in nursing – This is a 4 year qualification and with this university degree, students will be able to work as a midwife, general, community or psychiatric nurse. Upon completing your degree in nursing, you will be formally equipped with all the theoretical and practical skills of nursing. 

Post-graduate advanced diploma in nursing – Students that have completed their diploma/ degree will be required to complete a postgraduate programme if you want to pursue a career in nursing management. In order to qualify for this program, students must complete a bachelor’s degree or diploma in nursing. Students are also required to have at least 2 years of working experience as a midwife or nurse. 

Nursing duties

  • Recording patients medical histories 
  • Administering medication prescribed by doctors 
  • Observing patients and recording their progress 
  • Performing various medical tests to help analyse results 
  • Consulting with doctors and pharmacists 
  • Providing support to patients by educating them on how to manage their illness/injuries 

Is nursing a good career?

Yes nursing is a good career choice. Nurses have the responsibility of making a difference in the lives of others by providing an invaluable service to all those who are ill, vulnerable or in dire need of health care support.  They keep the health sector functional and are at the forefront of change in healthcare and public health.

How to become a nurse in South Africa?

If you are passionate about helping and caring for the lives of people, you need to have a thorough understanding of the requirements and training needed to become a certified nurse. In order to become a certified nurse, students first need to obtain a formal qualification. 

Once completing the degree, students need to register with the South African Nursing Council (SANC) which is a national board that governs and maintains the standards of nursing education and practice in South Africa. The SANC approves all the courses of institutions and will not register any student without a formal qualification from an institution that is not recognised. For more information students can visit