10 reasons why you should consider nursing jobs in South Africa

Nursing jobs are definitely some of the most rewarding medical careers a person can choose to follow. Today we explore everything from how to become a nurse to 10 reasons why a nursing career is a great career choice.

What is a Nurse?

A nurse is someone who is trained to provide care for and promote the health of those who are sick, injured, bedridden or giving birth, and to assist doctors and other medical personnel to treat these patients.

nursing jobs in south africa

Nurses can be found working in hospitals, emergency rooms, doctors’ practices, clinics, old age homes, mental health institutions, schools and health centres. You will also find nurses working in prisons, at companies, and residential homes, where they provide private care to patients.

What makes a nursing career so rewarding is that, although they work long hours, often under very stressful circumstances, their lives and careers are completely dedicated to helping others, which brings immense job satisfaction. They spend their time caring for those who are unable to care for themselves, promoting their healing, and often playing a crucial role in saving lives.

Typically, nurses’ daily tasks would include:

  • Stock taking and managing nursing care supplies
  • Looking after patients pre-operation and post-operation
  • Administering and monitoring oral and intravenous medication
  • Taking patients’ blood pressure, pulses, samples and temperature
  • Supervising and training junior nursing staff
  • Organising and assigning job tasks
  • Writing and keeping track of medical records
  • Giving emotional support where needed to patients and their relatives

In terms of the nurse salary, a Registered Nurse (RN) in South Africa earns an average annual income of around R 207 400. Depending on your skills, your experience, the city you work in and your employer, this annual income can go up to around R 319 300.

If you want to learn more about medical careers in South Africa, be sure to visit medicalcareers.co.za.

How to become a nurse in South Africa

Becoming a nurse in South Africa has some academic and training requirements. Every tertiary institution’s basic admission requirements vary, but in most cases a matric with exemption and subjects including mathematics, physical science and biology will be necessary for entry into nursing courses.

building a nursing career

To be eligible for nursing jobs, you can opt to complete a four year, full time BCur undergraduate degree program at a recognised South African university. A BCur covers four essential disciplines within nursing, including general nursing in hospitals, private practices and clinics, midwifery, psychiatric nursing and community nursing that delivers healthcare and disease prevention solutions to communities. There are also post graduate options which you can take to further specialise in the nursing field.

Whilst you are studying a BCur, you will be required to do practical training at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Alternatively, if you want to become a nurse, you can choose complete your qualifications for nursing at one of the nursing colleges in South Africa. Private and public nursing colleges typically offer a four year diploma course that will enable you to register as a nurse, and other training options such as a one year diploma, bridging and post-basic diplomas. These nursing courses will provide complete training on the essentials of nursing, including general, psychiatric, community nursing and midwifery.

The South African Nursing Council (SANC), that regulates nursing and midwifery professions in South Africa, provides a full list of accredited tertiary institutions and colleges and recognised nurses’ qualifications.

Looking for a dream nurse vacancy? Create your Job Alert on Job Mail and get the latest info on vacancies in your industry and area.

10 awesome reasons to become a nurse in SA

There are so many reasons why you should consider becoming a nurse, it is truly a calling and provides immense job satisfaction, but we will highlight ten deal breaker reasons why nursing could be right for you.

nurse on duty

1. Nurses are in high demand

Not just in South Africa, but all over the world, we need more nurses – qualified, competent nurses. There is a huge gap in the job market in South Africa for nurses, as it is such a niche field of study and a job that comes with great responsibility. If you opt for a nursing career, you will actively help to fill the gap in a market that’s in desperate need of qualified professionals.

2. You’ll always have a job

Apart from a big opening in the job market, people will always be in need of medical care no matter what, and there will always be a need for nurses and qualified medical staff. Therefore, if you are a qualified nurse, the chances of finding good employment quickly are great, and if you’re a very competent nurse, you’ll be all the more in demand and head hunted.

3. Travel opportunities

If you’ve always had a desire to work in big cities, or travel to remote locations, even abroad, nursing will enable you to do so. Nurses are required everywhere, and you can take your pick as to where you want to work. You can even volunteer for a good cause like Doctors Without Borders, and offer assistance to countries and people who are in dire need of basic and specialised medical care.

4. Pick your environment

As a nurse, the options of environments you can work in are endless. From private to public hospitals, corporate environments, schools, private practices, psychiatric hospitals, residential homes, health and fitness centres, old age homes, female clinics, and more. You can decide where you will be most comfortable and productive to work as a nurse.

nurse on duty at a hospital

Do you have an interest in geriatric care? Read our “Caring for the elderly and old age home jobs in SA” post on the blog to learn more about the field of geriatric care.

5. A career for women and men

Throughout the years, nursing has generally been stereotyped as a career for women. But these days, more and more men are recognising the numerous benefits that a nursing career holds, and joining the discipline.

6. Specialisation possibilities

Nursing offers various specialisation options and as a nurse, you can choose to specialise in a field that you are passionate about, including fields like cardiology, psychiatry, oncology, orthopaedics, midwifery and more. For example, if you have a heart for children, you’ll find great job satisfaction working with ill children in the paediatric ward of a hospital.

If you would like to explore more medical careers within nursing, check out our Nursing Jobs blog tag.

7. Meet people from all walks of life

Nursing will enable you to meet and interact with various types of people and often, unusual circumstances. This makes nursing a very interesting career, with never a dull moment. Meeting and working with all sorts of people, with different life stories and personalities will greatly enrich your own life.

8. A support pillar for family and friends

Trained on how to care for the ill and respond to medical emergencies will not only be beneficial to your career, but also be a great asset to your family and friends. When a loved one is in need of medical attention, you could be the one to provide the necessary medical care and support, putting you and your loved ones at ease.

nursing vacancy and jobs

9. Saving a life

One of the greatest rewards of being a nurse is the fact that you get to save lives, literally. The skills and knowledge that nurses have and apply on a daily basis are crucial to promote the health and save the lives of dying patients. So, just imagine how it will feel knowing that your job not only saved one, but countless precious lives.

10. Vast training opportunities and nursing courses in SA

South Africa offers an array of private and public tertiary institutions with great qualifications for nursing that are approved by the South African Nursing Council. There are many options you can choose from and specialisation routes you can opt for in order to make your dream of becoming a nurse and making a change in people’s lives a reality.

So, are you compassionate, caring and have a strong desire to work with people and help them get well or promote their general health? Then nursing jobs on Job Mail are definitely for you. Register your CV and find a nursing vacancy that matches your skills today.

10 reasons why you should consider nursing jobs in South Africa
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10 reasons why you should consider nursing jobs in South Africa
Today the Job Mail team explores everything from how to become a nurse to 10 reasons why a nursing career is a great career choice.
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6 Responses

  1. Allinah says:


    I been enquiring with lifehealth care since early this year about enrolments but I was told no intake for 2017.

    So which planet there is high nursing demand?

  2. Margaret says:

    How do I apply for a nursing school

  3. Zelma Botha says:

    My daughter wants to become a nurse

  4. Nomaswazi says:

    Is it possible for me to study nursing , if I don’t have life sciences?

    • Jani Grey says:

      Hi Nomaswazi,

      The institutes where you can study nursing might all have different requirements. We would like to suggest that you make contact with each, either by visiting their website or calling the appropriate person, to find out what they require from you to study nursing.

      We wish you the best,
      The Job Mail Team

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