Can a foreigner study nursing in South Africa?

International students are required to obtain Limited Registration with the South African Nursing Council before you are permitted to commence with any practical requirements. The Department of Nursing Education will facilitate the process with the South African Nursing Council on completion of registration. 

The following documents are required for submission to the Nursing Council, six weeks before commencement of the course.

  1. Letter of Intent
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Certified Copy of Passport
  4. Professional Qualification Certificate
  5. Valid License to Practice from Regulatory Body
  6. Study Permit Department of Home Affairs
  7. Acceptance letter from the University of the Witwatersrand
  8. Academic Transcript of Training
  9. Proof of payment to the South African Nursing Council of R1000.00

Further information regarding Limited Registration with the South African Nursing Council refer to

The University has an International Office which offers assistance to international applicants and helps them with the procedures they need to follow. In order to register at the University, please check all requirements on the International Office website.

  • Registered Nurses or Nursing Sisters 

They are responsible for the supervision of enrolled and enrolled auxiliary nurses as well as typical nursing responsibilities.

  • Enrolled Nurses 

They perform limited nursing care.

  • Enrolled Nursing Auxiliaries

They perform basic procedures and care for patients on a general level.


According to the South African Nursing Council Statistics, the nursing industry in South Africa is growing. Fast. In the last 10 years, there has been a 35% increase in registered nurses (across all three categories) — that is over 74 000 new nurses registered in South Africa since 2008. Registered nurses have seen an increase of 31%, while enrolled nurses and enrolled nursing auxiliaries have seen increases of 71% and 15% respectively.

As a nurse, you’re likely to always have a job. According to the South African Health Review 2017, nurses make up the largest single number of healthcare professionals in South Africa.

And if you don’t love the idea of working in a hospital, don’t worry, your options don’t end there. As a nurse, you can work in schools, universities, out-patient clinics and pharmacies, government institutions, nursing homes, research labs and many other settings.

To qualify as a nurse, you can do one of the following:

  • a four-year bachelor degree in nursing (BCur– Bachelor of Nursing Science, Education & Administration)
  • 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 South African Nursing Council (SANC). 

Tel: 27 11 717 1054; Fax: 27 11 717 1059