Are you interested in nursing as a career?

Dr Ann van Zyl, Training and Development General Manager (acting) at Mediclinic Southern Africa, explains the nursing qualifications offered at Mediclinic’s world-class Learning Centres and the career options they may lead to.

Nurses play a critical role in South Africa’s healthcare system and within Mediclinic facilities, providing the expert care and attention our patients deserve. Our nurses begin their training at Mediclinic Higher Education and Training institution, which provides world-class training and develops nurses who can deliver excellent patient care.

The Mediclinic Higher Education team consists of qualified and professional educators, and you can find our Learning Centres in major business hubs across Southern Africa. Here's how to begin a nursing career at one of Mediclinic’s Learning Centres:

What nursing career options exist?

There are three ways to become a nurse in South Africa by successfully completing one of the following courses, says Dr Van Zyl:

  • Higher Certificate in Nursing, a one-year programme, registering you with the South African Nursing Council (SANC) as an auxiliary nurse. The Higher Certificate-level qualification enables you to enrol for a higher-level qualification, e.g., an advanced certificate or diploma course in the same field of study.
  • Diploma in Nursing, a three-year course, registering you with SANC as a general nurse. A Diploma-level qualification allows you to work in a particular field.
  • Bachelor of Nursing, a four-year programme, registering you with SANC as a professional nurse.

Dr Van Zyl says Mediclinic currently offers both the Higher Certificate in Nursing and the Diploma in Nursing at five of Mediclinic’s six Learning Centres.

What are the best nursing education institutions?

  • The Higher Certificate in Nursing is offered at the Mediclinic Learning Centre in Sandton, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Polokwane.
  • The Diploma in Nursing is offered at the Mediclinic Learning Centres in Nelspruit, Sandton, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Polokwane. 

“The Bellville-based Learning Centre in Cape Town, the biggest of our facilities, is awaiting SANC accreditation so it can begin to offer training,” says Dr Van Zyl. This is anticipated to happen by 2025.

Mediclinic’s nursing programmes are open to the public. This year, 404 nursing students are enrolled at the five Mediclinic Training Centres.

What are the entrance requirements and how do I apply?

The programmes are advertised on Mediclinic Southern Africa’s website. Applications open on 1 May each year and close at the end of June. Prospective students apply electronically.

“Candidates must have Grade 12 English (first or second language), mathematics or mathematics literacy, and biology or natural science. We also recommend they have computer literacy,” says Dr Van Zyl. “The specific grades they need to apply are on the website.”

How I became a nurse

Siya Simelane, a pre-licensed general nurse, completed her Diploma in Nursing in 2023 at the Mediclinic Northern Region Learning Centre in Sandton.

“I embarked on the journey to become a nurse with just a dream and a passion that I needed to fulfil. I had no clue of what to expect, nor did I expect the hard work you have to put into this,” says Simelane.

“During my three years of study, the Mediclinic Learning Centre programme changed my mind set about what I thought nursing was. It also equipped me mentally and physically to be a brand ambassador for Mediclinic’s values.

“The course exposed me to the practicality of what nursing was, as well as the theory needed to be deemed ready and fit for the new position. Mediclinic is a cornerstone of creating the best nurses in South Africa. I believe I’m ready and able to offer the best of me in the profession.”

For more information on training to become a nurse through Mediclinic Learning Centres, click here.