Change the world


Nursing is a calling to serve humankind and to make a difference in the world. Most people start nursing because they care about other people and because they like helping people.

It is however important to understand that nursing is not always an easy task, but it is very rewarding and enjoyable. It feels great when you can reach out and touch someone in need and help someone regain their health. It feels fantastic to be able to bring a new baby into the world and to make use of all the latest technology. It also feels wonderful to care for the young and old and make the dying person more comfortable.

Nurses are important in communities too. They are often looked upon as the educated and are therefore asked to take the lead in community projects and initiatives. Nurses can and do make a difference in the world.

Yes, nurses sometimes care for people with infectious diseases. Nurses are trained how to protect themselves and others to minimize the risk. It is a legal requirement that employers put protective measures in place but it is also required that employees comply with these measures and do everything in their power to prevent injury or infections. In the event that a nurse is exposed to such a health risk, they will be treated immediately, and the necessary policies and procedures will be implemented.

Prospective students can either write to or e-mail the Admissions Department at Nelson Mandela University and request an admission form. The address is Nelson Mandela University, P.O Box 77000, Port Elizabeth, 6031.

The prospective student can also personally visit the Admissions office at the university to collect the necessary application forms.

Prospective students can also download application forms from the internet by going onto the Nelson Mandela University website at or email


- Proof of payment

- Certified copy of Identity document

- Certified copy of your latest matric results

- Academic record and certificate of conduct from previous institutions (if applicable)

- Diploma/Degree (if applicable)

- Marriage certificate (if applicable)

- Proof of residential address (if applying for on-campus accommodation)


- All of th above listed documentation

- Proof of professional indemnity care

- SANC receipt

- Completed Curriculum Vitae (detailing working experience)

- U24 completed (Post-graduate application form)


You can start applying any time after 1 June. All applications have to be screened before registration by the Head of the Department of Nursing Science. Registration is normally the 3rd or 4th week in January. There are penalties for late registration and it cannot be guaranteed that your application will be successful.

All applications will be screened by the Head of the Department of Nursing Science. Only those candidates that meet the requirements will be approved for the appropriate programmes. The process normally takes approximately 1 month. You will receive a letter from the Admissions Department informing you that you have been accepted/not been accepted into the programme. If you have not heard anything from the Department of Nursing Science after 6 weeks, please contact the Ms Candice Williams on Tel: 041 504 3087

Please make sure that you apply timeously otherwise you will miss the registration date, and you will have to pay late registration fees, if you are accepted into the programme.

The choice of accommodation is at the discretion of the student.

It is the student’s responsibility to arrange and pay for accommodation.

Yes, in the student village. Again, these arrangements have to be made by the students. Information is available from the admissions office.

The B Cur degree spans over a period of 4 years. However, if candidates do not meet direct admission requirements, they may be considered for the B Cur Extended Programme, which spans over a period of 5 years.

Students have to attend classes and do laboratory work as well as clinical work in healthcare settings in their programme. There is a stipulated amount of practica hours that has to be done before they will be able to qualify. They also have to pass all the modules. The practica is done in various hospitals and healthcare institutions in and around the Nelson Mandela Metropole Area. Nurses will be in class on average 24 hours per week, and spend on average 16 hours in the clinical areas e.g. hospitals or clinics per week. You will be comprehensively orientated in the beginning of the programme. All the necessary particulars and requirements will be given to you at the orientation programme.

Students are assessed continuously throughout their programmes. Assessment can take the form of tests, examinations, assignments, practical assessments, presentations etc. Examinations are written in June/July and again in November/January each year. Theoretical examinations are 3 hours in duration, and practical assessments are approximately 1-2 hours. Assessments can be done in simulation laboratories or in clinical placement areas depending on the programme requirements.

No - the amount of hours are prescribed by the South African Nursing Council and the Department of Nursing Science. Lecturers will place the student in a variety of institutions to ensure that they get the necessary range of exposure to the clinical areas that are required for registration at the end of the programme.

Due to the practical component and hours of practical training the students have to obtain before completing their degree, additional practical hours have to be done during the recess periods. The student will however be able to have recess for 28 days during the December/January recess period.

As the public need 24 hours of care, students will be expected to participate in shift work. Nurses in their first year will participate in shift work on some weekends during recess periods. First year students will not be expected to do shifts at night. Second to fourth year students will be required to do night duty mainly during recess periods.

The degree programme starts at the beginning of February of the student’s first year. Students will be required to attend an orientation programme of the university and of the Nursing Science Department at the end of January.

Students that excel in the nursing programmes are sometimes granted the opportunity to go overseas for a period of time. Some of the students have been to Sweden for 3 months and others have been to America and England for 2-3 weeks. They are expected to be ambassadors for South Africa and the Nursing Profession. Students have to go through a stringent selection process before being awarded this opportunity.

Yes, it is compulsory for all registered nurses to complete one year of community service on completion of their programmes. In June or July of the year in which the students complete the programme they have to complete the forms to request placements for their community service year.

Yes, Nursing students are encouraged to participate in all activities on campus and enjoy their student life.

In most cases the hospitals are in the PE metropolitan area.

It is preferable that nurses have their own transport. It is however not a necessity. Public transport is available in most metropolitan areas e.g. to hospitals and clinics. When nurses do home based care, arrangements can be made by the Department of Nursing Science, but this will be done via the lecturer and only if it is necessary. There is also a shuttle service which transports students from the main campus to Missionvale campus daily.

The university has campus health centres and students are treated for a nominal fee at these clinics. A Registered Nurse will consult with the student first and treat them if necessary. If the student needs to see a doctor the nurse will refer the student to one of the doctors who are available at the university clinics. The university does not provide a medical aid/insurance but students may seek such insurance from a company of their choice and at their own cost.

The student will be qualified as a Registered Nurse in General Nursing Science, Midwifery, Psychiatric Nursing and Community Nursing.

The Department of Nursing Science offer no bursaries to students. Students are therefore encouraged to secure financial aid for their studies before registration or apply for a bursary with the Department of Health. Completing the application form and communicating with the Department of Health is the responsibility of the student.

If bursaries become available (and there is no guarantee), the money will be paid into the student’s account and is managed by the University’s finance office. The student’s tuition fees and other related fees will be deducted from the amount. Accommodation will be deducted for the year if she/he is residing in a Provincial Nurses home. The balance will be paid out to the student, in equal amounts, over a period of 12 months.

View the official registration fees of the university:

Additional costs include:


PRICE (2009)


1 pr trouser @ R250-80
1 Specially designed top @ R270-75

1 pr trousers @ R192-10
Specially Designed Mens Top @ R 222-30

Minimum (2 EACH): R1043.10

Minimum (2 EACH): R828.80


Navy blue, genuine leather

Black, genuine leather lace up

± R300.00




R160 including VAT











SANC FEES – Registration at the South African Nursing Council (once off fee)


TRAVEL to and from the university and practical placement areas e.g. hospitals and clinics (this is at the students own cost)




Nelson Mandela University - COURSE FEES

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Nelson Mandela University - REGISTRATION FEES

view registration fees...

The student is responsible for their own housing. Arrangements can be made at some of the hospitals to stay in the residences but the student has to pay for the accommodation.


R3150, 00


Students do not “work” during the 4-5 years of their study. They have to get practical experience and learn how to do certain clinical skills which can only be done in the surrounding hospitals and clinics. These practical hours that the students have to do are set (prescribed) by the South African Nursing Council.

Students that do not complete the prescribed amount of clinical hours cannot be registered as qualified nurses at the South African Nursing Council on completion of their programmes, and will therefore not be able to work as a professional nurse in South Africa.

Yes, our international students are integrated into the usual nursing programmes. We also have international students that come for short visits and work in hospitals under supervision. If you are a potential candidate you should contact the Office for International Education for details of the process. Please see Licence to practice section under the Frequently Asked Questions.

Nursing is one of the best careers anyone can choose because there is such diversity within nursing as a profession. Initially everyone does their basic nursing degree, but after that the qualified professional nurse can choose from a wide variety of specialization areas. The following are some examples: Intensive Care Nursing, Orthopaedic Nursing, Operating Theatre Nursing, Occupational Health Nursing, Nephrology Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Nursing and Health Services Management, Nursing Education and Nursing Research.

Nursing allows you to work all over the world, in your discipline of choice. At the moment there is a shortage of nurses around the world and nurses frequently use this opportunity to learn about other countries and health care models.

Most qualified nurses work 8-12 hours a day and 40 hours per week. Nurses do shift work, so they can go on duty early or later in the day. Most night shifts are 12 hours long. There are some institutions that will allow flexi hours but this depends on the internal policy and demands of each health care institution.

All nursing students (nationals and foreign students) have to be registered at the South African Nursing Council as students to be able to do their training in South Africa.

On completion of the training, a certificate of completion is sent to the South African Nursing Council. Nationals are registered for community service and only after completion of community service and certification of completion is received from the institution where community service was rendered are they registered by the South African Nursing Council.

Foreign nursing students have to go through an extensive process before they can study in South Africa. Obtain the necessary information from the Office of International Education. International students also have to register as students at the South African Nursing Council. Once they completed their training they have to return to their country of origin. They are not licensed to practice in South Africa. These nurses get the degree from the university but it does not entitle them to practice in South Africa as a professional nurse. They have to register in their own country. The university will send the necessary transcripts of the training to their professional body upon request. Students should find out what the processes and requirements are BEFORE they study in South Africa, to ensure they get the necessary documentation before they leave the country. If they want to return to South Africa to work they have to apply for registration at the South African Nursing Council (but they can only do this once they are registered in their own country).

Nelson Mandela University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Science

Phone number: 041-504 2122
Fax number: 041 – 504 2616

Department of Nursing Science,
Nelson Mandela University
P. O Box 77000
Port Elizabeth

The physical address is:
Department of Nursing Science,
Nelson Mandela University
Building 226 2nd Floor R Block North Campus
University Way
Port Elizabeth

The university has a variety of campuses i.e. Summerstand campus - which is the main campus, Missionvale campus, George campus, 2nd Ave campus and Bird street campus.

The Department of Nursing Science is on the North Campus in Summerstrand, and we also have facilities at Missionvale campus where the first two years of the B Cur Extended Programme is offered.