The language of instruction is English.


The Bachelor of Nursing degree spans a period of four years. However, if candidates do not meet direct academic admission requirements, they may be considered for the Bachelor of Nursing (Extended) programme, which spans a period of five years. If students do not pass their modules or complete their theoretical or practical requirements, their studies will be prolonged. The maximum duration of study is six years.

Students have to attend classes and do laboratory work as well as clinical work in health-care settings. Students care for patients in the clinical areas, and they provide basic care, e.g., washing and feeding patients, and they also carry out more specialised functions, such as giving medication, putting up IV fluids and executing doctors’ orders.
A stipulated number of practical hours must be done before students are able to qualify. They also have to pass all the modules. Practical experience is obtained in various hospitals and health-care institutions in and around the Nelson Mandela Bay area. Student nurses will be in class on average 24 hours per week and will spend on average 16 hours in the clinical areas, e.g., hospitals or clinics, per week. You will actively care for patients right through your training programme. 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 the programme. Assessment is done using a variety of methods, e.g., tests, examinations, assignments, practical assessments (of patient care or in a simulation laboratory), presentations etc. Examinations are written in June/July and again in November/December each year. Theoretical examinations are three hours in duration, and practical assessments are approximately one to two hours.

No. The South African Nursing Council and the Department of Nursing Science prescribe the number of practical hours and where these will take place. Lecturers will place students 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.

No. Due to the practical component and the hours of practical training the students have to complete before qualifying, additional practical hours have to be done during the recess periods. Students will however be able to have recess for ± 28 days during the December/January recess period, provided that they have adhered to the requirements of the training programme.

As the public needs 24 hours care, students will be expected to participate in shift work. Nurses in their first year (direct entry programme) will participate in shift work on some week and weekends. The Extended Bachelor of Nursing students only start their practical placements in their second year of study. 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.

All degree programmes start at the beginning of February. Students will be required to attend orientation programmes run by the university and the Department of Nursing Science at the end of January. The academic programme will be presented to the students at the orientation that takes place in the Department of Nursing Science.

Students that excel in the nursing programmes are sometimes granted the opportunity to go overseas as exchange students for a period of time. Some students have been to Sweden for three months, and others have been to America and England for two to three 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. Students also have to make a financial contribution towards this opportunity, e.g., personal spending money.

Yes, it is compulsory for all registered South African nurses to do one year of community service on completion of their programmes. In June or July of the year in which the students complete the nursing programme, they have to fill in forms to request placements for their community service year. After completion of the degree (meaning that all requirements have been met regarding theory and practice), a certificate of completion is sent to the South African Nursing Council. Nurses are then registered with the South African Nursing Council as community service nurses. Once the South African Nursing Council has received evidence of the completion of the community service, the graduates are registered as professional nurses.

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

Undergraduate student nurses are mostly placed in hospitals and clinics in the Gqeberha and surrounding areas, which are SANC accredited.

It is preferable that nurses have their own transport. It is, however, not a necessity. The university does provide some transport for nursing students, but there are times that it is not available. Public transport is available in most metropolitan areas, e.g., to hospitals and clinics. When nurses do home-based care, assistance can be provided by the Department of Nursing Science, but such arrangements will be made via the lecturer and only if necessary. There is also a shuttle service during the academic year which transports students from the main campus to Missionvale campus daily. These services may not be available during recess periods. Please follow this link shuttle transport or email for more information relating to available shuttle transport service.

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 him or her if necessary. If the student needs to see a doctor, the nurse will refer the student to one of the doctors on site. If the student needs services that are not available on site, he or she will be given a letter and referred to another health service. 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.

You will receive a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the university. The student will be qualified as a registered nurse (for the legacy programmes) or a professional nurse for the new programme (starting 2020).