Circular 14/2022: Professional entrance exam

8 November 2022

TO:     National Department of Health

Provincial Departments of Health

Nursing Education Institutions

All Stakeholders





 The purpose of this Circular is to share information with the National Department of Health, Provincial Departments of Health, Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs) and all Stakeholders about the following matters pertaining to the Professional Entrance Examination conducted by the South African Nursing Council (SANC) for professional registration with the SANC:

  • Professional Entrance Examination Guidelines;
  • Examination to be written by International Nurses;
  • Examination Centres; and
  • Registration fee payable on completing the Professional Entrance Examination.


 The South African Nursing Council is a statutory body which functions in terms of the Nursing Act, 2005 (Act No. 33 of 2005), and has a responsibility to liaise and communicate with stakeholders on matters pertaining to the Nursing profession. With the introduction of Professional Entrance Examination, there is vital information to be shared as outlined below.

2.1 Professional Entrance Examination Guidelines

2.1.1      The South African Nursing Council held a consultative workshop with the education and training stakeholders on 19 July 2022 to discuss pertinent issues, including the Professional Entrance Examination Guidelines. Input was provided, consolidated and the guidelines were approved by Council in its ordinary meeting held on 22-23 September 2022.

The guidelines will be published on the SANC website in due course.

2.1.2      Students who have completed the summative/final examinations conducted by the NEIs towards registration in the categories “Professional Nurse and Midwife or General Nurse” will write the Professional Entrance Examination conducted by the SANC as from May 2023. The Professional Entrance Examination had already commenced in 2021 for students who have completed the final examination conducted by the NEIs leading to registration in the category “Auxiliary Nurse”.

2.1.3      Community Service Practitioners who graduated from Bachelor of Nursing (new programme) leading to registration as a Nurse and Midwife have individual choices on the month in which to write the Professional Entrance Examination, either in May or November, as long as the examination is written before they complete Community Service.

2.1.4      Students undergoing postgraduate Diplomas in Nursing will not write the Professional Entrance Examination until further notice.

2.2 Examination to be written by International Nurses and Refugees

2.2.1      The Council, at its meeting held on 22-23 September 2022, approved that with effect from 2023, International Nurses will write the same Professional Entrance Examination that is written by Nurses who underwent the Nursing programmes aligned to the Higher Education Qualifications Sub- Framework (HEQSF) in South Africa.

NB. This essentially amends sections 5.1.2 (relating to examination for foreign Nurses) and 6.1.5 of Circular 14/2020 issued in December 2020.

2.2.2      Notwithstanding other requirements, Refugees will be expected to write and be successful in all the summative/final examinations conducted by the NEIs, depending on the qualifications they intend to register with the SANC. Refugees will thereafter write the Professional Entrance Examination before they can be registered by the SANC.

2.3 Examination Centres

2.3.1      The SANC further consulted with the stakeholders on the issue of the Examination Centres since the students would have written and passed the summative/final examination that is conducted by the NEIs. The SANC noted that some NEIs were not willing to be Examination Centres for the Professional Entrance Examination conducted by the SANC. However, after thorough discussion, the Council in its meeting held on 22-23 September 2022, resolved that accredited NEIs should serve as Examination Centres in all the provinces for the 2023 Examination Cycle whilst the process of sourcing neutral venues by the SANC is underway. This implies that the Professional Entrance Examination will be conducted at the NEI where the student was enrolled for the programme for the examination cycle of 2023.

2.3.2      NEIs which are not registered with the SANC as Examination Centres but have students who are due to write the Professional Entrance Examination in 2023 should thus apply to become Examination Centres for 2023 Examination Cycle.

2.3.3      Students have a choice to select the examination month that suit their needs i.e., May or   November.

2.3.4      NEIs should submit the examination applications on behalf of the students who intend to write the May 2023 examination as published in the examination schedule of 2023. The person in charge of the NEI shall certify on the application form for admission to an examination, that the candidate is eligible for admission to the Professional Entrance Examination.

2.3.5      Students will be responsible to download the examination application form on the SANC website at in case they choose to write the examination other than in May 2023. The form, together with proof of payment of the applicable examination fees, should be emailed to Part of the application form must be completed and signed by the Principal of the NEI of the applicable examination venue.

2.3.6      The students will be required to hand over the examination question paper after writing.

2.4 Registration fee payable on completion of the Professional Entrance Examination

2.4.1      In terms of Sub-regulation 2(1)(v) of the Regulations regarding Fees and Fines payable to the South African Nursing Council (Government Notice No.R.170 of 8 March 2013), “a registration fee (practitioner), is payable per category on application for registration as a practitioner”.

2.4.2      On successful completion of the Professional Entrance Examination, each student must pay the due registration fee in line with the Board Notice which is published a year in advance for all fees payable to the SANC. Registration fees for the year 2022 is R437-00 per category and for 2023, R790-00 per category. Only a student Nurse who is eligible to register as a Professional Nurse and Midwife pay registration fees for two categories. Proof of payment of registration fees must be accompanied by the fully completed registration application form, available on



NEIs should bring the contents of this circular to the attention of academic staff, students and Invigilators.


This circular becomes implemented and valid on the date of issue. For any clarity seeking questions in respect of this circular, you are advised to contact Ms A. Mnguni, Senior Manager: Learner affairs at (012) 420 1065, email address



Ms SJ Nxumalo
Acting Registrar and CEO
South African Nursing Council


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