Project Description

Nursing internship in South Africa

Nursing Internship in South Africa

South Africa has an estimated population of 60,000,000. The public healthcare system provides services to 84% of the population, through access to government-run public clinics and hospitals. It is chronically underfunded and understaffed. The private healthcare system, which is far better equipped, provides health services through individual practitioners who run private practices, and through private hospitals. It covers those sectors of society who are able to pay for health insurance. South Africa currently faces multiple burdens of disease, with the HIV and AIDS epidemic coinciding with a high burden of tuberculosis, high maternal and child mortality, high levels of violence and injuries and a growing burden of non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory conditions and cancer). This nursing internship will allow you to experience many of these social and healthcare issues when working within the private healthcare system in Cape Town.

This is a structured immersion internship with additional supervision and support. The objective is to provide you with an impactful internship experience in South Africa in the field of nursing. 


The VACorps Advanced Wound Management Nursing Internship program in South Africa is a structured internship that is facilitated by the support team at WoundNet, and the group practice of private nurse practitioners in 5 clinics across the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. Through a combination of active mentorship, clinic attendances, home, and hospital visits, the program delivers a practical work experience in the resource-poor environment of South Africa. A basic online learning management program is also available to deepen your understanding of the field of Advanced Wound Management.


Advanced Wound Management nursing internships are typically 4 – 6 weeks in duration and your internship tasks will be determined by the program leader at the beginning of each week. The following are examples of what you can expect to learn during this program:

  • Become familiar with South Africa’s healthcare inequalities and the challenges faced by South Africans
  • Gain perspective on what it’s like to run a private healthcare consulting practice in a developing economy
  • Shadow and interact with Advanced Wound Care Practitioners in the field.
  • Learn more about Advanced Wound Management in many different areas of healthcare
  • Learn about: Wound bed preparation, Wound Assessment, Different debridement therapies, Wound infection, Diabetic Foot Ulcers, Vascular Ulcers, Pressure Injuries, Burns, Cancer Wounds, Skin Tears, Non-healing wounds, Surgical Dehiscences, Negative Pressure Wound Therapy, Ankle Brachial Pressure Index, and much more.

A basic online learning management program (optional)

The online learning management program is an optional addition to the learning experience. Through a system of reading materials, quizzes, multiple-choice questions, and assignments, Advanced Wound Management is brought to life. We recommend that this course be taken prior to arrival in South Africa.

Internship schedule and time commitment

Internships will be five days a week (Monday through Friday), from 09h00 – 17h00, or 08h00 – 16h00, with the exception of a half-day on Fridays to allow interns to participate in VACorps Weekly Meet-Ups. It will be important for you to treat your internship as if it were a job.


In addition to the general orientation program provided by VACorps, participants of our Advanced Wound Management program will receive a special orientation that is facilitated by one of the program leaders. The content will cover topics specifically related to basic clinical involvement, concepts, and guidance on how to get the most out of your internship. During your internship, you will be directly supervised by an on-site nurse practitioner and you are encouraged to take initiative to identify ways you can contribute, especially in areas of career interest.

NOTE: If you are on a pre-medical academic track, you are welcome to apply to this program. Please also review the VACorps pre-medical internship page to compare our two medical programs.

The program leader

Liz Morris - nursing internship South Africa program coordinator

Liz Morris has 30+ years experience in nursing and business administration, of which the last 10 years have been in Advanced Wound Management. She has been actively involved with leading teams of nurses in Advanced Wound Management as well as in Geriatric Care. She is qualified as a Professional Nurse and Midwife, and has completed the International Interdisciplinary Wound Care course with Prof. Gary Sibbald of the University of Toronto in Canada.

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Meet past participants:

Hannah Oakerson, Texas, USA (2022)

Hannah is studying for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Texas A&M University. She joined the VACorps program in May 2022 and participated in a medical internship at a public clinic.   "VACorps has [...]

Savannah McCall, Utaha USA (2022)

Savannah (pictured front middle) is majoring in International Studies with a Pre-Medicine emphasis at the Univesity of Utah. She joined the VACorps program in June 2022 and participated in a medical internship at a [...]

Nick Maylett, Utah, USA (2022)

Nick is a pre-med student at the University of Utah and joined the VACorps program in May 2022.  Nick participated in a medical internship at a public clinic.  "I absolutely loved everything about VACorps, [...]

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