More professional development opportunities for nurses

SINGAPORE – There will be more avenues for nurses here to expand their skills and knowledge with two new courses launched on Wednesday (July 17).

A three-year part-time Bachelor of Science (Nursing Practice) degree and a course for enrolled nurses to obtain a Certification of Competency in Administration of Medication were launched by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Nurses’ Merit Award ceremony.

Mr Gan noted that Singapore’s nursing workforce grew by 17 per cent between 2013 and last year (2018). There were around 42,000 nurses as of 2018.

Nursing intakes have also been increasing over the same period, from over 1,600 in 2013 to a bumper crop of over 2,100 last year.

“We will grow our nursing workforce in a few ways – by creating more opportunities for you to upgrade yourselves in emerging skills and competencies, encouraging professional development throughout your nursing careers, and making nursing a career of choice for both students as well as mid-career professionals,” said Mr Gan.

The Nursing Practice degree is offered by the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies at the National University of Singapore, the first time a local university is offering the part-time programme.

It is for registered nurses with at least one year of work experience and who have a Diploma in Nursing from Nanyang Polytechnic or Ngee Ann Polytechnic. It will start in August 2019.

The Certification of Competency in Administration of Medication will equip enrolled nurses with pharmacological knowledge to administer prescribed medication to patients, while being supervised by a registered nurse.

The 120-hour course covers topics including medication administration management and smart solutions and technologies, and is for nurses with at least two years’ of work experience who are enrolled with Singapore Nursing Board and have a valid practising certificate.

The first batch of 19 nurses were enrolled in the course run by the Institute of Technical Education College East on July 11 this year.

At the ceremony held at Concorde Hotel Singapore, 101 nurses from sectors like community care, private hospitals and public healthcare institutions, received awards in recognition of their exceptional performance and contribution to raising the nursing profession.

They were nominated for the award, which started in 1976, by their healthcare institutions and selected by a panel set up by the Ministry of Health.

Each award recipient was presented with a medal, to be worn as part of the nurses’ uniform, and a cash award of $1,000, which can be put towards their professional and personal development and learning.

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