SINGAPORE: To cater to more mid-career professionals who want to join the healthcare sector as nurses, Nanyang Polytechnic is starting a second intake this October for the Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses.
This was announced on Monday (Sep 18) by Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Health Amy Khor, during a visit to a training facility at Singapore General Hospital.
With the new intake, there will be around 60 trainees this year, said Dr Khor who added that there's been growing interest in the sector.
“In April this year, 34 mid-career individuals have started on the Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses with Nanyang Polytechnic. This represents a 62 per cent increase in the intake as compared to the average annual intake of about 21 over the last three years from 2014 to 2016,” Dr Khor said.
Under the programme, course fees are not only sponsored, trainees receive a monthly allowance throughout the training period.
Employers are also given incentives, with an on-the-job training support of S$16,000 for the first three years, for each trainee that they hire.
This comes on the heels of the Manpower Ministry’s announcement that more will be done to help jobseekers land positions in five industries - financial services, professional services, healthcare, wholesale trade, and infocomm and media.
These five sectors were identified as they are the most affected by rapid technological changes. Initiatives for the other four sectors will be announced in the next few months.
MAKING THE SWITCH
One mid-career professional who has made the switch is Gian Poh Eng who, at the age of 45, left her job in human resources to take up a diploma in Nursing (Accelerated) – now rebranded as the Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses.
Ms Gian is no stranger to the healthcare industry as she was a HR specialist in KK Hospital before making the switch.
"Working with nurses brought me very close to inpatient wards. That is where I gain a lot of insight on how they deliver patient care," she said. "Because of those nursing leaders, they inspired me to quit my job and join nursing as a career."
It was not a difficult choice either for former Singapore Armed Forces serviceman Kelvin Pang as he received support from his wife, who is also a nurse.
Mr Pang, who is currently a second-year student in the training programme, said his previous role in the military included motivating his men to complete missions, which isn’t a far stretch from helping patients overcome personal challenges on their road to recovery.
“I decided to change jobs because the healthcare industry has a longer career runway. At the same time, the knowledge of human anatomy doesn’t change. It’s a skillset that is permanent and I would like to acquire it,” the 32-year-old said.