SINGAPORE: Mid-career Singaporeans keen to pursue nursing as a career can now apply for a new degree level programme at the National University of Singapore’s Alice Centre for Nursing Studies (NUS Nursing), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) announced on Saturday (Feb 3).
The new degree level Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses is targeted at mid-career Singaporeans with a prior degree qualification in any discipline other than nursing.
In a joint press release, MOH and WSG said the degree will be offered as a two-year Bachelor of Science (Nursing) programme at NUS Nursing. The course fees of S$74,500 will be fully sponsored and trainees will also receive training allowances of S$2,170 to $2,520 per month throughout the two years of training, depending on their years of prior work experience.
Upon graduation, trainees will also receive a one-time career transition bonus of S$2,000. An on-the-job training incentive of S$18,000 per mid-career degree trained registered nurse will also be provided to employers to enable them to better support these nurses in their transition to a new career, said the press release.
Speaking at the career preview for the degree, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said: “There has been a growing interest in nursing. In recent years, we have seen an increase of about 33 per cent in our total nursing intake from 1,500 in 2012 to around 2,000 in 2017.
“The introduction of the new two-year degree level Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses makes it more attractive for mid-career Singaporeans who have a prior degree in other disciplines to join the nursing profession. This is aligned with the Ministry of Health’s effort to build a strong local core of nurses in the healthcare workforce as we face an ageing population and rising incidence of chronic diseases.”
Assistant professor at the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies Shefaly Shorey had previously attained her nursing diploma from the PCP at Nanyang Polytechnic, and will now lecture degree-level PCP nursing students at NUS.
“This degree will be preparing for future leaders in nursing. Our curriculum is more at a deeper level – better critical thinkers, better communicators, better clinical decision-makers – those who can lead nurses in the future,” said Dr Shorey.
The degree will be in addition to the existing two-year accelerated Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses at the diploma level conducted by Nanyang Polytechnic and targeted at mid-career Singaporeans with A-Level and diploma qualifications.
Since 2003, more than 1,000 mid-career professionals have participated in professional conversion programmes for the healthcare sector. Of these, around 800 took programmes on nursing and 200 on allied health professions, according to the press release.
MOH added that it will continue to work closely with WSG and healthcare industry partners to explore and develop new PCPs for other professions in the healthcare industry.
Applications for the Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses at NUS Nursing are open until Mar 2.