Study Nursing in Singapore
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Nursing Studies in SingaporeLike many other aspects of Singaporean society, nursing education in this country is heavily regulated and subjected to a bevy of government classifications. Each level of nursing degree has its own set of government-mandated admissions requirements. Those degrees, in turn, carry different weight and will be treated differently by hospitals and clinics. In order to optimize your credentials and give yourself the best chance of gainful employment in the field of nursing, it’s a good idea to consult the regulations posted online by Singapore’s Ministry of Health [www.moh.gov.sg].
In basic terms, there are two levels of credential that full-time nurses can acquire: the Diploma in nursing, and the Degree in nursing. The Diploma programs are easier to get into, but carry fewer professional benefits upon graduation. Thanks to the Accelerated Diploma in nursing (offered by the School of Health Sciences at Nanyang Polytechnic), it is also possible to acquire a Diploma relatively quickly. However, the Degree is a better credential from a professional standpoint. This degree can only be obtained at the National University of Singapore, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. The Nursing program there requires a high level of academic achievement before allowing admission, but it is the best credential for anyone who wants to study nursing in Singapore. However, both the Degree and the Diploma are sufficient credentials to allow the student to become a registered nurse in Singapore, so in many ways the added efficiency of the terminal Diploma program can be an advantage for some students given their overall professional, academic, and financial circumstances.
After achieving the Diploma or Degree in nursing, it is also possible for registered nurses to pursue further professional and educational development by achieving higher levels of credential. For example, there are two programs in Singapore that lead to an Advanced or Specialist Diploma. After becoming a registered nurse, students in these programs return to school and get further training in some specialized field of nursing so that they can be more effective at some single aspect of their jobs.
This often leads to further career advancement down the road. At an even higher level, students may pursue the Master of Nursing – also offered solely at the National University of Singapore, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. This program requires that students already be registered nurses with both an Advanced Diploma and a Degree in nursing, as well as a significant amount of professional experience. The Master of Nursing is the highest level of nursing education available in Singapore.
Although all these regulations and bureaucratic requirements may be a hassle for many students, there is an advantage to having all this governmental involvement in nursing education: scholarships. Citizens of Singapore (and, in some rare cases, foreign students) can apply for a wide range of scholarships to help offset the costs of their nursing education. Along with the list of credentials and regulations, a list of these scholarships can also be found at the Ministry of Health website, which has a page dedicated to nursing.