Registered nurses in Singapore will be able to enhance their skills through the new Graduate Diploma in Community Health Nursing offered by the NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (NUS Nursing) from 1 October. This is the first part-time post-graduate programme in Singapore that allows working nurses to study for credentials in community healthcare.
The programme comprises six modules which can be completed in any order, providing students with flexibility in managing their work and study commitments. With the successful completion of each module, students are awarded a certificate that can be “stacked up” towards the Graduate Diploma.
The course is accredited by the Singapore Nursing Board and provides students with a solid foundation in community health nursing, an emerging area of need in Singapore. Registered nurses who possess a degree as well as one year of working experience in a community setting are eligible to apply. Registration for the academic year beginning in January 2019 started on 1 October.
“We wish to encourage nurses to expand lifelong learning, and help them train, specialise and upgrade professionally to practise and deliver care at their fullest potential. However, we also know that nursing is a demanding job. Our new training framework thus has a strong emphasis on modularised and applied training, featuring short-term, customised courses based on the continuing education needs of in-service nurses to cater to their working arrangements and commitments,” said Professor Emily Ang, Head, NUS Nursing.
Associate Professor M Kamala Devi, Director of Education (CET) at NUS Nursing, shared that registered community health nurses are required to make decisions and offer treatment with a high level of autonomy and independence. “We are training leaders in community health nursing who can help to drive care transformation and strengthen the continuity of care between hospital and community. Graduates from the course will not only be able to provide direct patient care and perform advanced health assessment, they will play a consultative role for patients with complex needs, serve as the first line of escalation on the next level of care, and develop collaborative care planning with the interdisciplinary team for their clients,” she added.
The new post-graduate programme was designed in close consultation with community nursing professionals to align with industry demands and community needs. It complements the Ministry of Health’s strategies and efforts to build capabilities in Singapore’s nursing workforce and increase the number of trained community nurses to meet the needs of a rapidly ageing population and the rising incidence of chronic diseases.
The programme complements the range of courses available at NUS Nursing, including new initiatives such as the two-year nursing degree programme offered in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Workforce Singapore which saw its inaugural intake in July, as well as the three-month Collaborative Prescribing Programme which allows participants who have successfully completed the programme to prescribe medication and order tests independently without a doctor.
Healthcare is becoming an increasingly popular career option for many undergraduates as well, with NUS Nursing admitting its highest-ever intake of 313 students for its Bachelor of Science (Nursing) degree programmes this academic year.