These nurses embraced the challenges of a mid-career switch to fulfil their calling to help others and make a difference in people’s lives.
Lim See Han
Staff Nurse, Sengkang Community Hospital
Previous career: Validation Engineer
Underwent the Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses at the National University of Singapore (NUS)
See Han has always sought a meaningful job so that he can help people. Although he worked in the pharmaceuticals industry, it was not what he had envisioned — he was dealing more with machines than people. At the age of 33, he decided to take the leap to pursue a career in nursing. His wife, a former nurse, was fully supportive despite having a two-year-old son and a second child on the way as considerations.
Three years into the job, See Han is convinced he made the right move. As a nurse, he has many different career paths to explore. With the Ministry of Health’s initiative to shift care into the community, he is well placed at Sengkang Community Hospital to play a bigger role in the patients’ recovery journey, which he says gives him the biggest sense of fulfilment.
"Balancing studies and family responsibilities was not easy. Being a full-time student also meant that I had to make adjustments to manage my family’s finances. But with the support of my family and friends, I was able to make the leap to pursue my passion in nursing!"
Tan Hui Luan
Nurse Educator, Nurses Development Unit, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Previous career: System Administrator
Underwent the Accelerated Work Conversion Programme at Nanyang Polytechnic
Hui Luan was at the prime of her career when an ectopic pregnancy, which she struggled physically and mentally to overcome, prompted her to rethink her chosen profession. At KKH, she saw an advertisement about nursing, and felt a calling to help others going through the same ordeal as her.
After caring for paediatric patients for eight years, Hui Luan transferred to the Nurses Development Unit in 2015, as she had always taken an interest in improving work processes to achieve greater efficacy in clinical practices. Today, the 46-year-old finds satisfaction in developing initiatives that benefit her fellow nursing colleagues and eventually result in better care for patients.
"I am fortunate to be doing something that I like. Those considering to be a nurse must be prepared to be constantly on your toes. Dealing with life and death matters can be challenging. Therefore, having a positive mindset is very important".
Kathleen Caoile Angeles
Staff Nurse, Sengkang General Hospital
Previous career: Systems Analyst
Underwent the Professional Conversion Programme at Nanyang Polytechnic
Due to objections from her parents, Kathleen shelved her childhood dream of becoming a nurse till she was in her 30s. Despite attending courses and going through an internship with people much younger than she was, the 40-year-old enjoyed the learning process and realised the importance of teamwork in nursing care. She now guides new and student nurses on standard practices and infection control measures.
Currently pursuing a Bachelor in Nursing (Clinical Practice) at NUS, Kathleen finds it important to constantly upskill to be able to provide the best care to patients. She is proud to be in a profession where she can do good for others, and she encourages those with a calling for nursing to explore the variety of courses available today to pursue their dreams.
"Being a nurse is more than just a job for me. When you fulfil your calling, it is like an investment that never fails. The return on investment may not be monetary, but you will live with a happy heart and a happy soul".
For more inspiring stories of our nurses, read the 2021 Singapore Health Special Nursing Issue, produced in conjunction with Nurses’ Day.