At 21, Khairunnisa was accepted into medical school, but after an injury, she gave up her dream of becoming a doctor and pursued a career in management consultancy instead. “But that sense of purpose and desire to help others in need never left me,” she said.   In 2012, she took a leap of faith, quit her job and enrolled in nursing school.

After graduating from King’s College London in 2016, she joined SKH at Alexandra Hospital’s 24-hour Acute Care Clinic.   She was part of a pioneer batch of nurses who helped set up the hospital’s Emergency Department, which is due to open later this year.

As an emergency nurse, she enjoys the fastpaced environment that requires her to recognise life-threatening conditions, prioritise patient care, and carry out resuscitative actions quickly while remaining calm.   She encourages anyone considering a career switch to nursing to go for it. “Nursing is a profession with diverse career tracks, where you can chart your own career growth and development. The skills and experience you bring from other fields of work will always be valuable.”

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Ying Jie had always wanted to be a nurse, but her father wanted her to obtain a degree in banking and finance. She acceded to his wishes and became a tax specialist instead.

While expecting her first child, she was so moved by the care of KKH midwives that she decided to switch careers.   She pursued a Professional Conversion Programme at Nanyang Polytechnic and joined KKH as a registered nurse in 2007.   She later obtained an Advanced Diploma in Midwifery and became a certified Lactation Consultant.   In 2015, she joined the Nurses Development Unit to focus on research well as to educate and mentor nurses.

She is a recipient of this year’s Healthcare Humanity Award (Honourable Mention), given to outstanding health-care workers and those who go beyond the call of duty. “If I’d stayed in my previous job, I’d never have felt the satisfaction I now experience. I cannot put into words the wonderful feeling of nursing people back to health. It has helped me appreciate life much more!”

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In his previous job in manufacturing, Choon Hua yearned for a role with more human interaction. Six years later in 2003, after he quit and was job-hunting, the SARS outbreak struck.   He became a part-time health screener at a hospital, observing how nurses dealt with the crisis.   It fuelled his interest in nursing. Spurred on by his wife, he joined the Professional Conversion Programme at Nanyang Polytechnic in 2004.

He started as a staff nurse at CGH’s Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory, taking care of patients undergoing invasive procedures.   In 2013, he began specialising in Nursing Informatics and has since been implementing systems to make work processes more efficient, training nurses to use the systems and conducting clinical data analysis to improve patient safety.

He said: “Nursing has taught me to be caring, more tolerant and less judgemental. It has so many diverse paths.   You will always find an area you’ll like to work in.”