• SingHealth’s College of Clinical Nursing (CCN) is developing a suite of courses to advance nurses’ clinical skills specialisation and leadership in their practice areas.

• The latest is a Master of Health Sciences programme with a specialisation in Organ Transplant Nursing, offered in partnership with Singapore Institute of Technology. It is anticipated to be the first such programme in Southeast Asia when launched in September 2024.

SINGAPORE, 31 July 2023 – SingHealth resumed its pre-COVID-19 Nurses’ Day celebrations to honour and recognise the unwavering dedication and tireless contributions of its nursing workforce in conjunction with Nurses’ Day. The event took place at the Academia, with Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Health, gracing the occasion as Guest of Honour. Going back to pre-pandemic tradition, the ground floor of the Academia was transformed into a lively carnival setting with food stations, performances and activities for nurses to enjoy and unwind. Minister Ong, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health & Ministry of Communications and Information and Ms Paulin Koh, Chief Nursing Officer, Ministry of Health, joined SingHealth leaders to serve food to nurses at the carnival. Over 3,000 nurses across SingHealth’s hospitals, national specialty centres, polyclinics and community hospitals participated in the celebrations.

“Our nurses are the pride of SingHealth, and we are delighted to be able to finally gather like we used to, as One SingHealth family, to celebrate them for being such an inspiration to us. Every day, our nurses give their best for our patients and their loved ones, so Nurses’ Day is the perfect opportunity to honour and recognise them for their tireless contributions and their generosity of hearts in touching the lives of those whom they encounter,” said Professor Ivy Ng, Group Chief Executive Officer, SingHealth.

The theme of this year’s celebrations - “I’m a Nurse, I’m a …”, reflects the multifaceted role of a nurse and the depth and breadth of expertise of the nursing profession. Nurses today are leaders who are trailblazing the way in nursing care; researchers and innovators who are driving discovery and improvements to meet evolving needs of patients; and educators who nurture and inspire the next generation. With the national Healthier SG initiative, the role of a nurse is even more keenly appreciated as care is expanded beyond hospital walls into homes, schools, clinics, and communities.

In her welcome address, Adjunct Professor Tracy Carol Ayre, Group Chief Nurse, SingHealth, emphasised SingHealth’s commitment to recognising and developing the potential of nurses by advancing the profession through formal education and professional development opportunities. This will empower nurses to excel in their profession and contribute at the top of their license to foster the well-being of Singaporeans. Adj Prof Ayre highlighted an initiative developed at the SingHealth College of Clinical Nursing, in partnership with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), to offer different formal education programmes for nurses. One example is the Master of Health Sciences with a specialisation in Organ Transplant Nursing - the first of its kind to be offered in Southeast Asia, which is expected to officially commence in September 2024.

Solid organ transplant nursing is a specialised field, within SingHealth Nursing, that focuses on protecting, promoting and optimising the health and abilities of both the transplant recipient and the living donor across their entire life span. This includes prevention, detection and treatment of illness and injury related to diseases treated by solid organ transplantation, and conditions that may result from living donor donation. The new specialisation in Organ Transplant Nursing under SIT’s Master of Health Sciences will ground nurses in concepts relating to the provision of nursing care and services to transplant recipients and donors. It also aims to be holistic, covering topics such as nutrition, exercise and even legal and ethical considerations in organ transplantation.

“Through this partnership, we are harnessing the rich healthcare expertise of multidisciplinary teams in SingHealth and the teaching excellence of SIT to put together programmes that are holistic, innovative and differentiated. The Master of Health Sciences programme is just one of many initiatives that SingHealth plans to launch with SIT in the coming years, in addition to the myriad of programmes that we already have, aimed at upskilling our nurses. SingHealth is heavily invested in providing our nurses with opportunities to enhance their skills and pave the way for them to have careers that are fulfilling and meaningful. In so doing, we also raise the bar in nursing excellence,” said Adj Prof Ayre.

“With national initiatives such as Healthier SG, there is a strategic imperative to launch postgraduate programmes to meet the professional upskilling needs of nurses in Singapore. SIT is pleased to partner SingHealth to offer skills-focused postgraduate programmes that are highly industry-focused, flexible and responsive to the evolving healthcare services transformation. Learners will acquire specialised clinical skills and knowledge to advance in their careers and better serve the needs of the population,” said Associate Professor Tan Bhing Leet, Cluster Director, Health and Social Sciences Cluster, SIT.

The Master of Health Sciences programme with a specialisation in Organ Transplant Nursing is the latest addition to the suite of courses recently offered to advance nurses’ clinical skills specialisation and leadership in their practice areas. In September 2022, SingHealth held the first run of its Graduate Certificate in Advanced Clinical Care of Women and Children, jointly developed by SingHealth’s College of Clinical Nursing and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The programme is specially designed to equip nurses and community partners with skills to deliver holistic care that is sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and incorporates concepts of family-centred care. It is focused on the management and prevention of women-related conditions from adolescence to advanced age, and those affecting children, from birth to pre-school age. The course is especially relevant, as nurses lead maternal and child health services in the community through programmes such as Family Nexus at Our Tampines Hub, in line with the roll-out of the Healthier SG initiative nation-wide.

At the Nurses’ Day event, SingHealth also presented the SingHealth Nursing Awards, the Wee Foundation Nurses’ Day Awards and Wee Foundation Scholarships to over 200 nurses in recognition of their leadership, dedication and outstanding contributions to transform nursing care at SingHealth and its institutions.

SingHealth nurses play an invaluable role both within care teams and as the critical link between the care team, the patient and other stakeholders in the healthcare system. As at FY2022, SingHealth employs 11,730 nurses across its institutions, making up more than one-third of the organisation’s total workforce.