Press Release

More university applicants list Nursing as top choice

24 July 2017 | Education

Trend bodes well for recruitment of more nurses to meet healthcare needs over the next few years.

Singapore, 24 July 2017 – More students are choosing to study Nursing at the National University of Singapore (NUS), according to the NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, which offers Singapore’s only Bachelor of Science (Nursing) programme for A-level holders and polytechnic graduates.

As a sign that more students are keen to take on degree-level studies leading to a career as Registered Nurses, the total number of applications received by NUS Nursing saw healthy increase. In the latest university admissions exercise, about 2,200 applicants indicated Nursing as one of their choices, an increase of 7.6% and 25.5% over 2016 and 2015,respectively.

There are also more students listing Nursing as their first choice. This year, about 630 applicants did so, representing an increase of 21.4% over last year. Compared to 2015, the increase was 66.6%.

The number of applicants listing Nursing in their top two choices also saw an upward trend, growing to about 940 this year, an increase of 10.4% and 48.6% over 2016 and 2015, respectively.

To cater to the higher demand, the NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (which is part of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine) has increased its intake of students to 235 this year. This is an increase of 51.6% and 58.8% over 2016 and 2015 respectively.

Professor Emily Ang, Head of NUS Nursing, attributed the increased demand by A-level and polytechnic graduates for places in its Bachelor of Science (Nursing) programme to the greater public awareness of the nursing profession, which is largely a result of concerted efforts by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other healthcare agencies in promoting greater public awareness of nursing as a challenging and fulfilling career.

Commenting on some of these efforts, Ms Tan Soh Chin, Chief Nursing Officer, MOH, said, “We are encouraged that more students are choosing nursing as a career option and pursuing a nursing degree. MOH has continually invested in the development of the nursing profession. Today, our nurses enjoy greater career advancement, with more upgrading opportunities for Enrolled Nurses to become Registered nurses, and for Senior Staff Nurses to progress to become Assistant Nurse Clinicians.

“To give students a flavour of what nursing entails, we have reached out to secondary school students with information about healthcare and nursing careers, as well as engaged parents and family through the Care To Go Beyond nursing publicity campaign.”

Added Prof Ang, “We are happy that more school-leavers are pursuing an NUS Nursing degree. It is clear that students and their parents recognise the value that the programme brings, through provision of evidence-based education, inter-professional training, and various aspects of the course, all of which aim to equip our graduates to be competent, confident healthcare professionals.

“Through our pedagogy, we hope to groom a generation of ‘thinking’ nurses and develop future nursing leaders who can take on key roles in hospitals and clinics, where they are working collaboratively with physicians to provide care for patients.”