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More people enrolled for nursing courses last year

SINGAPORE — The number of people enrolling for nursing courses saw a 21 per cent jump last year from 2014, amid efforts to better attract and retain talent for the sector which is facing a manpower crunch.

TODAY file photo

TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — The number of people enrolling for nursing courses saw a 21 per cent jump last year from 2014, amid efforts to better attract and retain talent for the sector which is facing a manpower crunch.

In 2014, a total of 1,500 individuals enrolled for such courses at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnic and degree levels. This number grew to 1,820 last year and continued climbing to reach 1,880 this year.

Revealing these figures at the Nurses’ Merit Awards ceremony on Tuesday (July 19), Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said the Ministry of Health (MOH) will continue efforts to draw people, especially the young ones, into the nursing sector.

Providing updates on other initiatives, Dr Khor said eight of the 15 recommendations put forth by the National Nursing Taskforce have already been rolled out and the MOH will continue to work on the remaining ones.

On opportunities to pursue greater professional development and career autonomy, Dr Khor also said the ministry will grow the pool of outstanding nurses by raising the yearly intake of Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) from 30 to 50.

The plan is for these APNs, who are master’s trained nurses to provide more complex care, to run chronic disease management clinics in polyclinics, intermediate and long-term care settings, as well as lead community or home nursing teams.

As for reaching out to students and parents, the MOH will also be organising an exhibition with Ngee Ann Polytechnic at the end of August for students to learn more about healthcare through interactive games and develop a deeper career interest in the sector, said Dr Khor.

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