In conjunction with Nurses’ Day celebrated in Singapore in August, BERITA MINGGU reported two nurses diligently pursuing their studies while working full-time to provide quality care to patients. One has graduated from King’s College London, and another will graduate from the same college next year. The nursing course is offered in collaboration with Ngee Ann Academy, a private educational institution in Singapore.
Pregnancy did not stop her from pursuing a degree
LEARNING while working full-time is challenging enough for most people, but Ms. Nurulhuda Abd Majid did both when she was pregnant with her first child during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The senior staff nurse at KK Women and Children’s Hospital (KKH) completed the two-year study and managed to obtain a bachelor’s degree with first-class honours in nursing from King’s College London.
She was among the 88 students who completed the part-time programme with King’s College London, where about 40 percent of the students earned first-class honours.
The programme is offered in conjunction with Ngee Ann Academy, a private educational institute in Singapore.
Ms. Nurulhuda, 31, started her career in nursing by taking a Nitec course in nursing at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
“As a nurse, I like to challenge myself to always follow evidence-based medical practice so that I can provide the best quality nursing care to my patients. Every day as a nurse, I learn something new from my colleagues and patients, which inspires me to explore a deeper knowledge of practice techniques and procedures,” said Ms. Nurulhuda, who also has a diploma in nursing and an advanced diploma in medical-surgical from Nanyang Polytechnic.
Asked about the challenges faced as a part-time student who was pregnant and working in the healthcare sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms Nurulhuda said she needed to balance rest time, mental and physical fatigue, as well as the stress of completing a dissertation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic started when I was completing the last module, which was a dissertation. In this pandemic, all face-to-face sessions were turned into online sessions. It was disappointing at first because I was really looking forward to the face-to-face session in the classroom. However, the online discussion sessions were equally helpful and enough for me to ask for clarification for my doubts and to work with my tutor for my assignments,” said the mother of a nine-month-old.
“It’s physically and mentally challenging, but taking a degree while working full-time gives me the opportunity to practise what I’ve learned in school in a clinical setting. In addition, it boosts my confidence to provide high-quality nursing care to my patients to improve their experience in the hospital,” said Ms. Nurulhuda.
Determination to change his course of life for a bright future
ONE realisation at the age of 25 made Mr. Jasmeran Allan Chand determined to take steps to change the course of his life, which had so far been troubling and gloomy.
He enrolled as a nursing major at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), and since then, the path towards a brighter future has opened for him. Today, he is a student at King’s College London.
Mr. Jasmeran, 36, who is now a staff nurse at Changi General Hospital (CGH), said he decided to enter the field of nursing after realising that he was much behind compared to his peers.
“Before, I didn’t pay attention to my studies and just wanted to go out and meet friends. Then at the age of 25, I realised that I probably wouldn’t be able to go anywhere without the right qualifications. I signed up for the nursing programme because I had some friends who worked as nurses. In addition, my mother also worked in the accident and emergency (A&E) department at a hospital and often shared her experiences with me. At the same time, my father also had some health problems and was often treated in hospital. Those things prompted me to venture into the field of nursing,” said the father of a five-year-old.
His first experience undergoing practical training in a hospital, in a geriatric ward for the elderly at CGH, sparked his determination to become a nurse.
Mr. Jasmeran then received a scholarship offered by CGH for his studies at ITE, followed by diploma and advanced diploma studies at Nanyang Polytechnic, and subsequently for degree studies at King’s College London.
His degree programme, offered with Ngee Ann Academy, lasts for two years, and he is expected to complete the degree by next April.
Classes are held online in the evenings, and since Mr. Jasmeran still works morning, afternoon, or evening shifts, he will study after work or at night after his son is asleep.
Mr. Jasmeran, who works in the geriatric ward at CGH, expressed his appreciation to the hospital for giving him the opportunity to improve himself.
“This degree programme equips me with a set of skills for my next role. For example, one of the modules I have gone through emphasises assessment, learning, and teaching, and this equips me with a better way to teach and evaluate young nurses placed under my supervision. There are also modules on the elderly population and leadership,” said Mr. Jasmeran.
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