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Unlocking career growth: The nursing degree that offers diverse opportunities in healthcare

Unlocking career growth: The nursing degree that offers diverse opportunities in healthcare

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honours top-up programme, offered by Ngee Ann Academy and King’s College London, integrates local and global perspectives to help students gain a holistic understanding of healthcare systems.

Nursing educator Dr Julia Philippou (right) envisions a future where nursing professionals take the lead in transforming healthcare. Photos: Ngee Ann Academy

 

Amid the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape of emerging technologies, treatment modalities and care models, continued education for nurses has become an urgent imperative.

According to Dr Julia Philippou, the associate dean for Postgraduate Taught Studies and Workforce Development at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, King’s College London, well-equipped and empowered nurses can help shape policies and drive positive change in healthcare systems. The pursuit of professional growth also allows nurses to remain up to date, expand their careers and safeguard their well-being to avoid burnout, she said. 

Formerly a critical care nurse, Dr Philippou is confident about the transformative potential of nursing professionals in leading efforts to enhance patient safety and the quality of care. 

“In the aftermath of the pandemic, nurse workforce development has become more important than ever,” she said. “Making this a focus will lead to better patient outcomes and a healthcare system that prioritises the well-being of both patients and healthcare providers.” 

 

CULTIVATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF NURSES

Dr Philippou has overseen the upskilling of nearly 300 nurses who have completed the Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honours programme offered by Ngee Ann Academy and King’s College London.

 

Nurses play an invaluable role in elevating the healthcare system through evidence-based practices, complication prevention and efficient care delivery. Continued education is vital to keep them prepared for evolving healthcare needs. 

As the academic lead of King’s College London’s partnership with Ngee Ann Academy (NAA), Dr Philippou has overseen the upskilling of nearly 300 nurses who have completed the Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honours programme offered through this collaboration.

King’s College London is ranked first in the United Kingdom and second globally for nursing, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023

The partnership’s two-year, part-time Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honours programme is a top-up degree accredited by the Singapore Nursing Board. The curriculum encompasses elective modules in geriatric, palliative and end-of-life care, leadership and clinical governance, as well as team-based healthcare practice and decision-making. 

Dr Philippou believes that Ngee Ann Academy’s commitment to academic excellence makes it an ideal partner for King’s College London. She said: “The academy’s facilities, technological capabilities and comprehensive student support services ensure a seamless teaching and learning experience.”

LOCAL CONTEXTS, GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

Nursing undergraduate Angie Chua appreciates that the Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honours programme allows her to effectively manage her various commitments.

 

When Ms Angie Chua Tyug Tyug was exploring further education opportunities following the completion of her diploma in nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honours offered by King’s College London stood out among the available options. 

Elaborating on her choice to enrol at Ngee Ann Academy, the registered nurse said: “The programme’s emphasis on independent learning allows me to effectively juggle family, work and study commitments.” 

Ms Chua embarked on a career in nursing after 25 years as a flight attendant, fuelled by her passion for continuous learning. With an eye on healthcare’s rapid evolution, Ms Chua recognises the importance of attaining a degree to propel her professional growth. She appreciates the efforts of the programme’s lecturers – many of whom are internationally recognised leaders in their respective fields – in ensuring that the curriculum remains relevant to the local standards of care and legislation.

“The programme’s curriculum is carefully designed to integrate local and global perspectives, helping students gain a holistic understanding of healthcare systems,” shared Dr Philippou. 

GAINING ADVANCED SKILLS AND LEADERSHIP ACUMEN

Ms Chua shares that the module on teaching and assessing nurses was especially useful in helping her hone her mentoring skills.


Ms Chua, who expects to graduate next year, said that the degree programme has provided her with advanced clinical and critical thinking skills necessary to provide specialised care, particularly in the fields of geriatric and palliative care. 

“When dealing with elderly patients grappling with chronic health issues, it’s important to consider not just their immediate ailment, but also understand and address other underlying issues,” she said. 

During her placement at a community hospital, Ms Chua encountered an elderly patient who was recovering from a hip fracture. It was revealed that a spell of dizziness – resulting from irregular intake of high blood pressure medication – led to the fall that caused the fracture.

The patient, a widow estranged from her children, was isolated and withdrawn. During her spare moments, Ms Chua made it a priority to engage in conversation with her. Gradually, the patient’s reticence waned, and she eventually regained the ability to interact with others. At the end of Ms Chua’s placement, the patient expressed her gratitude, saying that the time Ms Chua spent with her was a much-needed reminder that she was not alone.  

“Upon hearing these words, I realised that nurses also serve as pillars of support for patients during the dark periods of their lives,” shared Ms Chua. “Building rapport makes patients more receptive to advice. Eventually, they become more willing to adhere to procedures and follow the prescribed course of treatment for a better quality of life.”

A nurturer at heart, Ms Chua aspires to become a nursing educator in the future. “I found the module on teaching and assessing nurses especially useful. I am now better able to mentor nursing students and new hires in applying evidence-based practices for safe patient care,” she said.  

 

Dr Philippou believes that by developing their knowledge and skills, nursing professionals can amplify their impact in healthcare.

 

According to Dr Philippou, students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honours programme can look forward to receiving an invaluable boost to their careers. 

“By upgrading their qualifications and pursuing specific areas of interest, students expand their knowledge and skills, earning recognition and credibility along the way,” she said. “This opens doors to enhanced career pathways.”

Dr Philippou pointed out that when nurses embark on a journey of professional development, the advantages also extend beyond their individual careers. “When patients are cared for by knowledgeable and highly skilled nurses, they receive quality care that leads to improved health outcomes,” she said.  

Ngee Ann Academy, a private education institution wholly owned by The Ngee Ann Kongsi, wishes all nurses happy Nurses’ Day on Aug 1, 2023. 

Ngee Ann Academy and King’s College London will be launching the Master of Science in Clinical Nursing in September 2023. Enrolment for the master’s programme is now open. Visit the Ngee Ann Academy website for more details.

 

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