Best nursing schools and courses in Singapore (2022)

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"Nursing (…) is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him."

Florence Nightingale, a nurse and the founder of modern nursing, encapsulates the essence of what being a nurse entails - to care, heal, and serve the sick to ensure the best possible outcome for them.

With a rising ageing population, the demand for healthcare services has naturally been on the rise. This would translate into elevating the recruitment of healthcare professionals, such as nurses, to fulfil this demand.

If you are interested in being a nurse in Singapore, find out what are the different options of study available for nurses-to-be and those who have already been registered as nurses in Singapore.

Pursuing the nursing journey

There are two types of nurses - an Enrolled Nurse, and a Registered Nurse. Both have different entry requirements.

Below are some differences to consider in choosing the most suitable nursing track.

Enrolled nurse Registered nurse
Role Works under a registered nurse Leads and directs enrolled nurses
Requirements Nitec in Nursing Diploma in Nursing/Diploma in Health Sciences (Nursing)
Degree in Nursing
Accelerated diploma of nursing
Minimum educational requirements ‘N’ levels ‘O’ levels, ‘A’ levels
Place of study Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Nanyang Polytechnic
Ngee Ann Polytechnic
National University of Singapore
Overseas degrees
Further studies applicable? No Yes

Registered nurses can pursue further studies in an Advanced diploma, Master's degree, or a Degree (Post-Registration)

If financial concerns may be an issue, there are scholarship options available to applicants from the various hospitals in Singapore.

Nursing schools and courses in Singapore

Enrolled Nurses

Nitec (ITE)

The Nitec in Nursing course trains students to be Enrolled Nurses. There will be 15 months of full-time training at ITE, and a supervised clinical attachment of nine months.

For students who attain a GPA 3.0 and above, they are eligible for the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Enrolled Nurses. This allows them to go on to apply for the first year of a related diploma course at a Polytechnic.

Programme duration: Full time, two years of study

Who can apply: 'N' level certificate holders

Course fees: $446 for Singaporeans, $5,634 for PRs, $15,572 for international students annually

Prospects: Students who attain a GPA of 3.0 and above are eligible to apply for the Professional Conversion Programme.

Registered Nurses

Diploma

1. School of Health Sciences, Nanyang Polytechnic

Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) was the first polytechnic in Singapore to offer nursing courses. The school has groomed over 20,000 students into nurses ever since.

What is unique about Nanyang Polytechnic's nursing course is its hands-on element, where the NYP-HIMSS Centre of Excellence offers a blend of classroom learning and clinical settings for the students to train in.

This diploma is also offered as a part of the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP).

Programme duration: Full-time basis, three years

Who can apply: 'O' level certificate holders

Course fees: $2,987.00 for Singaporeans, $6,117 for PRs, $11,150.20 for international students annually

Prospects: With a diploma, students can go on to pursue a nursing degree at the National University of Singapore or other foreign universities. There is also the option of pursuing advanced diplomas with NYP to further specialise in fields like gerontology and midwifery. Graduates can also seek careers with clinical and research organisations.

2. School of Health Sciences, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Ngee Ann Polytechnic's nursing diploma offers its students a rich variety of experiences - from having clinical attachments which start in Year 1, to learning about human biosciences and behavioural sciences as well.

There are overseas study, immersions, exchange programmes and service-learning trips to countries such as Australia, China, India, Cambodia and Thailand, which give students insight into how other countries' healthcare systems are, and also put what they have learned into practice in a foreign country.

Programme duration: Full-time basis, three years

Who can apply: 'O' level certificate holders

Course fees: $2,900 for Singaporeans, $6,000 for PRs, $11,000 for international students annually

Prospects: Similar to Nanyang Polytechnic, graduates can go on to pursue nursing at an advanced level and become Nurse Researchers or Clinicians, for example. They can also start out as Staff Nurses at various health institutions.

3. Parkway College of Nursing and Allied Health

Parkway College of Nursing and Allied Health is the education arm of Parkway Pantai Limited, which is Southeast Asia's largest private healthcare provider.

Established in 2008, the College is well equipped for training nurses. It has two nursing skill labs for student use, along with other useful facilities like a Clinical Simulation Centre which mimics a clinical setting and gives students a chance to role-play in different scenarios for more real-life transferable learning.

Programme duration: Full-time basis, three years

Who can apply: 'O' level certificate holders

Course fees: $9,000 for Singaporeans, $18,000 for PRs, $31,200 for international students annually

Prospects: The College's affiliation with the Parkway Group helps students to get a job with one of their private hospitals, like Mount Elizabeth and Gleneagles. Graduates typically earn a starting pay of $2,000 to $2,300 per month.

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Degrees

1. National University of Singapore (NUS) - Bachelor in Science (Nursing)

The oldest university in Singapore, National University of Singapore (NUS) is at the top of minds when you ask any local about universities in Singapore. The degree in nursing started in 2006, and has seen several batches of nurses ever since.

The school aims to provide a broad foundation in nursing, humanities, biological and social sciences, which are all essential for preparing safe and professional nurses. Also, the degree programme aims to garner critical thinking skills which are needful for patient care and management.

NUS also offers this degree as part of the Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses, and the Bachelor of Science (Nursing Practice) as a part-time option for Polytechnic nursing graduates.

Programme duration: Full-time basis, three years, with the option to take an Honours year if the student scores above 3.2 for their Grade Point Average (GPA)

Who can apply: 'A' level certificate holders, Polytechnic Diploma holders

Course fees (2021/2022): $8,950 for Singaporeans, $12,550 for PRs, $19,150 for international students annually

Prospects: Graduates can apply to register with the Singapore Nursing Board to practise as Registered Nurses, or pursue their postgraduate studies with NUS.

2. CSM Academy International - Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Health

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Health programme in CSM Academy is awarded by the University of Dundee, one of the United Kingdom's top universities.

What makes this programme unique is that the curriculum is directly relevant to the Singapore healthcare scene, and the lecturers are all flown in from the University of Dundee itself.

This degree is also for registered nurses looking to upgrade their skills, and hold a diploma of nursing or a GCE 'O' or 'A' level certificate.

Programme duration: Part-time basis, 24 months (minimum). Course intakes take place every January, May, and September. A minimum of 50 students are needed for the course to commence.

Who can apply: Registered nurses with a diploma in nursing

Course fees: $21,200 before GST. SkillsFuture credit is usable and 90 per cent sponsorship is available (T&Cs apply)

Prospects: Graduates can move on to take CSM Academy's Master of Science in Dementia Studies, awarded by the University of Stirling, regardless of honours status.

3. Singapore Institute of Management  - Bachelor of Nursing

A leading private institution in Singapore, Singapore Institute of Management's (SIM) nursing degree is awarded by the University of Sydney (USyd).

USyd is well established in its nursing programme, ranking 13th globally in University nursing education and research excellence according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

The programme is fully developed and taught by The University of Sydney, and accredited by the Singapore Nursing Board.

Programme duration: Part-time basis, one to two years for post-registration degree, and two years for an Honours degree

Who can apply: Diploma in nursing holders from a recognised institution, OR registered nurses with a recognised certificate of nursing

Course fees: $26,065.20 ($23,540 for honours)

Prospects: Graduates can go on to pursue further studies (Masters, PhDs), and can advance in any of the four nursing career tracks.

4. Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) - Bachelor of Science with Honours in Nursing

Singapore's fifth university, the Singapore Institute of Technology, has collaborated with the University of Glasgow to offer the Bachelor of Science with Honours in Nursing.

The nursing programme has been co-created and designed with inputs from practice partners and the Ministry of Health, and is accredited by the Singapore Nursing Board (SNB) from May 2016 to May 2025.

Programme duration: Full-time basis, two years (with Honours)

Who can apply: Registered nurses who have completed an SNB-accredited diploma in Nursing Programme in Singapore.

Course fees (2021/2022): $20,760 for Singaporeans, $40,400 for PRs, $54,570 for international students

Prospects: The degree broadens the career pathways for nurses; students can advance to become Senior Staff Nurses, Educators, Managers, and Clinicians.

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5. Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) - Bachelor of Science in Nursing

MDIS's nursing bachelor's degree is awarded by Edinburgh Napier University, one of Scotland's largest nursing and midwifery education providers.

The programme aims to develop the critical thinking skills required for high-quality nursing care. This programme has also been accredited by the SNB.

Programme duration: Part-time basis, 24 months

Who can apply: Registered nurses with a recognised certificate of nursing and a certificate of diploma in nursing

Course fees: $19,260.00 tuition fees, and $700.00-$1,900.00 for non-tuition fees

Prospects: Nurses can use this as leverage for their career, and apply for more senior or graduate-level positions such as a clinical nurse consultant. It is recognised by the SNB.

6. Curtin Singapore - Bachelor of Nursing

This degree is awarded by Curtin University, which is ranked in the world's top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2021 for its nursing degree.

The degree is designed to build upon the professional knowledge and experience which registered nurses taking this degree would have.

Programme duration: Part-time basis, 24 months

Who can apply: Registered nurses with a recognised certificate of nursing and a certificate of diploma in nursing

Course fees: $20,400.00 tuition fees

Prospects: Nurses can enjoy a widened breadth of career tracks they can pursue, such as becoming a nurse manager or clinician.

This article was first published in Homage.