5 reasons to go for a non-mainstream route to nursing

You are different. While your friends steer towards a desk-bound job in an office, you crave for something more meaningful. Sure, its nice to know that 9000more healthcare workers will be needed in Singapore, along with a $24million investment by Health Ministry(MOH) in this sector, but that is mere icing on the cake. Your inner calling directs you to do something that is useful to the society. Angelo Falcon, CEO of Medical Emergency Professionals (MEP) terms nursing as one of the “noblest profession in the world.”

At this point, you face another crossroad. Broadly speaking, there are 2 paths in front of you. They can be categorized into: Mainstream and non-Mainstream. 1000 students graduate from Nanyang and Ngee Ann polytechnics’ nursing diploma courses every year. While it is again tempting to follow the rest of your fellow nursing-aspirants into mainstream, it is best to know your options and consider a suitable one for yourself after gathering enough information.

Non-mainstream

In which case, we are compelled to bring to you Parkway College’s Diploma in Nursing course.  You would be no stranger to private hospitals in the healthcare scene such as Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Parkway East hospitals. Did you know they all come under Parkway Pantai which is the second largest Public-listed Integrated Healthcare Provider Globally?

To ensure that healthcare standards are maintained at their hospitals, Parkway Pantai has its own College to train healthcare professionals that are industry-ready. It is considered non-mainstream as only about 30 students are admitted each year. Admission is based on a thorough screening process to identify the most suitable candidates. If you are ready to do something different, read on more!

When small makes you big

Throughout your entire school life, you must have been used to having up to 500 peers or so in your cohort.  It works for theoretical learning, but when it comes to vocational training, its effectiveness would be questionable.

Parkway College’s Diploma in Nursing Programme has a cohort size significantly smaller than that of  mainstream providers such as NYP and NP. The benefits are obvious, as it allows you to receive personalized attention and feedback on your craft, something you would be grateful for when you step into the working environment.

Students in small group discussion
Students in small group discussion

All over the world, many are realizing the importance of a reduced cohort size. Finland, which is famous for its education system has an average student-to-teacher ratio of only 16.2 which is considerably smaller than that of the rest of the world. This accounts partly for their renowned educational success.

The thing about a small cohort is that you may not be able to gauge your own standing with the rest of the nursing cohort in Singapore. However, the academic requirements to enroll in Parkway’s diploma in nursing course are almost the same as those of NYP and NP, so you can be assured that your peers will enter based on merit and that they are a good representation for the rest of the nursing students in Singapore.

Not just textbook knowledge

Remember those days in secondary school where you learn by reading the textbook and looking at images while the concepts remain fuzzy ideas in your head ? Be prepared for a whole new experience at the tertiary level. For nursing students, simulation centers is a usual part of the learning experience. In Parkway College, students are given live tours of the real operating theatre to engage in practical learning experience. Instead of pictures, you see actual scalpel, scissors and other sophisticated equipment in action. As far as bridging the gap between work and studies, this is as good as it can get.  This is possible because Parkway College works closely with other members of the Parkway familysuch as Mount Elizabeth Hospitals (MEH) and Gleneagles Hospital (GEH). Studying at Parkway College will also afford you priority to do your clinical attachments at these affiliated Parkway hospitals.

As Parkway Pantai has a foothold in many countries globally, nurses who graduate from the Diploma in Nursing Course in Parkway College has a chance to broaden their career horizon after gaining enough experience in the local Parkway hospitals.  Nurses who has accustom to the Parkway Culture will be able to better assimilate to the working environment no matter which Parkway Hospitals they go to.

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Smart hospitals for nurses

We all know that Singapore is becoming a Smart nation. Many industries will be in turn revolutionized by technology. Healthcare is no exception.

Having the advantage of being part of a large healthcare group, Parkway College’s curriculum is continuously revised to be in sync with industrial standards.  For the latest batch of students, the good news is that technology will be a part of your learnings!

An increasing number of tasks will be automated. One example would be the transportation of specimen from one department to another, which used to be the jobs of nurses and other medical aid workers. With the use of automation, these tasks can be easily fulfilled by machines or robots, freeing up the nurses to attend to patient’s needs or assisting surgeons in the operating theatres. What Parkway College does is to incorporate this aspect into their curriculum, by training their students to work with these advancements in technology to their advantage.

Huge bang for your buck

One of the most important things on your mind before you enroll in a course will definitely be your future career prospects as well as expected salary. It may be worth noting that there are tons of things you can do with your nursing diploma, and not all of them entails you to become a full-fledged nurse. There are various career paths that you can adopt, such as nurse educators, specialists in particular medical fields or even roles in pharmaceutical companies. You may even find yourself in a tech startup developing the next medical breakthrough. In other words, your nursing credentials will be highly sought in whichever field you choose to go into, considering its shortage.

If you decide that being a nurse is just for you though, its career progression is clear and attainable. Most people start off as a staff nurse, before becoming a senior staff nurse, and then moving on to managerial roles where you may eventually end up as directors if you keep your performances up.

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The starting pay for nursing graduates from Parkway College usually falls between the range of $2 – 2.3k across the Parkway Hospitals, on top of various allowances and staff benefits. These graduates are also almost guaranteed a job upon graduation, owing to the increasing demand for nurses in the healthcare sector, as touched upon by Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat in the recent budget announcement. Furthermore, Parkway College is affiliated to the Parkway Groups of hospital, which makes for an easier job search for most graduates. The remuneration package for nursing students has also been revised recently to make it more competitive and encourage more students to pursue Nursing as a career.

Another money issue you will be especially concerned about would obviously be the course fees. You may be thinking that private education, along with the exclusivity in places would add up to hefty tuition fees.In which case, you would be surprised to know that the full course fees for 3 years in Parkway College is comparable to that of the Polytechnics. It is S$8667 excluding miscellaneous fees for Singaporeans.

Angels in the making

Nurses are often likened to angels. If you truly have the passion for nursing, finances shouldn’t be a stumbling block. There’s always the sponsorship option with monthly allowance available. Whichever path you choose, your journey in nursing will be a rewarding one!Every day, a life would have breathed easier because of your professional and compassionate care. Go forth and make a difference!

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