100 nurses were presented with the Nurses’ Merit Award (NMA) on 8 July 2020. The NMA started in 1976 and is awarded to nurses who have displayed noteworthy and exceptional performance, participated in professional development, and contributed to raising the nursing profession. Nurses are nominated for the award by their healthcare institutions and selected by a panel set up by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
2. The award recipients come from various care settings, spanning the community care sector, private hospitals and public healthcare institutions. See Annex A for the list of award recipients.
3. The award comes with a medal to be worn as part of the nurse’s uniform and a cash prize of $1,000.
Key Milestones of Nursing In Singapore 2020
4. 2020 marks the 135th anniversary of nursing in Singapore. It has also been designated by the World Health Organization as The Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
5. Over the years, the role of a nurse has expanded to encompass community nursing, education, research and technology, to achieve better care outcomes for our patients. The nursing workforce has also grown, from 36,000 in 2013 to more than 42,000 today. Over the years, our nurses have adapted and developed skillsets that ensured that their knowledge and practices remain relevant, as the healthcare system continues to evolve, with advancements in evidence-based medicine and healthcare technology.
Community Nursing Competency Framework
6. To support the professional growth and development of nurses, new opportunities and pathways for upgrading must continue to be created. The Community Nursing Competency Framework (CNCF) was launched in January 2020. It defines the scope of work, roles and professional competencies required of nurses practising in community care settings at various stages of their career. With the framework in place, there will be greater clarity on the roles of community nurses, and the training and development of these nurses can be better structured and organised. The competency framework marks the profession’s aspirations to meet the growing needs of the ageing population in Singapore and presents alternative development as well as careers opportunities for nurses. The Framework is available online at https://www.nna.gov.sg/resources-tools/nursing-competency-framework.
National Nursing Academy
7. In March 2020, the National Nursing Academy (NNA) website was published with a vision to champion professional development of nurses. Its mission is to promote lifelong learning, provide accessibility to continuing education and training, and enable continuous professional development with robust workplace-based programmes.
8. The website provides a platform to facilitate the learning needs and portability of workplace-based training of nurses across institutions and settings. In the longer term, nurses will be able to sign up for courses listed on the website to grow clinical skills and knowledge in areas they want to further develop. This will enable nurses to build on nursing competencies attained since graduating from their pre-registration nursing programmes. Healthcare institutions may also use the list of courses to plan their staff training and development. Course providers, including Institutes of Higher Learning, may identify learning gaps and develop programme and courses to address these gaps. They may also look up information on the website to guide them on the process of how their courses and programmes may be accredited. The NNA website is accessible at www.nna.gov.sg.
Commemorative Book on 135th Anniversary of Nursing in Singapore
9. As Singapore fights the battle against COVID-19, our dedicated nurses have been working tirelessly at the frontline – in our healthcare institutions, community care facilities, dormitories, nursing homes and at checkpoints – to keep Singapore safe.
10. To mark 135 years of nursing in Singapore, recognise the contributions of our nurses and celebrate their professional journeys, a commemorative book on nursing will be launched later this month. The book will showcase the noble profession of nursing, highlighting nurses’ selfless sacrifice through a compilation of personal stories from our nurses over the years.