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Lapsed registration of nurses

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Dr Tan Wu Meng
MP for Jurong GRC

Question No. 924

To ask the Minister for Health (a) from 2016 to 2020, how many registrations of registered nurses lapsed each year; (b) whether the Ministry has ascertained the reasons and underlying causes for the lapsing of registrations; (c) how many registered nurses are still employed in healthcare institutions but not in full-time nursing work at the point of registration lapsing; and (d) what channels exist to assist formerly registered nurses wishing to resume nursing practice.

Written Answer

All nurses registered with the Singapore Nursing Board must hold a valid Practising Certificate to practice. Nurses who have not practised for a continuous period of 5 years or more will need to attend a refresher course under the Return-to-Nursing (RTN) programme to ease them back into their roles.

From 2016 to 2020, there were about 380 local Registered Nurses (RNs) per year who had stopped practising for a continuous period of 5 years. Based on survey data from our public healthcare institutions, the main reason for local RNs leaving the public healthcare sector is because of family commitments.

We do not collect specific data on how many of these nurses are still working in non-nursing fields in our healthcare institutions.

We welcome non-practising nurses to return to nursing practice. To facilitate this, we have enhanced the RTN scheme over the years. Through a Place-and-Train format, returning nurses first secure employment before commencing the refresher course so that there is more certainty in employment and they receive a monthly salary during their training. For locals, this course is fully funded by employers and the Government.

Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak last year, a shorter programme was introduced to encourage more non-practising nurses to return to nursing practice. In the past year, about 40 RNs have been trained through the programme.

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