Making The Case For Longer Studies

Recently there’s been talk about the Malaysian Nursing Board phasing out the Diploma in Nursing programme. As a result, soon all future nursing students that want to practice the profession in the country has to complete a four-year degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing).

Many parties have been very vocal about this, citing that many nurses cannot afford the extra costs it takes to study for four years instead of the usual two for a diploma. Some students get into nursing for that reason; it offers a quick pathway to work in a respectable profession, without the added burden of a pre-university programme after completion of secondary school.

While I understand that some nurses have to support their families ASAP, I’m here to argue that there is a hidden benefit to all nurses being required to do their degree in order to be registered practitioners.

That benefit is the extra 2-4 years of age that nurses have upon graduation.

Older… Wiser?

A few days ago there was news of a 19-year old girl who will become the youngest medical doctor in Malaysia this year. The prodigy completed her secondary education at the age of 14, enrolling straight into an Australian pre-U programme, followed by medical school.

While I applaud her achievements (it is nothing to make light of), for the rest of us entering the healthcare workforce at 19 is not the best of ideas.

A doctor fresh out of medical school at the age of 25 is six years older than 19, and will have six years of extra life experiences that will make him or her relate better to patients.

The healthcare line, as we all know, is riddled with a lot of challenges and difficulties that are difficult to teach in training colleges. There are unexpected obstacles from patients, their relatives, and colleagues that are difficult to circumnavigate without emotional maturity. When these are not handled well they lead to burnouts and depression.

Forcing the degree programme for nurses rather than diploma grants student nurses extra time to prepare themselves. Most of the time, maturity comes with age. Being a nurse (or a doctor for that matter) is an arduous endeavor in itself. There will be times when you have to react to difficult situations requiring you to make a choice. Maturity grants the wisdom to make the right ones.

The healthcare line, as we all know, is riddled with a lot of challenges and difficulties that are difficult to teach in training colleges.

Being sure about oneself

As a patient, you would want nurses or doctors who are sure of themselves for your treatment. You want those who believe in what they do and believe in the importance of their work. Not the reluctant ones.

It is common for healthcare practitioners to leave the profession within the first 5 years of working. An extra few years of study provides the extra time to contemplate on whether this career path is really for them or not. This creates better rounded nurses and doctors.

Better clinicians

Better rounded nurses and doctors, who can find the balance between their personal growth and career, make for better clinicians. They are more likely to innovate and push medicine forward. This is why countries like the US and Sweden require prospective medical school students to have a Bachelor’s degree beforehand. These countries have the most number of medical innovations in history.

Removal of bad habits

Better rounded nurses and doctors make for better clinicians.

For nurses, making BSN degrees mandatory in order to be registered means an addition 4-5 years of study; 1-2 years for a pre-university course (like STPM) and another 4 years for the degree. Contrast this with immediately hopping on the diploma programme for two years after school.

The work involved to obtain a degree is very hard. It can only be done by being mentally sound, organized, and effective. These habits are not necessarily attained in school.

An older nursing graduate has more time to become a better, organized person; to know her strong points, faults, breaking points, things she cannot do, and learn how to deal with them knowing that a harder road lies ahead.



Other Articles


 Intensive care nursing 

 Intensive care nursing or critical care nursing is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and management of life-threatening conditions requiring sophisticated organ support and invasive monitoring. 

 Overview 

 Patients requiring intensive care may require support for instability, airway or respiratory compromise, acute renal failure, potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmias, or the cumulative effects of multiple organ failure. It is also commonly known now as multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. They may also be admitted for intensive or invasive monitoring, such as the crucial hours after major surgery when deemed too unstable to transfer to a less intenseively monitored unit. 

 Intensive care is usually only offered to those whose condition is potentially reversible and who have a good chance of surviving with intensive care support. A prime requisite for admission to an intensive care unit is that the underlying condition can be overcome. Patients with a non-overcomeable condition are not admitted into intensive care units (ICU). 

 ICUs are the most expensive area of nursing or medical care. It is also the most technologically advanced, requiring nurses with a higher level of qualifications and education than most. Telemetry, data-analysis, and surgical procedures are all part and parcel of the ICU nurse’s daily responsibilities. 

 Work Location 

   
ICU or Critical Care nurses are provisioned in a specialized unit of a hospital called the intensive care unit (ICU) or critical care unit (CCU). Many hospitals have also designated intensive care areas for certain specialties of medicine, such as: 

 
	 the coronary intensive unit for heart disease 
	 medical intensive care unit 
	 surgical intensive care unit 
	 pediatric intensive care unit 
	 neuroscience critical care unit 
	 overnight intensive recovery unit 
	 shock/trauma intensive care unit 
	 Neonatal 
	 and more 
 

 The terminologies and nomenclature of these units may vary from hospital to hospital. They are also subject to funding, research capability, and availability of trained medical staff. 

 Equipment and systems in unit 

 In the ICU/CCU nurses are required to fundamentally understand and able to operate certain equipment and systems that are critical to the survival of the patient admitted. Common equipment in the unit includes mechanical ventilation to assist breathing through an endotracheal tube or a tracheotomy; hemofiltration equipment for acute renal failure; monitoring equipment; intravenous lines for drug insusions or total parenteral nutrition. 

 A wide array of drugs are also kept in the ICU/CCU, such as inotropes, sedatives, broad spectrum antibiotics and analgesics. 

 Work staff 

 Intensive care/critical care medicine is a relatively new but increasingly important medical specialty. The ICU/CCU is staffed by multidisciplinary and multiprofessional teams including nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians and critical care pharmacists. Doctors with training in intensive care are called intensivists; ICU/CCU nurses are a major form of support for this group. 

 Training 

 ICU nurses will have completed a minimum of three years as a registered nurse following their nursing diploma or degree. Depending on the hospital, ICU nurses may have opted to do a BSN or MSN in order to develop the critical thinking skills required of medical staff in a such a high dependency ward. 

 A post-basic certification in ICU care is commonly around the duration of 12-24 months, where nurses in training will cover internal medicine, pediatrics, anesthesiology, surgery, and emergency medicine. 

 Nurses may also pursue additional education and training in critical care medicine leading to certification by bodies such as the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. This certification carries a lot of weight in terms of qualification for those seeking career advancement. 

 ICU/CCU nurses choose to specialize in one or more of the nine key systems, which are: 

 
	 Cardiovascular system 
	 Central nervous system 
	 endocrine system 
	 gastro-intestinal 
	 haematology 
	 microbiology 
	 peripheries 
	 renal 
	 respiratory system 
 

 Work Conditions 

 Common tasks and responsibilities 

  Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure 
   
The primary aim in treatment of this kind of failure is maintenance of adequate oxygenation, while limiting ventilator-induced lung injury and oxygen toxicity. 

  Assist Patients to Wean Off Mechanical Ventilation 
   
Weaning is the process of gradual withdrawal of mechanical ventilation. The process is uneventful in most patients, but may take up half the time on a ventilator in problematic patients. Nurses are to assess the readiness of patient to wean using clinical and objective measures, and moderate weaning failure on difficult-to-wean patients. 

  Inotropic and Vasopressor Support for Hypotensive Patients 
   
This treatment aims to maintain a perfusion pressure necessary for tissue oxygenation in patients with hypotension and inadequate tissue perfusion. Tasks are to correct hypovolemia, titrate doses of inotropes and vasopressors to targeted levels, monitoring of blood pressure via the arterial line, and prevent septic shock. 

  Feeding via Enteral or Parenteral Methods 
   
In ICU care, nutritional therapy is plays an important part. The goal is to provide adequate calories and protein to keep up with ongoing losses, prevent or correct nutrient deficiencies and promote wound healing and immune function. 

 Work Opportunities 

  Search for high-paying ICU/CCU nursing jobs  on  MIMS Career . Browse, save, and apply for nursing jobs, all in one-click. Take the opportunity for higher pay and better work locations. Our pages are all mobile-responsive, allowing you to take that leap for a better job whenever, wherever you are. All our job postings are  heavily screened to prevent scams and mistrustful behavior.  
   

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Career Highlight: Intensive/Critical Care Nursing

Intensive care nursing Intensive care nursing or critical care nursing is a branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and management of life-threatening conditions requiring sophisticated organ support and invasive monitoring....

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 As productivity writer  Benjamin Hardy  puts it, survival mode is: “ your life being filled to the brim with nonessential and trivial things. You don’t have time to make anything meaningful. ” 

 Do you often feel like this? Crazy shift hours, demanding patients, children to take care and worry about at home… It’s no wonder that  nurses are falling sick because of their stress levels . Your busy life just gnaws at the corners of your mind. It’s difficult to sleep, hard to find time to eat, and care about yourself. As you fend off your exhaustion, you realize at the end of your day the worst thing about your predicament is that you have to face the same thing tomorrow. 

 And the next day. 

 And the next one. 

  So you go through life on autopilot.  

 There is a way to break this cycle, and return your sense of self. You will feel happier, healthier, and achieve your personal and professional goals with these simple daily practices. 

 Re-orient your life 

   

  Take charge of your life . Most importantly, be conscious of your decision to take charge of your life. Decide on a better way of looking at how you live, and decide to act on it. Intention is very important; actions only come after that. 

  A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.  

 You have only one life; it would be a shame to live it miserably, because you won’t be getting any of your youth back. 

 Get Good Sleep 

   

 So many things can be attributed to the irregularity of sleep or the lack of it. Your concentration slips out frequently. Your memory is fuzzled. Your body feels tired, and has no energy. These are all detrimental to the patients under your care. Most importantly, it poses a real danger to your health. 

 Those who sleep 7-9 hours a day are proven to be healthier, fitter, and less likely to be obese or suffer from any other health issues. 

  “But wait…” you say. “I can’t do that! I work shifts.”  

 Don’t worry. Remember that you can space out your sleeps into naps if a long period of rest is not available to you. 

 There are so many benefits to getting enough sleep. Some of them are: 

 
	 Increased concentration 
	 Better cognitive abilities 
	 Less risk of cardiovascular diseases 
	 Reduced chances of depression 
 

 And so on. 

 Prayer, or meditation 

   

 Gratitude upon waking up, or when facing a difficult time, is one of the  best  habits you can form. This mindset of abundance primes you to cope better with challenging situations or periods of your life. Because you are always grateful for the things that you currently have, it negates the negative impact of focusing on the things you don’t have, or would like to be better. 

 Prayer and meditation helps you re-orient yourself to set your most important priorities. It also serves as a good “brain detox”. 

 Your life might be busy and hectic. By devoting some time to honing your spiritual center, you will learn to make sense and derive meaning in a chaotic world. 

 If you don’t know how to meditate, here’s the  5-minute meditation trick every nurse needs to know . 

 Exercise in moderation 

   

 At MIMS Career we all know most of you nurses are very tired. However, exercise is something that still should not be neglected. 

 Take walks. Walking can also be a form of meditation. Just walk a few minutes, being mindful of your surroundings and focusing on your surroundings. Try and get into the habit of exercising, too. It has many benefits which I’m sure you’re aware of. If you want a healthy mind, it has to start with care of the body. 

 No gym membership? Try some no-equipment home exercises. 

 Eat Healthy 

   

 Eat small, frequent meals as opposed to large meals in one sitting. 

 Those working shifts have a tendency to grab whatever food is available, and that is unhealthy. Try to prepare healthy snacks that you can bring to workplace, like cut fruits. 

 Pack food to work. Cooking packed lunches are a lot healthier because you are aware of what you put into your body. Experiment with simple 1-dish meals. They are light enough to bring in one container, and can simply be reheated in a microwave. 

 If going home to eat, experiment with freezing your prepared meals, or slow-marinading meat that you can throw in the oven right when you get back home. YouTube channels like Tasty can give you many ideas. 

 Consume Great Content 

   

 Read, even if you can only do it for ten minutes a day. If done every day, you’ll eventually finish many books in a year. 

 Podcasts and audiobooks are good to listen to on your commute.  Here’s a helpful article also written by me about getting started with podcasts.  

 The world’s most successful people all read at least one book a week. You don’t have to do that, but that goes to show how important the value of reading good content is. 

 By “good”, I don’t mean Facebook posts or tweets. I mean real, thought-provoking forms of prose that teach you something new. 

 Over time, just by doing 10 minutes a day, you’ll have more knowledge on different topics. It will make you a better writer, speaker, and you’ll develop a personality that future employers would absolutely love whenever you go for interviews. You will view the world in a different lens. 

  Here’s a great reading list for you to get started if you like.  

 Write down and review your goals every day 

   

 What are your goals? Write them down. Both short and long term. 

 Then do something that gets you closer to your long term goals every day. 

 Getting out of the rut that is your daily grind can be difficult, but very rewarding when done right. The location and working environment you’re in can make or break your learning curve towards attaining your career goals. 

 Which is why you should give MIMS Career a shot. Browse through our extensive directory of nursing jobs across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and more countries coming soon. Upload your resume and be notified of jobs you might be interested in. 

 Sign up for free, and discover the change of pace in life that you need to get out of autopilot today.

How Nurses Can Get Out of "Survival Mode"

As productivity writer Benjamin Hardy puts it, survival mode is: “ your life being filled to the brim with nonessential and trivial things. You don’t have time to make anything meaningful. ” Do you often feel like this?...

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 Want to work in the United States? Opportunities are aplenty; the American over-65 population is about to triple by the year 2030.  Most of them will suffer from chronic conditions, be obese, and suffer from arthtritis.  This leads to an overwhelming demand for nurses to assist healthcare institutions in providing care to these aging patients. 

 Living in the United States can be an interesting and rewarding period of time. You get great education, infrastructure, and one of the highest standards of living in the world. The  salary  is great too: the median salary for US registered nurses is $60,616, or about RM250,000 per annum. 

 Here’s what you need to do: 



 1. Ensure your academic requirements are met 

 You need to: 

 
 Graduate from a program with accredited Registered Nursing 
 Have a valid RN license 
 Practiced as an RN for not less than two years  
-Some states (like  Texas  or California, for example), require you to complete a Foreign Educated Nurses (FEN) course. It’s a refresher course consisting of 240 hours divided equally into classroom and clinical practice. You will do it under the supervision of a licensed RN. 
 



 2. Pass English proficiency test 

 You need to do this if: 

 
 You graduated from a school not in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or Ireland 
 Your school’s spoken language is anything other than English 
 Your school’s textbooks were written in English 
 

 You can take: 

 
 TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) 
 TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) 
 IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 
 

 Send the test results directly to the state board you’re applying to. 



 3. Sit and pass your NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensing Examination - Registered Nurse) 

 To take the exam, you have to register with Pearson VUE. The instructions are all on the website. 



 4. Find an employer, or a recruiting agency based in the US 

 A recruiter can also be your employer. They will help you get your immigrant visa. Not only that, but they will also assist you in finding a job at a hospital or institution that they are partnered with. 



 5. Get an RN immigrant visa/green card 

 You are going to need these documents for your visa: 

 
 Visa Screen Certificate (VSC) 
 Evidence of US-based employer who will petition for your visa. As mentioned, a recruiter can also be your petitioner. 
 



 6. Obtain visa and accept job offer 

 You might have to take a medical exam for this. 



 7. Get certified for Resuscitation courses 

 You’ll need to take (depending on the area that you will practice in): 

 
 Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course 
 Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course[10] 
 

 And there you have it! All you have to do next is to emigrate to the US. We’d like to wish you good luck with your endeavours! 

 Great nurses are always on the lookout for new, exciting, and better opportunities to grow their career. Find out your next employment with MIMS Career, a fast, secure, and convenient portal to connect you to top-class healthcare employers in MY, SG, ID, and PH.

How to Work as A Nurse in the USA

Want to work in the United States? Opportunities are aplenty; the American over-65 population is about to triple by the year 2030. Most of them will suffer from chronic conditions, be obese, and suffer from arthtritis. This leads to an...

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 Think about working in Australia. The salary of nurses are one of the highest in the world. They have a large, interesting country with endless things to explore. The quality of life is great; it is second best globally. People live outside a lot more than they do here, are laidback, and friendly. 

 Working overseas, while initially scary, can be one of the best decisions you ever make. Being outside your comfort zone forces you to grow as you are tested by challenges that not many people will get the opportunity to go through. 

 Depending on where you go, it can be very different from back home. This change in environment builds confidence as a result of changes in your perspective. Not only will it look good on your resume for future career opportunities, a new country is a land of endless discovery that you can make during your downtime after work. 

 Want to work as a nurse in Australia? Read on to find out. 

  About Australia  
 Register with NMBA  
 Apply for skills assessment with AMNAC  
 Get on AHPRA online public register  
 Pass the AMNAC skills assessment  
 Living in Australia  

 About Australia 

 Because it was geographically isolated as an island for millions of years, many species can only be found on the Australian sub-continent. Australia is a rapidly advancing country: it is the 13th-largest economy, and is ninth on the list of income-per-capita. It ranks highly in terms of quality of life, healthcare, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and human rights. An influx in migration from all over the globe to Australia has resulted in the country becoming a rich, diverse, and friendly melting pot of cultures and ideas. 

 Register with NMBA 

 The process of migrating to Australia for work as a nurse involves a few regulating bodies. In a nutshell, in order to practice nursing, you’d have to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). This board handles your qualifications, and deems your education to be relevant, meeting Australian standards. Then you have to apply with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council, or ANMAC. This body takes into account your work experience, and handles your migration to Australia. It is possible to be accepted by the NMBA, but rejected by the ANMAC. 

 The suggested pathway is to register with the NMBA first. For registration, they will assess you on three things: 

 
	 Criminal history
	 
		 English language skills (a recent result of tests like IELTS or TOEFL is needed) 
		 Recency of practice. You need to clear this part if you’ve already been practicing as a registered nurse here in Malaysia. Recent grads without prior work experience need not do this step. 
	 
	 
 

 Apply for skills assessment with AMNAC 

 Once this is done, and approved by NMBA, you then apply to AMNAC for a skills assessment. This is the application that will approve your migration to Australia. 

 They have five criteria to submit: 

 
	 Proof of identity 
	 English language proficiency (similar to NMBA criterion) 
	 Educational equivalence (whether or not the nursing degree or training is the same standard as AMNAC’s standards) 
	 Professional Practice 
	 Fitness to practice. 
 

 Get on AHPRA online public register 

 If you’ve graduated from Malaysia, you would have to complete some further training. This is because you do not meet Criteria 3- Education equivalence. Hence you would not be suitable for a skills assessment from AMNAC, which prevents your migration. 

 To get over this hurdle, you need to be on AHPRA’s online public register, which determines that you are fit to practice, and that your education and training are both deemed usable for their healthcare system. 

 This training can be in the form of a bridging program or something similar. Contact the Dept of Immigration and Border Protection for a visa to go to Australia to complete your training. 

 Pass the AMNAC skills assessment 

 Then there’s only left the final step! AMNAC will approve your application to go through their skills assessment. Once that’s done, they will issue a Letter of Determination. If you are suitable for migration, congrats! Head back over to Department of Immigration and Border Protection website to start the visa process. 

 Living in Australia 

 Australia has seven of the top 100 universities in the world so great place for education. Also, each year Australian Government provides approx $200 million dollars in scholarships for local and international students. It’s a good opportunity to raise your children there. 

 Australia is a safe, multicultural, friendly and harmonious society. It has a comparatively very low crime rate and strict gun control laws providing a safe place to live. 

 Medical insurance, healthcare facilities and doctor’s prescription medications are cheaper than many developed countries. So you can have a peace of mind whenever misfortunes happen. 

 Halal food is relatively easy to get in the larger cities. Lately the vegetarian movement has been very well-liked with the local populace. Regardless of your dietary needs, Australia is open enough to accommodate everyone. 

 Conclusion 

 Migration to another country can be scary. There are no certainties. No guarantees. You’d be leaving familiar environment behind, and embracing the change that will happen. Be proud of yourself for taking this next big step in your career. 

 As the world gets smaller and more connected, employers are more in need of healthcare practitioners who are open-minded, culturally-exposed, and competent to meet the needs of 21st century challenges. 

 You stand to gain a new skillsets from experienced specialists who work in challenging environments. It will solidify your confidence - and compassion. That compassion will come from the realization that despite differing borders and flags, we are still one big family. The realization that we’re not so different after all, and that access to health care is a basic human right. 

 Start applying for nursing jobs overseas with MIMS Careers. Just signup, input your details and resume, and you will be able to apply for those job posts with a single click. Not only that, you can save jobs you are interested in for later viewing. 

 Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up job alerts so we can notify you of new employers that meet your search criteria.

How to Work as A Nurse in Australia

Think about working in Australia. The salary of nurses are one of the highest in the world. They have a large, interesting country with endless things to explore. The quality of life is great; it is second best globally. People live...

Read More