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.



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  1. Start high  
 2. Look for an agreeable outcome  
 3. Be aware of supply in the area  
 4. Rates are not permanent  
 5. Negotiate other aspects of your rates  

 Locum Jobs 

 An advantage of taking up locum jobs to boost your income is that you have some flexibility to work. You choose the schedule that you are available to fit into. Also, it can  improve your CV  for future job applications at other institutions by showing that you have a diverse set of employers. 

 For new nurses, doing locum allows you extra time and exposure to choose how you want to plan out your nursing career. Like selecting a specialization. You can read more on the  advantages of doing locum to increase your income here . 

 People seem to be paralyzed into inaction when it comes to setting rates, simply accepting whatever the clinic offers to pay you. While this article focuses on nurses doing locum jobs at private practices, we hope that these points will still be able to help doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and other healthcare practitioners as well. 

 1. Start high 

   

  source: @dan_carl5on  

 Start out by always proposing a rate higher than you would. It doesn’t have to be a lot. 

 Say your desired rate is RM20 an hour. Just mention RM25 as your starting rate. You can slowly reduce it to the price that you sought out initially when discussing with the clinic or institution. 

 You don’t want to be working with people who feel like they have to squeeze the most out of their budget to accommodate you. Such scenarios do not lead to healthy long-term relationships. It’s better to make them feel like they’ve got a good deal. 

 2. Look for an agreeable outcome 

   

  source: pixabay  

 Remember, the owner of the clinic wants to fill some gaps in his workforce, and you want to get paid. Think of it as a bridge. Both of you are on either side. The best outcome is if you both meet in the middle. 

 Don’t rip people off. Good negotiation is about both parties walking away feeling like they both got a good deal. If you think that milking out money from people to the point where they are reluctantly agreeing to your prices, think again. That relationship isn’t going to last very long. 

 The best employer (whether they employ you full-time or otherwise) is one that continuously offers you work. They can’t do that if they don’t like you. 

 3. Be aware of supply in the area 

   

  source: pixabay  

 A lot of nurses doing locum jobs in the area? That might affect your locum fees. Try to look for clinics or institutions that have an under-supply of part-time nurses. The main reason why your locum employer is paying you below average is probably because a replacement for you is so easy to find. 

 Price is a reflection of the demand for the locum jobs and the supply of those capable of doing it in the area. This is commonly known as the law of supply and demand in economics. It applies here as well. 

 4. Rates are not permanent 

   

  source: here  

 Rates are not set in stone. Even if you’ve negotiated quite a while ago, you can still make some changes if you approach the employer tactfully. 

 Explain that you’ve been here for a while, and that you haven’t let him/her down. So you’d like an increase in your rates. 

 The worst thing that can happen is they say no. Don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. At least you tried. 

 5. Negotiate other aspects of your rates 

   

  source: pixabay  

 While there is a fixed rate for your schedule, try to consider other aspects as well. Things like emergency calls, or last-minute requests to come in for locum. 

 Make it clear to the employer that these are out-of-the-norm occurrences, and that you would like to be compensated accordingly. 

 6. Losing locum jobs is not necessarily a bad thing 

   

  source: blupics  

 When increasing your rates, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Doubling your rates but losing half of locum opportunities is great. You get the same amount at the end, but work half as much, which frees up your time. 

 Plus, sometimes someone who charges RM40 per hour looks more professional and qualified than someone who charges RM20 per hour. 

 Conclusion 

 Don’t just look at financial rates; benefits are important as well. Is the job good for your reputation? Are they likely to recommend you to others? 

 Is the work consistent and secure? Do you trust the employer? 

 Remember these 6 steps when negotiating your fees.  If you don’t value your time, no one else will.  

 Browse through  MIMS Career  for an easy way to find locum or part-time jobs in your area.  MIMS Career  is a premier, healthcare-focused job portal site for Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Our simple sign-up process allows you to easily apply for jobs you might be interested in with a single click. Job locations include hospitals, nursing homes, and private practices. It’s free, easy to use, and safe. 

 Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up a job alert and we’ll notify you by email whenever positions that suit your preferences are available. All of our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can take your applications with you on the go. 
   

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The Complete Guide to Negotiating Locum Rates

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 Some of you might wonder: is it possible to practice my profession overseas?  

 Fortunately, the answer is yes. Working overseas provides many benefits. Among them is the experience that you’ll get. Moving to a foreign country will expose you to experiences that not many would have. 

 It will expand your perceptions on the profession as you go through the day-to-day challenges. Depending on the country, you get higher wages. A registered nurse in Australia typically gets paid around AUD 53,900 to AUD 75,000. This results in a high quality of life for your family. You can see similar numbers for Singapore, Canada, and the Gulf countries. 

 There are plenty of opportunities overseas. It takes a bit of creativity and resourcefulness to find them, but it’s worth it for all the benefits. It is a must-do for those of you who feel you need a change of pace in life. 

 Opportunities in: 

 
	   Specialize in a field of choice   
	   Locum jobs in free time   
	   Advance in your Career   
	   Work Overseas   
	   Ask for additional shifts from your employer   
	   Take up health writing jobs   
	   Medical Communicator   
	   Tutor (University or school)   
	   Become a field nurse at community events   
	   Something non-nursing, like passion or interest   
 



 Singapore 

   



 Home Care 

 Many foreign nurses are being hired to provide home care for the elderly in the city-state of Singapore. 

 They enter with the same work pass as a maid; and live in with the patients that they care for. 

 There is a genuine demand for nurses who are willing to work in these conditions in Singapore. Compared to sending their aging relatives to nursing homes, Singaporeans now prefer them to stay at home, where they are familiar and can be comfortable.  

 You would not need to spend on food and lodging. Also, if not working at the patient’s home, you have more time and freedom on your hands, as compared to working in a hospital. 

 The disadvantage is that your pay is only slightly more than a domestic helper. On average, home care nurses get only about SGD600-SGD1000 a month. 

 Check out Active Global Caregiver, Optinuum Health Services and Homage if you’d like to find out more about this kind of work. 



 Private Practices 

 Many clinics in Singapore are actively seeking out Malaysian Nurses; they even list it out in their job descriptions. 

 The pay is higher compared to working in Malaysian private practices: about SGD2000-SGD3000 per month on average. 

 Regular hours for these institutions means you can opt to live in Johor Bahru, while commuting to work in Singapore. You earn in a stronger currency but live in a more affordable area. 

 However the commute can be really tiring, and it can take hours to travel to and fro across the Johor Straits. 



 Public Hospitals 

 As mentioned, the Singaporean government is investing in a lot of foreign nurses. According to sources, the country is investing SGD 24million to help fill out 9000 jobs in healthcare. 

 They even have overseas nursing graduate programs and scholarships to woo over those from overseas, even if from a different career. 

 Job prospects looks bright. With all the government actions, its a clear indication that foreign nurses are very much needed in years to come. 

 However, it can create high levels of stress to work in such conditions. Short of manpower, it creates a large amount of workload. Singaporean nurses cite great demands at work, and internal conflicts. According to a study, affected nurses cope better when with friends and family. 

 Working overseas normally means leaving friends and family behind, therefore leaving you with a lesser safety net for your mental fortitude. 

 You can check out how non-Singaporean registered nurses can work in Singapore here. 



 Australia 

   



 Hospitals 

 Also facing a shortage in nurses, they seek to hire foreigners to meet demands. Some will even sponsor you. 

 As a rapidly developing country, Australia has very high standards of nursing care that we can learn from. A job stint there will expose you to cases or methods that you would not normally have the opportunity to see here. 

 A major advantage of being a nurse in an Australian hospital is that it is one of the highest paying countries for nurses. However, the process for Malaysians to immigrate and practice nursing there can be lengthy. First you have to register with the NMBA. Then register with ANMAC, complete training with AHPRA, pass ANMAC skills assessment, obtain placement in an institution, and then only finally migrate. 

 You can check out our article on how to become a nurse in Australia for more detailed info. 



 Nursing Homes 

 As Australian society continues surging onward with better healthcare delivery, life expectancies have increased, leading to a ballooning population of geriatrics. Australian hospitals tend to want to discharge patients as fast as they can, resulting in more patients being put into extended or long term care centers. 

 These care centers are sprouting up in all Australian states. They even have one specifically to cater to those of Chinese ethnicity. Malaysians of ethnic Chinese parentage would do well here. 

 Advantages of working here include flexible hours, and locations you can choose. The work experience you gain from here can set you up for specialization in Geriatrics, an increasingly valuable specialty. 

 However, like any business, nursing homes can close down due to lack of funding, or if investor money runs out, like this nursing home in Walcall.  

 You can check out how non-Australian registered nurses can work in Australia here. 



 Saudi Arabia 

   



 Hospitals 

 The Royal House of Saud is aggressively developing their healthcare system, capacities and how they deliver it to their citizens, according to this report. 

 Nurses from Malaysia get drafted into 1st Grade, which has a salary of RM14,000/month. The Saudis are comfortable with Malaysian nurses because of our proficiency in English.   

 You get to live a very comfortable life as a nurse here. Lodging and food are often prepared by the employer to make it easier on foreign nurses coming into work. This gives a leg up for those unsure how to begin life in a new country. 

 Many Malaysian nurses are already working there. You would have a strong support system for hard times from the community. 

 Not only is the pay very attractive, the extremely low tax rates imposed on you would result in a much higher net income. The healthcare is advanced, even if the Kingdom is struggling to deliver its healthcare to its citizens because of the large country size. Also, since it is home to the two holiest sites in Islam, it is a great opportunity to be closer to one’s faith for Muslims. 

 Unfortunately, Arabs can be culturally more aggressive compared to mild-mannered, timid South East Asians. Also, the Kingdom is a bit further away compared to working in other ASEAN countries. 



 United States and Europe 

   

 There is currently an extreme shortage of nurses going on in the States. By 2022, it is estimated that the total number of nursing vacancies is projected to be more than a million. 

 According to the latest numbers from the American Census Bureau, the 76-million strong baby boomer generation will triple the number of over-65 population in 2030. This can strain the nursing workforce. 

 It has even come to a point where American institutions are now promoting nursing as a second career. They are even helping to promote the profession to men, who have traditionally shied away from nursing. 

 Working in the United States as a nurse nets you a good pay, and a high standard of living.  

 A similar situation to the USA is also happening in Europe. A lack of interest in nursing amongst the young have pushed several European countries to act by employing foreign nurses to meet demand. 



 Conclusion 

 Moving overseas can be scary. The adjustment phase can be difficult, even to the most open-minded of all migrants. But, like all difficult things, the end result is fruitful. In an increasingly globalized world, more international experiences lead to better global ties, and a more peaceful society overall. 

 One easy way to apply for a job overseas is by MIMS Career. Signup and input your resume details with us, and you can enjoy our fast, secure, and easy 1-click application process to many healthcare employers. Find nursing work that you would get excited about in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, or Singapore. You can also save jobs to view later, or create email alerts to notify you of new positions you might be interested in.

10 Ways Malaysian Nurses Can Increase Their Income

Some of you might wonder: is it possible to practice my profession overseas? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Working overseas provides many benefits. Among them is the experience that you’ll get. Moving to a foreign country will...

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 As incidences of chronic kidney disease and other related renal issues continue to rise, the need for adequately trained nurses in those fields continue to grow. Similar conditions are seen in various parts of the world. In 1999, the incidence of patients with kidney conditions requiring long-term care is 340,261. In 2010 it is over 600,000.  

 The diagnosis of renal conditions can be done with a primary care doctor. However, treatment and care of those patients require an understanding of risks, comorbid conditions, complications, and probabilities for loss of kidneys by both physicians and nurses. 

 For nurses, a post-basic renal course can open the doors to working in this area which is sorely lacking in manpower. Here are the reasons why you should consider pursuing a renal post-basic certification. 

 From bedside to business 

 There are a lot of CKD (chronic kidney disease) clinics opening up. Having a renal certification enables you to work at these clinics as your training is aligned with what they have to offer their patients.  

  Pusat Hemodialisis Mawar  is one of them. They are the largest private charity haemodialysis organization in the country. They have 13 centres spread throughout the country. 

 A short search on Google Maps also reveals a lot of haemodialysis centres in Klang Valley. 

 Being a nurse at institutions like those will train your patient management skills as you run the day-to-day administrative tasks in parallel with your nursing duties. 

 Better work setting 

 You’ll have a less erratic schedule than your peers. Dialysis patients require a regular timing on their treatment. Your shifts would be on more regular hours. A more fixed routine can be better for your health and well-being. 

 Better pay 

  On average, renal nurses with post basic certification get about 10% more pay.  

 Hospital dialysis nurses may be offered more pay, but they may also be required for emergency dialysis treatments, making their schedule less average than others in their field of focus. 

 Adjustable pace 

 You can choose to work in smaller dialysis centres for slower pace, or larger nephrology units in hospitals if you wish for a faster paced working environment. Unlike other specialties, you have a choice to work in the kind of environment that suits your working style. 

 Rapid changes in the field 

 Technological advances in the renal treatment field progresses at a rapid pace. Previously, it was slow. Kidney diseases were complex and difficult to study. Therefore treatments were vaguely ineffective. 

 The 21st century brought in upgraded transplantation technologies with breakthroughs in biocompatible materials. 

 As a renal nurse, you will handle the care of post-transplant patients. The tasks and how you perform your duties to these patients have a high probability of changing with the frenetic pace of research. 

 High Demand 

 Renal nurses have good experience in interpreting telemetric data. This makes them efficient at being support units in surgical wards to ensure successful procedures. 

 Dialysis is expensive, costly, and there’re not enough facilities and manpower in public and private hospitals. 

 Conclusion 

 Pursuing a renal post-basic certification is a solid pathway to consider. Nurses with this certification are more in demand, have better pay, and all the listed advantages above. For people who like clinical challenges, treading this path is for you. 

 Already have a post-basic in renal care? Head over to MIMS Career to search and apply for renal care jobs in your area. Just signup and experience our convenient 1-click application process. It’s fast, safe, and easy. MIMS Career also allows you to search in our huge database of employers seeking new staff. You can also save potential jobs for later viewing, and create your own personalized job alert.

Renal Post-Basic, a certification to consider

As incidences of chronic kidney disease and other related renal issues continue to rise, the need for adequately trained nurses in those fields continue to grow. Similar conditions are seen in various parts of the world. In 1999, the...

Read More