The Importance of Lifelong Learning for Nurses

Why do we, as nursing professionals, have to put in effort to continuously learn?

The rate of progress in technology is growing at an exponential rate. The more things we discover, the faster we do it. What we learnt in nursing school 10 years ago might already be obsolete next year. As nurses, we are at risk of endangering our patients as our skills are steadily becoming more outdated.

Lifelong learning is a term that is freely being thrown around these past two decades. Lifelong learning means that education does not end at the academic level upon graduation; it means new skills, knowledge, and practices are always there to be learnt to improve oneself.

New Methods of Nursing

Take CPR, for example.

A vital procedure, many lives are saved with it. You would think that for something used so much in hospitals, it would be a science that’s very well established.

Unfortunately, no. Researchers and new observations change the way CPR is done. A decade ago, CPR was considered futile after a certain amount of time. Now, you are encouraged to not give up those chest compressions until medical help arrives.

Even the steps for CPR ten years ago are in different order. It used to be A-B-C; clear Airway, apply rescue breaths, then begin compressions. Now compressions come first and foremost. The reason is because rescue breaths lower chest cavity air pressure, slowing circulation (which is exactly what we do not want in cardiac arrest).

The new methods are more effective than the older ones. And it took only ten years for the old methods to become obsolete.

Not knowing the newer, more effective method could cost someone his/her life.

Renewing Your Nursing License

In Malaysia, you have to renew your license every year.

When you renew your license, they will check your CPD points: Continuous Professional Development points. These are points that you gain when you go for any nursing related courses.

For example, attend a Midwifery course and gain 5 CPD points. Attend a Wound Management course and get 3.

These points accumulate throughout the year, and when you want to renew your license, you need about 20-30 points. Otherwise, you will not be able to renew, thus leaving you without any form of registration. Meaning you can’t practice nursing!

Improving care towards patients

Nurses with a higher level of education are able to think more critically of their patients. They are able to aid in diagnosis, notice patterns in communication, and other physical cues that would help in determining the best course of treatment.

A nurse with a post-basic in cardiology is much more useful to a cardiologist compared to a general staff nurse. They can work together, exchange information, and execute procedures that the latter would not normally have the ability to do.

21st Century patients

Nowadays, patients are have more access to information than ever before. They are more learned, and have different set of expectations. They query a lot; so nurses have to be armed with the right set of information to cater to these patients. It goes a long way in establishing their trust towards you.

A good nurse-patient relationship is very important to achieve successful recovery.

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.



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 A common question asked to academic counselors by prospective nursing students is: “So how’s the life of a nurse? What kind of hours to they work?” 

 It depends. It really depends on your location, academic qualifications, experience, country of practice, working environment… Really, I could make a long list but then the article would be way too long. 

 So our team at MIMS Career has sifted through the working hours of a lot of different types of nurses, so you can have an idea of what kind of career choices you’d have to make to go towards that kind of life. We’ve categorized it in five parts: a little, a bit, normal, a bit more, and a lot. 



 A little (3-5 hours a day) 

 Part-time nurse practitioners 

 These nurses mostly work doing house calls, or are doing contract jobs with non-medical institutions like schools or companies. Their employers do not require their presence most of the time, so as little as 3-5 hours per work session is pretty common. Part-time nurse practitioners usually have another job other than their nursing one. 

  Find out how to become a part-time nurse practitioner in our in-depth nursing career advancement guide HERE.  

 A bit (5-8 hours a day) 

 Locum nurses 

 Locum nurses work part time shifts in clinics or hospitals or other medical-related institutions. They are not on the payroll of the institution they work with; as they are only meant to supplement the institution’s own workforce. On average a locum nurse’s shift is about 5-8 hours. 

 It is more common to see nurses doing locum jobs to supplant their monthly income, but nurses who exclusively do locum jobs exist, albeit rare.  

  Find out part-time locum jobs for nurses on our career portal HERE.  

 Normal (8-10 hours a day) 

 Nurse instructors, academicians, dialysis nurses 

 These nurses work office hours. This is as normal as it gets. Dialysis centers and nursing schools all have regular, fixed schedules that don’t demand anything more than the usual office workday. 

 Same goes for those who work in nursing schools as teachers, trainers, or professors.  You can find out what it takes to be an academician in the nursing world in our article about lifelong learning HERE.  

 These kinds of nurses don’t normally work weekends, and their schedules are mostly the same and predictable. 

 A bit more (10-14 hours a day) 

 Those involved in direct patient care, like emergency room nurses 

 Most of the time, when nurses at the ER say they work a 12-hour shift from 7am to 7pm, they almost always never get to get out on time. There’s always something to do, someone else to cover, or some loose ends to tie up. 

 This is made even worse by working in hospitals with a shortage of staff. Nurses would be brought in to do things that are not in their job scope, because they can do those tasks. But people who are not nurses do not do nursing tasks because they cannot do those tasks. How many times have you been to an ER, and see a nurse doing clerical work at the front desk because the hospital doesn’t have a secretary or clerk? 



 A lot (14-24 hours a day) 



 Paediatric intensive care, intensive care, surgical, labor and delivery. 

 It is very common to see nurses doing double shifts in these wards. Their shifts might be 12 hours, but are sometimes to do two of those shifts back-to-back to reduce shift handovers, staffing overlap, and reduce costs. 

 Moreover, the type of work that this category of nurses do are a bit on the lengthier side. Surgeries can go up to 24 hours, including perioperative care. Intensive care can be very demanding as patients hover around critical states. 

 There is a variety of workloads for nurses. Each type of work suits different people who prioritize different things. With MIMS Career you have the opportunity of applying with ease to the jobs that you want to go into. Signup and apply with our easy, 1-click application process. Browse for jobs in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia. Save jobs for later if you’re still on the fence. Also, you can opt for job alerts if nothing fancies you. 

  Signup and apply today! It’s fast, secure, and free.

How Many Hours do Nurses Work?

A common question asked to academic counselors by prospective nursing students is: “So how’s the life of a nurse? What kind of hours to they work?” It depends. It really depends on your location, academic qualifications, experience,...

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 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. 

 Fancy yourself working as a registered nurse in high-tech, ultra-modern Singapore?  Nurses are in high demand , and studies project that it will continue to be high in the years to come. Read on to find out more! 

  About Singapore  
 Be a registered nurse, and have job offer  
 Register with SNB  
 Pay the required fees  
 Obtain a Work Pass  

 About Singapore: 

 A prominent city-state in South-East Asia, Singapore is a truly remarkable place to be. It is seeing an increasing amount of demand for foreign nurses to be employed in the home care sector, although private healthcare institutions are on the rise too. Geographically and culturally similar to Malaysia, so you won’t have too many problems adjusting to the life over there. There are an approximate total of  39,005 nurses  in Singapore according to the Ministry of Health, and the number is steadily increasing over the years to meet demand. 

 Be a registered nurse, and have job offer 

 First you’ll need to complete nursing school/training, and have nursing registration. For those considering migration but have not completed your nursing programmes, the form for registration with MOH (Kementrian Kesihatan Malaysia) can be found  here . Once that is out of the way, you need to have a job offer by a healthcare institution in Singapore first before you can proceed. Pro tip: browse through  MIMS Career  portal. It’s easy to get connected with potential employers! 

 Register with SNB 

 After being offered, then comes the task of registering with the  Singapore Nursing Board (SNB) . There are three things to do here: the first is to apply online, prepare documents for them, and to pay the  stipulated fees . 

 The documents required are: 

 
	 Your passport photograph 
	 Marriage certificate (if applicable) 
	 Transcript of nursing education to include detailed breakdown of credit hours 
	 Any training certificates, graduation certificates, or letter of completion of study 
	 Your Ministry of Health registration certificate 
	 References/Testimonials from previous employer(s). This is to be written by your Head of Department (Nursing). 
 

 It’s important to note that those documents, if not in English, have to be accompanied with certified translated copies. The easiest way to do this is to get it certified by a Commissioner of Oath nearest to you. Also prepare some  “setem hasil” (Duty stamps) , which cost RM10 a piece. 

 These documents, once copied and certified true, will only be accepted in hard copy by mail or in person by SNB. 

 Pay the required fees 

 The fee for application is SGD60 for Foreign-trained nurses. Upon confirmation of registration, there is another fee to be paid, which is your registration fee. It costs about SGD55. You can see the  SNB Fees table here.  

 The process would take about three months, depending on situation. Once SNB approves you, you would be required to either: 

 
	 Sit for an examination to test for competency 
	 An interview, 
	 Or placed on provision monitored by SNB in a place that they see fit. 
 

 Obtain a Work Pass 

 Finally, head towards the the  Ministry of Manpower Singapore ’s site to check what sort of work pass you would need before starting your work stint in Singapore. There are many passes available, so choose wisely! Make sure you double check with your Singapore employer before confirming anything. They should be able to advise you on this. 

 Living in Singapore 

 Singapore is a small, hyperactive country. There are a lot of things to see and do during your downtime. Food lovers rejoice! Home to diverse ethnic groups, Singapore features the best of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisine you can find in the region. Take advantage of the numerous food courts the country has. They’re reasonably priced and you can really find some culinary gems. Due to stringent laws, they’re hygienic too! 

 World-class events always make a stop at Singapore. Concerts, charity events, shows… you name it. 

 Traveling to and fro your home country from Changi airport is a breeze. Many companies in Singapore set up shop as a regional hub for doing business across the Asia-Pacific region. As a consequence, many jobs here will have a broader regional scope, so travellers frequently travel in and out the city-state. Because of this, Changi airport is the most efficient in the world. 

 Miss Malaysian food, culture, and quirks? Johor Bahru is just right across the Causeway (or Second Link, depending on which route you take). The city has seen a rapid modernization in recent years, and will serve as a great relief for homesickness. 

 Public transport is cheap and efficient. Owning a car in Singapore might be a daunting task, but you can comfortably get by with your commute to work on their extensive network of buses, MRTs, and taxis. 

 Crime rate is incredibly low. It is not uncommon to see women walking back home alone in the streets at night, by herself. With a little precaution, you can get around with ease. Your family back home will worry less, so you can have a peace of mind. 

 Conclusion 

 Interested in working in Singapore as a nurse? Signup with MIMS Career, and discover hundreds of job postings for nurses in the country. 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. 

 Signup with MIMS Career and take your first step in the path to working overseas. It’s safe, simple, and free.

How to Work as A Nurse in Singapore

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 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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 Nephrology/Renal Nursing 

 Nephrology is a specialty of medicine and pediatrics that concerns itself with the kidneys:  the study of normal kidney function, kidney problems, kidney health, and the treatment of kidney problems.  It encompasses dietary and medication to replacement forms of treatments. Systemic conditions that affect the kidneys and systemic problems that occur as a result of kidney problems are also studied in nephrology. A physician who has undertaken additional training to become an expert in nephrology may call themselves a nephrologist or a renal physician. 

 A nephrology nurse (or renal nurse - those two terms are used interchangeably) is a nursing practitioner that focuses on kidney health. They treat and care for patients that are suffering from those suffering from kidney problems as well as those that are at risk of developing them. 

 As a renal nurse, one must be prepared to stay on top of current developments, as treatments in this field are accelerating their development at a very rapid pace. This is possible to be done by regular consumption of renal-related literary content such as medical journals. Attending seminars and conference is also a possible method. 
   

 Scope 

 Renal nursing concerns the  diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases , including electrolyte disturbances and hypertension, and the care of those needing replacement therapy, including dialysis and transplant patients. 

 Many diseases affecting the kidney are systemic disorders not limited to the organ itself. Examples include acquired conditions such as systemic vasculitides and autoimmune diseases, as well as congenital or generic conditions such as polycystic kidney disease. 

 Methodology of nursing 

  History and physical examinations are central to the diagnostic workup in nephrology or renal nursing.   

 This may include inquires regarding family history, general medical history, diet, medication use, drug use and occupation. Examination typically includes an assessment of volume state, blood pressure, skin, joints, abdomen, and flank. 

 Urinary analysis (urinalysis) is an instrumental method in assessing possible kidney problems. Nurses in this specialization are trained to notice the appearance of blood in the urine, protein, pus cells or cancer cells in the urine, often with the help of a urologist or nephrology physician. 

 Basic blood tests can be used to check the concentration of hemoglobin, platelets, sodium, potassium, chloride, or phosphate in the blood. All of these may be affected by kidney problems, and renal nurses are supposed to be well-versed in this area. 

 Under certain circumstances, an invasive test is required for diagnosis. A biopsy of the kidney may be performed. This typically involves the insertion, under local anesthetic and ultrasound or CT guidance, of a core biopsy needle into the kidney to obtain a small sample of kidney tissue. Kidney biopsy is also used to monitor response to treatment and identify early relapse. 

 Training 

 The process differs across countries, but the outcome is indefinitely similar. Nephrology is a subspecialty of general medicine. A nephrology/renal nurse will have to complete nursing school, a minimum of three years of practice as a general nurse, and a BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing) or post-basic course in renal subjects. Typically this training lasts 1-2 years. 

 Nurses in training for renal nursing often continue in the world of academia to obtain research degrees, putting a temporary halt to their clinical practice. Some also sub-specialize in dialysis, kidney transplantation, CKD, cancer-related kidney diseases, procedural nephrology or other non-nephrology areas. 

 However, only pediatric-trained nurses are allowed to train in pediatric nephrology, due to differences in physiology. 

 Work environment 

 A major task and responsibility for renal nurses are  administering treatments to patients.  Treatments can include medications, blood products, surgical interventions, renal replacement therapy and plasma exchange. Kidney problems can have a significant impact on quality and length of life, and so psychological support, health education and advanced care planning play key roles in nephrology. 

 Renal nurses often find themselves having a better work setting compared to their non-specialized counterparts. Schedules are less erratic, especially for nurses working in dialysis support roles. 

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

 Career opportunities 

 
	 Dialysis centers (out- and in-patient) 
	 Nephrology wards 
	 Transplant units 
	 Home care 
	 Medical device industry 
	 Pharmaceutical industry 
	 Government and nonprofit healthcare settings (eg:  NKF ) 
	 Community clinics 
 

 There is a severe shortage of nephrology nurses in Malaysia. 

 Search for high-paying job in renal nursing at  MIMS Career . 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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 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.

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...

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