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 As nurses, we are at risk of endangering our patients as our skills are steadily becoming more outdated.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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 For those nurses serving with  Kementrian Kesihatan Malaysia  (KKM), the start of your work life will present you with one of the toughest choices you’ll make: 

 
 EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund, also known as KWSP), or choose the pension fund? 
 

 Both are viable options in securing your financial health after you retire. Although retirement might seem like ages away, a good amount of planning and successful investments can mean the difference between being able to live comfortably in your golden years, or struggle with daily or medical expenses. 

 So which to choose? We’ll break down the points below. 

 Pension fund 

  What is it?  
It’s a monthly stipend of a set amount, provided by the Public Services Department upon your retirement. In addition to that, you also receive a  gratuity  payment, and medical/health benefits. 

  Calculation  
Here we will be assuming that you start work at 20 years old, with a starting salary of RM2,000, and continue working until you retire at 55 with a salary of RM5,600 (3% annual pay increase). 

 Your monthly pension will be your last drawn salary, divided by two. For example, if your base salary is RM5,000 when you retire, your monthly stipend will be RM2,800/mo. 

 In addition to that, you will receive gratuity payment, which is calculated as such: 

 
 gratuity = 7.5% x 35yrs x 12 months x RM5,600 (final drawn salary) 
= RM 176,400. 
 

 RM176,400 will be given as a lump sum, while RM2,800 will be given per month. Again, this is all assuming you retire at 55, with a final salary of RM5,600. 

  Benefits  

 
	 No subtraction from base pay. 
 

 Unlike EPF, as we will see later, there is no subtraction from your base salary. 

 
	 Guaranteed monthly retirement funding 
 

 Again, unlike EPF, where your money can be withdrawn for other uses, pension takers are guaranteed to have a monthly source of income. 

  Disadvantages  

 
	 You have to start and end your service in the public/government sector. It might hamper your ability to seek work overseas, better base salaries, or even some chances to study. 
 

 EPF or Employees Provident Fund (KWSP - Kumpulan Simpanan Wang Pekerja) 

  What is it?  
EPF is the accumulation of savings generated from deductions of your base salary. Currently, you can choose either 11%, or 8%, as  recently announced . 

 This accumulation of money is further grown by annual dividends. On average the dividend is around 6%, depending on the GDP (gross domestic product) of the country. 

 What makes EPF great as long term savings is due to the magic of  compound interest. . Your employer also contributes to your fund (12% of your pay). These two things make an EPF account grow substantially when properly managed. 

  2 accounts  

 Your EPF savings are divided into two accounts. 70% goes into account 1, and the rest to account 2. Account 1 is your retirement funds. Account 2 is withdrawable, under a few conditions: 

 
	 more than 50 years old 
	 Housing downpayment for your 1st house 
	 housing loan payment 
	 education 
	 medical costs 
	 Hajj pilgrimage 
 

 Upon reaching the age of 55, you will be able to withdraw from account 1. You will have to choose to withdraw one lump sum, or as a monthly stipend like a pension. 

  Calculation  

 Let’s take the same example as just now. Start work at 20, salary RM2,000, retire at 55, salary RM5,000. 

 
 Deduction from pay = 11% = RM220 
Employer contribution = 12% = RM240 
 We will assume no withdrawals are made over entire working period  
EPF annual dividend = 6% 
 

 The interest adds up year over year, and with the help of EPF’s  online calculator , 

 Total EPF savings at 55 years old = RM461,900 

 It is a marginally higher amount than RM176,400 gratuity you will receive from a pension. 

  Benefits  

 
	 Flexibility. At the age of 55, you can withdraw that money and invest in another scheme, venture, or fund that offers greater returns. 
	 Faster growth. As shown, even with a contribution of 11% of your pay, over the course of 35 years it balloons into a large amount of money. 
	 Freedom of employment. You no longer have to work within the constraints of the government or public service. You are free to pursue study or work opportunities as you wish. 
 

  Disadvantages  

 
	 Sometimes things don’t go as planned. You might hit a financial roadblock that forces you to withdraw from your EPF fund. An example of this is a medical emergency. 
	 It subtracts 11% of your base salary. 11% might not seem like much, but for people who live paycheck to paycheck, it can be a bitter pill to swallow. 
	 Annual dividend from EPF can decrease, depending on economic climate. 
 

 Making a comparison 

 Monthly funds 

 Assuming that you live until the mean life expectancy age in Malaysia, which is 76 years old. 

 
 Years to live off retirement fund (pension) = 76-55 = 21 years 
 

 To make a fair comparison, let’s subtract the gratuity amount of a pension scheme from the lump sum of EPF savings. 

 
 EPF at 55 years old - gratuity of pension at 55 years old = RM461,900 - RM176,400 = RM285,500 

 Stipend per month that EPF provides = RM285,500 / 21 years / 12 months = RM1,132.94/month 
 

 Even if we did not subtract the gratuity value, it would be: 

 
 RM461,900 / 21 years / 12 months = RM1,832.94/ month 
 

  It is far less than RM2,600/month from a pension scheme . 

 What if we invest all of EPF savings? 

 Say at the age of 55, you embark on another investment with better returns. We will assume 8%. You pile up all your savings into it. 

 Investment return x EPF savings = 8% x RM 461,900 = RM36,952/year or RM3,079.33/month. 

  It is more than what you’ll obtain from a pension.  However you’ll need to ensure that the second investment has better returns than EPF dividends. That in itself can sometimes be a challenge. 

 Conclusion 

 They both have their advantages and drawbacks. It seems like it is up to you to play it well, to ensure you can lead a comfortable life upon retirement. 

 However the main question of choosing either EPF or pension as retirement savings often boils down to your choice of employer. 

 Will you stay with the government sector for another 30+ years? You don’t want to end up with no retirement fund… No EPF or no pension. That’d be the worst. 

 If yes, go for the pension scheme. It is safe, guaranteed, and offers great peace of mind in your golden years. 

 However, with EPF, you are free to take up opportunities that come your way. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Australia are actively seeking out Malaysian nurses with extremely attractive pay. Opportunities for post-graduate education are more limited in the government sector; if in private, you get to choose when you want to do it. You can also fund it with your EPF savings, something you can’t do on a pension. 

 Choose the freedom of choice. Search for high-paying nursing jobs, and overseas 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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EPF (KWSP), or Pension? Which to choose?

For those nurses serving with Kementrian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), the start of your work life will present you with one of the toughest choices you’ll make: EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund, also known as KWSP), or choose...

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	  See if the offer is too good to be true  
	  There is a fee to be paid to "process" your employment  
	  You get the job right away  
	  Unprofessional job interviews  
 

 Job scams 

 In 2013, a South African registered nurse was approached by a man outside the hospital she worked in. The 25-year old man was a recruitment agent for the  KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Health . He offered her a job at another institution, for better pay and work hours. 

 The nurse saw this as a great opportunity. She accepted it, and he produced a contract and offered her the job.  Then he requested USD220 in cash for the job.  

 Thankfully, the nurse grew suspicious, and realized she was being scammed. She immediately alerted hospital staff who arrested the man. 

   

 Grey's Hospital, where the incident happened. 

 That could have ended a lot worse. Luckily in that nurse's case, she was able to spot the scam job offer. It is hoped that this post can help you to spot these harmful acts and avoid costing you your precious time, money, and dignity. Scammers know that finding a job can be tough, and they trick people by advertising where real employers do. 

 Scams are endlessly creative! This list might not encompass all of them, but it will help you in detecting these harmful job scams. 

 
 1. See If The Offer Is Too Good To Be True 

   

 If it seems like you’ve landed yourself the best offer in the world,  DON’T . The hiring managers will say something to you like: 

 
 You can earn as much as you want, there is no upper limit on your salary. You decide what you earn. You can earn USD5,000 in one week by working at home! 
 

 Run away as fast as you can. These scams like to prey on those desperate for a new job. They take advantage of your desperation by having you excited of their offer. Once they’ve gotten you on their hook, those “employers” can start to demand money, information, and time, just to get your application moving. 

  Watch out for:  

 
	 Really high pay with low amount of working hours 
	 Ability to work anywhere, anytime 
	 Really shady phrases, like “ Drive the sports car you’ve ever wanted after only a few months’ work! ” or " Earn USD3000 by only working FOUR HOURS a week! " 
	 The person contacting you is the President or CEO or other executive level staff. Most of the time, the highest-ranking person contacting you for a job offer is some type of manager or human resources employee. 
 

 2. There is a fee to be paid to "process" your employment 

   

 If the hiring manager contacts you again and informs you that you have to pay [insert amount here] to complete your application, forget it. 

 You might see overseas job offers requiring you to pay a few hundred dollars to "process" your application. They'll claim it's to secure your employment. To sweeten the deal, some of them claim that you'll get back the money within days after you get in the company/institution. 

  Here are the most common ways job scams use to cheat your money, like:  

 
	 Buying their software 
	 Paying a fee to complete your application 
	 Sign up for some insurance program that deducts money from your account every month 
 

 Job scammers make all kinds of promises about your chances of employment, and an astounding amount of them require you to pay them for their services to employ you. It's important to note that the promise of a job is  not  the same thing as a job. If you have to pay for that promise, it's most definitely a scam. 

 3. You get the job right away 

   

 You get the job, without much interviewing, or even applying through anything. The "offer" gets sent to your inbox. They often mention that they got your email from Jobstreet, CareerBuilder, or LinkedIn. 

  Most of the time, these job offers are sent with emails that are similar to emails of legitimate employers. Be careful!  

 
 Imagine if a David Chen from  Ramsay Sime Darby  emailed you about a sweet job offer. If he really worked at RSD, his email would be something like david.c@simedarby.com. Watch out for david.c.simedarby@gmail.com, david.c@gmail.com, david.chen.HR.simedarby@yahoo.com, etc. 

 When in doubt, call up the company and ask for that employee! 
 

  A real company would want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.  

 4. Unprofessional job interviews 

   

 Look out for interviews online, such as over  Facebook Messenger . Worse still, are interviews using a software that the scammer asks you to install on you computer. You will risk having your computer infected with harmful malware that can  record what you type  ,  activate your webcam without notifying you , and  hold your personal information as ransom . 

 Look out for interviewers with bad grammar or spelling. If it doesn't seem like what a real professional company would say, don't trust it. 

 
 With some common sense, and a bit of suspicion, you can easily spot scam job offers. The rule of thumb is that if it looks too good to be true, sounds too good to be true, and seems to good to be true, then it's definitely not true. Also look out for shady characters and language. 

 As mentioned above, there is no limit to the creativity of these scam artists and their job offers. The tips mentioned above might cover  ALL  the scam job methods out there, but at least you'll be better prepared, and more aware that these things can happen. 

 As a healthcare-focused job portal site,  MIMS Career  takes the legitimacy of any employer and job posting  very seriously . We screen employers thoroughly, contacting them at various levels, to determine authenticity of said employers. Our  privacy policy  also dictates that we  never  share your personal information to unrelated third parties, nor do we sell them. 

 The next time you're in search of a job, apply through  MIMS Career . Sign up, fill in your details, and apply for job vacancies from top healthcare institutions in  Malaysia ,  Singapore ,  Indonesia , and the  Philippines  with one click. 

 Browse through our extensive database of job postings, updated daily. Our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can save jobs you're interested in on your desktop, and continue reading about it and apply later on your phone. 

 Can't find what you're looking for? Set a job alert, and we'll notify you once a job with your preferences is made available. Sign up now with  MIMS Career . It's fast, convenient, and secure. We do the hard work of verifying scam jobs so you won't have to. 
   

 Our Most Popular Articles 

  Think About These 5 Things Before You Decide On A Specialization  

  5 Things Nurses Need To Know To Be Paid More  

  10 Ways Malaysian Nurses Can Increase Their Income

How To Spot Job Offer Scams

See if the offer is too good to be true There is a fee to be paid to "process" your employment You get the job right away Unprofessional job interviews Job scams In 2013, a South African...

Read More