Nursing taskforce finalises recommendations after feedback from over 2,000 nurses

SINGAPORE - The National Nursing Taskforce (NNT) is finalising its recommendations after meeting more than 2,000 nurses over the course of 18 dialogue and townhall sessions since December last year.

Their views on the NNT's preliminary recommendations - in areas such as the role enhancement of nurses; strengthening nurses' education and professional development; facilitating career advancement and progression; and better recognition for the profession - were sought during these meetings.

The task force was set up in December 2012 to review and recommend ways to develop the nursing profession as the need for manpower is expected to surge in the coming years.

On Monday, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, who has also been conducting sessions with nurses, held her third and final dialogue with 15 nurses at the Ministry of Health.

The nurses told Dr Khor that they hope for better work life balance, more paths for career advancement and greater recognition for the profession.

Senior staff nurse at the National University Hospital Reysham Kaur Gursharan Singh, 27, said that better recognition will go a long way in attracting people to the profession. "Our job scope includes value-added duties. Behind-the-scenes, we assist doctors, develop protocols and guidelines to help patients."

Singapore needs about 20,000 more healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals.

There are about 36,000 nurses today. The aim is to grow the local pool of nurses by 2,700 every year.

On the preliminary recommendations made by the NNT , she said: "They echo the sentiments of nurses in improving our image and improving the attraction and retention of nurses."