Forum: Poly nursing course entry criteria help ensure that students do well

We refer to the Forum letters "Review entry criteria for polytechnic nursing courses" (July 21), "Entry criteria for poly nursing course should focus more on passion and experience" (July 26), and "Cut-off score required for poly nursing course already low" (July 26).

We thank Mr Abdul Rahim Darman and Mr Wong Hong Meng and their daughters for earnestly considering nursing as a career option.

Nursing requires both technical and soft skills.

Daily, nurses make numerous practical and evidence-based decisions through critical thinking, often under the pressure of time. This ability, along with having a caring heart, compassion and empathy, makes them a well-rounded healthcare professional.

In an increasingly demanding healthcare setting with high patient acuity, the ability to respond in a timely and accurate manner is of utmost importance.

A proficiency in mathematics and science serves as an important foundation to help nursing students hone their critical thinking, analytical skills and decision-making abilities.

This is especially relevant in today's healthcare environment - one that is progressively digitalised and reliant on data analytics to guide critical clinical decisions.

To further develop these competencies, nursing students are required to acquire skills in statistical research and data analytics, and to participate in applied research projects in school. All of these require a good foundation in mathematics, which goes beyond its application in medication dosing.

Proficiency in mathematics as an entry criterion is also widely practised globally.

Reputable nursing schools in the United States, Britain and Hong Kong have generally identified this proficiency as a pre-requisite for enrolment in nursing studies leading to a professional qualification.

The demand for nurses remains high in Singapore.

Hence, over the years, multiple pathways have also been created for those interested to pursue a professional qualification in nursing. The polytechnics can provide advice on these alternative pathways.

Samantha Ong

President

Singapore Nurses Association