New programme to develop future nurse leaders for community care sector

The Singapore Nurse Leaders Programme will focus on developing nurses to have a better understanding of the community care sector. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Mid-level nurses will have a new programme starting next year to help develop their leadership skills to take on more roles in the community care sector.

The Singapore Nurse Leaders Programme (SNLP), jointly developed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Healthcare Leadership College, will focus on developing nurses to have a better understanding of the sector, which includes nursing homes, senior care centres and day rehabilitation facilities.

MOH said with its strategic shifts from hospital to community, there is a need for nurse leaders to understand the perspectives of both acute and community nursing.

"With this, they can take on broader leadership roles and lead care across the acute and community care sectors," MOH said in a statement.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced the new eight-day programme, which will be conducted over three months with about 30 participants, at the Nurses' Merit Award Presentation Ceremony on Wednesday (July 18) at Concorde Hotel.

The new programme comprises seminars, workshops and community care exposure, where participants will gain an understanding of the care models, roles and scope of nursing practices within different community care settings.

They will also be attached for a month to three different community care settings, including hospices.

It is free for participants who are selected for the programme.

The new programme builds on initiatives announced last year including the Institute of Technical Education's Work-Learn Technical Diploma in Rehabilitation Care and the Senior Management Associate Scheme, which allows professionals to make a mid-career switch to community care in managerial roles in areas such as operations, administration and information technology.

Last year, MOH also announced the $12 million Community Care Manpower Development Award, which is aimed at developing the workforce for the community care sector, to hone skills in areas such as social work and speech therapy.

They are all part of an effort to build skills critical to addressing the needs of an ageing population.

Touching on the new programme, Mr Gan said: "The exposure will also help participants appreciate the challenges faced by the sector and provide a platform for them to form networks with community care partners within their regional health system."

At the award ceremony, Mr Gan gave out medals to 100 nurses for their outstanding performance and dedication to the profession.

Besides the medal, to be worn as part of their uniform, the nurses received a cash award of $1,000.

One of the award recipients, Ms Pang Fong Wan, 56, said: "SNLP is a good programme as nurses will be able to deepen their understanding in the community care sector."

Ms Pang, a senior staff nurse at the Singapore General Hospital, was part of the surgical team in the 97-hour long operation of Nepalese conjoined twins Ganga and Jamuna in 2001.

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