Sunday, August 29, 2010

Facebook exchange: What it means to leave Singapore

I had an exchange with JN over Facebook. It clearly shows the ravine between our political views. Extracted here for the record, should he decide to remove it.


[Facebook exchange on JN's childhood photo with him sitting in front of the National Theatre]

WD: National Theatre... build with donations from people from all walks of life. Such a pity that it is torn down instead of re-furbished.

JN: Part of the bigger plans lah....

WD: When there is the will, there's a way. E.g. Take apart and relocate. It's a lack of will that causes our history to disappear.

JN: Anyway, we have got the aircon Durian with MRT connections. Much much better.

WD: Not so. The significance of the National Theatre (and also the Nanyang University) was that people from all walks of life contributed to it. When was the last time Singaporeans from all walks of life come together for a common goal?

WD: The spirit of Singapore is dying, fast.

SY (JN's friend): Totally agree that demolition of National Theatre is a big loss to S'pore history. The PM emphasized on S'pore identity during Rally today. What's left of S'pore if the govt continue to tear down buildings of historic significance like this in the name of development?

JN: old guards also leaving one by one, so will most old buildings. Afterall, we have limited land lor.

WD: Take a leaf from the refurbishment of old Cathay. You can keep the facade while changing the interiors dramatically to meet modern needs. We just need a good architect and the political will... hmm, the late ex-President Ong Teng Cheong Chong comes to mind ;)

WD: See wikipedia link on "Structure Relocation" below. When there's the will, there's a way.

JN: Just like you, the will to leave Singapore but yet has so much things to say.

WD: Just an intellectual discourse from a between-jobs person, ha ha. After all, my family is still in Singapore, so I hope that life will improve in Singapore for their sake.

JN: with you departing, now there will be an excuse to hire 3 more FT to replace you . Wonderful lah.

WD: 3? I am not that efficient at nursing lah. Unless you mean 3 to replace me in my previous IT functions, ha ha.

JN: Nursing lah. for that price they pay you, i think they can hire 3. Hehehe

WD: Oh, then you don't know how sad my current pay is. Cannot even apply for credit card leh.

JN: neither do they leh. just go to money changer to remit $$ back home only mah.

WD: Your comments very PAP-style, leh. Are you saying that we should empty out the Singapore economy of skilled workers and replace them with younger, cheaper but unskilled workers? What good is that for the long-term progress of Singapore's economic structure?
*Sakes head, wondering why I even bother to ask this question*

JN: No need to look at the big picture but just "you are going away for good" is enough. The thing is that you are quiting Singapore. A skilled and qualified person leh. So who is gonna replace you in this short instant ? there are those in the hospital that needs to be cared for leh. Afterall, to train you to be a SRN takes 3 years or something. So poach from other countries lor. Given your "low pay scale" is already many time more than what they will be likely to earn, so come lor. But maybe, we will need 2-3 to replace you. Afterall, they can be cheap to hire (assuming that training are the same competency level and all speaks english). chey, so simple logic also cannot understand meh. What PAP like ? Chey.

WD: Oh, to replace a SRN with foreign nurse, cannot pay so low lah. Don't forget, I'm only given fresh diploma holder pay, so it's not enough to pay for 2 foreigners willing to downgrade to EN (forget about 3).

JN: still, it is more than 1. They win. ^-^

WD: I would gladly let them win, given the work culture such a system creates :) You want talent, you have to pay for it.

JN: make sure that I don't see you crawing back to SGP looking for a job here ah....

WD: Don't curse me like that lah. You also relocated out of Singapore yourself, mah.
Btw, you're wrong about my replacement. They employed another Singaporean, almost fresh diploma holder, to replace me. After all, you're taking about service industry here, very hard for newly-arrived foreigners to hit the ground running.

JN: Yup. I relocated. Can't complain about FT but being one myself lor. Expat package. Plus me in SGP is easily replaced, no special skills or training or licence needed, so unlike you. They won't missed me here or anywhere in the world lah.

WD: They will need you back... to produce the next generation of loyal Singapore citizens, ha ha.

JN: Past sell-by age liao.
Anyway, since you hate the SGP & PAP government so much that you are leaving. Than go, set up the better life elsewhere, FB us to make us envy you.
Don't turn back. Don't comment on the past here, as it is no longer yours to comment nor can you contribute anything useful lor. 好马不吃回头草

WD: I disagree with you that "it is no longer yours to comment nor can you contribute anything useful"
Why does the govt pay big $ to foreign consultants for advice, if they are not local? Because their thoughts, criticisms and comments have value. [Exclude of course the silly $ PAP govt spent to rename "Marina Bay" to "Marina Bay". Ha ha]
I may be gone from Singapore soon, but my family is still here. And for various reasons, some are unlikely to leave. It is only right for me to wish for a better life for my family members who remain. I left Singapore because I do not like the government's policies, it does not mean that I dislike ALL Singaporeans, things Singaporean. Least of all, it should not mean that I have to disown my family which is Singaporean. Got it?
Like I said, you are very PAP-style in your comments without even realising it. IMHO, it has to do with the pathetic nature of debate and critical thinking education in the typical local schools. :P
Try reading some of the well-written local blogs. E.g. Yawning Bread.

JN: you sounded like a pinoy hor. BTW, I don't read the rubbish blogs of noise makers. just too many out there to waste my precious them and intrude into my personal space.

JN: It is as if you are better schooled than us. The way you are not able to accept my reasoning and calling me PAP-thinking shows that you are even of a more narrow vision. Bo chap than dun kau pei here lah. It is a photo of my childhood and you are talking rubbish. Just like how you are on my late-father's photo*.
[*Note: It was a photo of his late-father's watch where he commented that the watch had stopped at the exact moment when his father passed away. I commented on the parallels with the story from a children's song "My Grandfather's Clock". JN took it as an insult. IMHO, he has limited literary sense, lah.]
U also product of local system mah. Chey. If you dun like the policies and then just exit, isn't this like that big bird with small head that sticks into the ground. "See no evil and hear no evil." And leave your poor family behind to continuously "suffer" the disliked policies ? Stay back, make a stand and do something lor. 好马不吃回头草 orh. On what you say here earlier, I will hold you to it orh. Dun pray-pray orh. Hheeheh.

WD: From my personal observations, the average Filipino is more loyal to his/her home country than the average Singaporean... despite all the troubles and the corruption in their homeland. Once you get to know them well enough, they can and will openly criticise their govt and its policies and their home situations. Yet, they are proud to be Filipinos, even after years away from their homeland.
How did the PAP govt failed to instil love for Singapore despite its self-proclaimed success and unique abilities? Why must PAP govt and its supporters chastise all who leave the country for a better life?
Reading more to trigger deeper thinking does not mean you have to agree with what you read. It's a way to push oneself to develop further in one's thinking skills. Learning and thinking are supposedly lifelong activities.
Of course, being stuck at your current thinking is ok too, given that it fulfils what PAP proscribed for the plebeians... only the basic physiological and security levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

WD: Yes, IMHO, I was luckier than you. I had better teachers. A stroke of luck.
I did not say that I'm better. You are sensitive yourself, so you said so. You're the one who started this whole political debate on your photo, not me. I have my right to give my 2 cents retort. If you don't like, you can always delete my comments.
Just don't be a sore loser.

JN: so well inked ah. Maslow somemore.... I think you should start one of those noise making blog lor. Afterall, they cannot pull you in for questioning after you have left the country ^-^

WD: Next step, use of fear to intimidate. Very clever and PAP-style hor.
I won't waste my time with a sore loser. If you dare, leave the comments here for others to judge.

JN: Aiyo. Name calling now ah.
I seriously think that you are a vegetable head quitter. Before you go, then decided to fleece their fellow countryman by taken an expensive & taxpayer-subsidized course with no intention returning good service to the Singapore society by at least serving your time in the hospital.1
Your decision lor. Ok lor, i am sure you did your maths well and let others be the judge of this too.
好马不吃回头草, will be the one phase that i just tag you, a quitter.


I do not look down on others in general. In fact, I respect those who are willing to argue their stand logically or base their arguments on the impact on people, even if our stands may be diametric. But to hit below the belt at my family and to use the threat of being arrested? Well, suffice to say that JN has just lost my respect.

The other thing I dislike is the stand taken by some Singaporeans against those who leave to build a better life. It is such hostile attitude that makes one not want to come back to contribute to Singapore even if one happens to be successful in future.

p.s. For those who don't know, I (a Singapore citizen) repay repaid my bond according to its exit clause. Any PR (i.e. foreigner) on the same bond would have to do the same*. Thus, JN's accusation that I "fleece their fellow countryman by taken an expensive & taxpayer-subsidized course with no intention returning good service to the Singapore society" holds no water.2

*Note: According to internet anecdotes, some foreigners on other even more expensive "Singapore taxpayer-subsidized" scholarships have absconded. Information on such cases are the government's "official secrets", never to be published in the media.1

[Addendum on 3rd June 2011]

My 2 cents:

1. I am amazed at the PAP-government instigated public hatred (through ministerial comments published in the mainstream media) against Singapore citizen bond-breakers. It stands in stark contrast against their silence on foreign bond-breakers. Is this an example of why it is better to be a foreigner than a citizen in Singapore?

2. If you read my blog on my nursing experience in Singapore, you would have an inkling why I decided to pay up my bond instead of completing it. It was a difficult decision. Nevertheless, once a decision is made, one just moves on and hopes for the best.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Farewell gift

After my confrontation with my ward manager, my ward admin staff insisted that I apologise to my ward manager. She had served for more than a decade under the ward manager. She felt that I had hurt the ward manager's feelings, especially in tendering my resignation a couple of days after the confrontation. I refused to, after all my ward manager was aware of my pre-planned resignation date long beforehand.

Unlike the ward's usual practice, there was no farewell party for SN O nor me. Both of us had been from the nursing career-conversion course. SN O left after the completion of her 3 year bond, whereas I left after 1+ year. When SN O left, her farewell party was cancelled with the admin staff's message that her farewell party will be held in conjunction with mine.
[Addendum on 15 Aug 2011]
SN O's final month at the hospital was when we had the new rooms opened. During one of those shifts when we were both taking teams, SN O remarked to me repeatedly in frustration that she would rather pay back her final month of bond than to accept such work conditions. Subsequently she mentioned that she would be sure to vent her dissatisfaction at her exit interview with HR. I do not know if she made her complaints to HR at the exit interview. As far as I know, she completed her bond as originally planned.
During my resignation notice period, I suspected that there will not be a farewell party for us. During those last few weeks, a nice consulting doctor TT kept asking me when my last day would be, and reminding me that he shall be away but would be back in Singapore in-time for my farewell. If only he knew...


Since I was packing my home for migration, I made a request via the admin staff to my colleagues [and I also spoke directly to some colleagues] -- not to buy me any farewell gift for it would add to my baggage. If they should insist on giving me something, then I would prefer cash or gold for portability and retention of value. The admin staff informed me that the ward staff has agreed to my request and will be giving me a cash gift on my last day of work.

On my second last day of work, I bought my colleagues a box of chocolate candies with a note of thanks. The admin staff insisted that I should present the gift to my ward manager. I said, "No, this is meant for the staff" and left it in the staff room.

On my last day of work, my ward manager passed me an angpow. At that instance, the admin staff jumped up from her desk, flipped opened a small printed brochure from her desk and read ostentatiously from it.

Admin staff read, "The love of money is the root of all evil."

I quietly replied, "Not really. It depends on what you do with the money."

My ward manager awkwardly signalled to the admin staff, and turning to me, she pointed to the Chinese words on the angpow and said, "We wish you 福 [good fortune] and 滿 [full/enough] 。”

I took it and simply said, "Thank you."

Call me petty, unrealistic, or whatever. I do not wish to keep a gift if any of its contributors were insincere, especially when I am not in need of the gift. Thus, I donated the full $105 to a charity in the name of the "Staff of XYZ ward (ABC hospital)". I shall be sending them the receipt with a note that I'm "paying it forward" with regards to their blessings.

Psychic nurse

I contemplated for awhile before writing this entry. The main reason is that this entry touches on a topic that elicits a wide range of responses -- from reverence, to indifference, to ridicule for lunacy. Well, I decided that my usual readers would probably have a grasp of my mental health status, so here goes.


Prologue: Over 4 years ago

A colleague came in to work with a bad neck sprain. He was in pain but refused to see a doctor due to work exigencies.
[Note: Generally, I keep my personal life, especially my psychic practice, apart from my work life. Although there was once when another colleague Google for my name and found an article about my psychic work.]
After struggling at work for a while, my colleague was still noticeably in pain. At which point I offered, "Would you like a healing? It does not involve physical contact, but it's non-orthodox."

After some rounds of hesitant queries and answers, he agreed to let me work on his neck. At the end of the session, he asked, "What are you doing here [Note: i.e. in I.T.] when you can do that?"

To which I shrugged and smiled.


At the start of my nursing training, I decided that I should focus on the nursing tools and skills. After all, as professionals, nurses are advised to practise evidence-based nursing. Thus, I decided to avoid using my psychic skills during the course of my nursing duties. The keyword here is "avoid", because there were times when it slips in. I shall share 2 examples below.

Example 1
There was a girl admitted for chest infection. The initial blood tests indicated only the usual infection markers. Her intake was poor and physical activities reduced as expected of her condition. Subsequently, her CXR showed significant pneumonia, but not something which we have not handled before. Typical of children adjusting to hospitalisation, the patient was refusing her medications and had to be coaxed.

What puzzled me was, while nursing her, I got a strong psychic message from her, "I don't want to live anymore, I want to leave this body." Nevertheless, wearing my "nurse's hat", I continued to give her parents hope and support.

The next day, she had several repeat and additional blood tests. Her latest blood tests indicated a sudden severe turn in her condition and she was transferred to another hospital. We heard from the consulting doctor that she passed away subsequently.

Example 2
It was my second last day at work. A CCU (Critical/Intensive Care Unit) colleague had admitted her son for bronchitis. Being a CCU trained nurse, she preferred to perform nasal suctioning for her son herself and has been doing so during the hospitalisation. Her husband was holding the boy while she suctioned. I happened to pass-by and helped to hold the boy's head. When she was done with a couple of rounds of suctioning, she asked me if her son's nose was clear.

Visually we could see that the boy's outer nares were clear. There was more mucus extracted from the left than the right nostril. I put my ear next to the boy's head to listen closer to his breathing. The boy's breathing still sounded a little blocked but I had no clue as to the left or right nostril [Note: unless the parents allowed me to experiment and closed off one nostril at a time, ha ha]. The mother asked, "Is his nose still blocked? Where?"

As I lifted my head up, I visualised by chance "blocked energy" at the patient's right inner nares. I replied, "Yes, more on the right nostril."

The mother suctioned one more round and there was thick whitish mucus extracted from the right nostril.

p.s. If anyone outside of my circle of close/psychic friends asks me, I shall totally deny the matters written here.

It's not so simple

Had dinner with my friend WP recently. We were chatting about migration, work in Singapore, and training bond. WP shared about her friend X who was a nurse.

X was sponsored by a restructured hospital for a 3 year diploma in nursing course. Upon the completion of her course, she worked in a ward at her sponsoring hospital. One day, not long into her job, she made a mistake at work and her supervisor threatened to terminate her. X was distraught, for she did not have the money to pay up her bond should she be terminated. Fortunately for X, there was a nurse manager that helped her out and she was re-deployed to serve the remaining of her bond in the administrative department. It was a godsend for X.

After I heard the story from WP, I told her that things are not so simple in nursing. When a mistake is made in nursing, it is often a failure in a system of checks and counter-checks, rather than that of a single wilful or careless nurse. However, where the lion's share of the blame falls depends on the person in-charge. I cite the following example of medication error for WP.


During my nursing training, we were taught that when a medication error occurs, the lion's share of the blame will go to the nurse who administer the medication. At my ward, it is similarly practised as the person who signed off on the medication administered will get the most blame.

This incident happened while I was serving my 1 month's resignation notice. I was about to administer a medication to my patient when I found another medicine in the patient's locked medicine drawer instead. The colour of the syrup medication is similar to that of the intended medication, however the function is totally different. The medication was dispensed from the ward stock, and based on the shift schedule it may have been dispensed by the new staff SN S. According to the inpatient's medication record (IMR), the first and only dose of the wrong medication was administered by my ward manager L who signed off on the IMR.

Since neither SN S nor the ward manager L was on duty during that shift, I first spoke with SN J who is SN S's preceptor about the matter. SN J advised me that since the ward manager was involved, to throw away the wrong medication, replace it with the right one and forget about the matter. I decided to report to the matter to the in-charge for that shift, Senior SN S. SSN S tried to avoid the issue altogether. When I pushed her regarding the proper procedure, she advised me to inform the ward manager myself. Thus, I left a note and the wrong medication in my ward manager's office.

The next day, during report passing, the ward manager L gave us a long briefing about how medication errors can occur. While she briefly acknowledged that she signed off for the wrongly administered medicine, she emphasised (i.e. > 90% of the lecture time) on the breakdown of the pre-administration checks. From the failure of the staff who put the medication into the wrong shelf when topping up the ward-stock, to the new staff SN S who did not countercheck properly. When she mentioned that I did the right thing by checking the medication before administering it, I could only give a wry smile.

Then, my ward manager L instructed me to log an incident report for the matter and told me that she will speak to the consultant doctor in-charge of the patient herself. From my understanding, the staff involved in the incident (i.e. contributing to the mistake or in-charge when the incident occurred) is responsible for logging an incident report. My other understanding is that staff performance may be penalised for incidents logged. Thus, I asked in my mind, "Why me? I'm not the cause of the problem."


WP asked if I had checked if my ward manager actually logged a medication error incident report for the matter. I told her that by then, I couldn't care less. My main intent was to observe the reactions of the people involved, especially the lead actress.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Comments on Bone Collector's blog

I made a few long comments on Bone Collector's blog recently. Just an entry to gather the links to the long-winded comments.

The problem with raising the bar

l am sick...again!

The 'masking effect'

Countdown: 5 workdays left

Finally can count the number of remaining workdays on one hand.

I had not been getting enough rest recently, dealing with the practicalities and emotions of leaving. Thankfully, things are progressing. A friendly housekeeping staff from another ward told me some grapevine news about me today. [Note: Cannot share about it for now.] Made me laugh inside because I know the initial spark of fire 2 days ago that generated the smoke. HA HA HA :-D

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Countdown: 10 workdays left

Countdown: 10 workdays left!

Coincidentally, my final days at work coincide with the Singapore 2010 YOG (Youth Olympic Games). The online outrage over the food for YOG volunteers created a storm recently.

In the hospital setting, we have a similar situation. Sometimes we have patients and/or next-of-kin who love the hospital's food. They are aware that the staff can buy meals in-house using staff meal coupons. They remarked that we are very lucky to get the delicious hospital food at such low costs. Then, they looked surprised when we clarified that staff's food is different from the patients' food. Fortunately, the staff's food is not as bad as the YOG volunteers'. In fact, on some days, it is so good that some staff secretly pack some back for home consumption.

Leftover scraps for a dog

Imagine this scenario.


Prologue: 4 months ago

See 2nd comment in an earlier blog entry.


Part 1: 3 months ago

Your ward has been facing high patient census. Your ward staffing is so stretched that staff has been asked to do double-shifts and agency nurses called-in on an almost daily basis.

One colleague has been transferred to another department in a last-ditch attempt to retain her with the hospital. Another has announced her plans to leave after her marriage, which coincided with the completion of her bond with the hospital. Others have verbalised (amongst fellow colleagues) plans to leave at various time in the second half of the year.

You inform the ward manager that you plan to leave in 3 to 12 months' time due to plans for migration. You explain to the ward manager that although you're only required to give 1 month's notice, you're informing her in advance because you understand the difficulty and time-lag in recruiting staff replacement. You explain that given the high patient census and the 2 planned staff departures, you do not wish to further aggravate the situation by leaving suddenly. You will submit the resignation letter when the required notice period is due.


Part 2: 2 months ago

Mid-year review. Your ward manager explained that she is pleased with your performance. Your training shall be in-place as planned.


Part 3: 1 month ago

You found out that you have been scheduled to be on-duty on the 1st of 2 days for which you had previously been scheduled for the training. It is the only* nursing skill course that has been approved for you for this year. You question your ward manager about the course. She tells you that the DON instructed** her to cancel your training because there is NO NEED** for it.

The course in question? IV venepuncture and cannulation. You secretly attended the final hours of Day 1 and the whole Day 2 of the 2-day course with the instructor's permission on your own afterwork hours and day-off. However, because you've missed 1/3 of the course and are not an official participant, you will not get the certification.

* Note: I do not consider the in-house nursing communication training as a nursing skill course, because it lacks the professionalism/depth of a proper communications training/workshop.


Part 4: 2 weeks ago

It was an afternoon workday with only 4 staff. One "new" SSN as overall in-charge, you and another less than 1-year old SN and 1 SEN as runner. Total patient count: 24. At handover, there were several new admissions with IV cannulations to be done and treatments/investigations to be started. The SSN refused to request for more staffing, insisting that 4 is enough.

You got fed-up. You told the ward manager (who happened to stay around after her morning shift) that she is overworking her staff. You told her that if this continues, you can and will resign with immediate effect. She was surprised by the outburst and wanted to know more about what else makes you want to resign with immediate effect.

You told the ward manager that you are not happy that your training was being cancelled unlike previously agreed in the 2009 year-end performance review and approved by HR, without even informing you. Ward manager then claimed that the DON gave a GENERAL** standing instruction to cancel all training for staff who has resigned. At that point you have yet to submit your resignation notice, since it was not due. Thus you asked pointedly, "Have you received my resignation letter yet?".

The ward manager then "clarified" that the DON was referring to all staff who has reported INTENTIONS TO LEAVE**. Thus, she was only following instructions when she instructed the administrator to cancel your training. To make amends and prove that she is a good and caring boss, she will fight on your behalf for your training to be re-scheduled for the 1st day of training missed. [Note: There were other issues raised too, but let us keep this scenario simple.]

** Note: See the change of rationale?


Part 5: Today

Your ward manager spoke to her manager. You are given the choice to use your own day-off or annual leave to attend the 1st day of training that was missed out. Your ward manager recommend that you take up the opportunity given to you. You agreed. The administrator then happily informed you of her efforts to convince another colleague to do a double-shift in order to cover you.

You checked with the training department who informed you that you will need to repeat both days of training to get certified. You do not wish to waste your annual leave and another day-off just to get a certificate that you may never use. Afterall, you have already caught up on the missed 1/3 of the contents from fellow course-mates at the previous training.

You tell the administrator that you have changed your mind because attending the missed 1st day would not make any difference to you. You remark, "What's the point?"

Your ward manager and administrator did not look happy with your decision.

**Addendum 16-Aug-2010: You also noticed that despite the ward manager's earlier claim that there was "NO NEED" for you to be trained in this nursing skill, she has sent another colleague (who was also new-to-nursing and joined a few months after you) for the same course this month. This other colleague was previously not registered for this training course. You know, because you had previously advised that colleague to try to get this certification and LSCN done for her long-term career prospects, despite your ward manager's view that these training are not necessary for your daily work.


The above is a real scenario. It happened to me in the last 3 months.

Why is it that today, at part 5, I feel like a dog that is given leftover scraps from my master's table and is expected to be thankful to my master for the "generosity" of her scraps?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Counting down on National Day

On National Day last year, I completed my emigration forms.

This year on National Day, I am counting down to my final days at work and in Singapore. To be honest, it is not in my original plan to be in such a rush. There is so much yet to be done... things to pack, friends to meet, arrangements in Canada, etc. Yet, somehow I feel it in my guts that NOW is the time. Something that I can, at best, describe logically as "I decided to just go while I am still healthy and before I become too settled into the comfort-zone at my current job and life".

The song "My Way" sung by Frank Sinatra seems apt here.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Assessment report from CRNBC

Received CRNBC's reply. I am required to undergo an Internationally Educated Nurses' Substantially Equivalent Competency (SEC) assessment in General Medical-Surgical Nursing (a 2-day assessment). On the bright side, only 1 of 4 possible areas* are required of me and the SEC assessment is at no cost to me. The CRNBC even provides a letter to non-Canadians/PRs to visit Canada for the purpose of SEC, although I won't need it.

Will go ahead with the migration plan. In the meantime, I may apply for other jobs, just in case. Keeping my fingers crossed.

[Addendum 20-Feb-2011]
*FYI, the 4 possible areas are Medical/Surgical, Maternal Child Health, Pediatric Child Health, and Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing. It would take 5 days for assessment in all 4 areas.

[Addendum 03-Aug-2011] Click here to see my "CRNBC IEN SEC assessment result".

Nurses' Day

1st of August is Nurses' Day in Singapore. Here's my humble 2 cents on modernising nursing in Singapore:
  1. Eradicate pay discrimination based on passport.
  2. Same qualification exam and registration standards for BOTH local and foreign-trained nurses. E.g. CRNBC's CRNE approach.
  3. Extend SNB's scope, RE: doctors' SMC. E.g. Evaluate hospitals on nursing standards.
  4. Strengthen SNA, RE: doctors' SMA. More support for independent nurses. Legislate SNA with the powers of an independent nurses' union.
  5. Re-educate nursing management on "nurses as professionals". E.g. Nurses do NOT exist to boost doctors' egos.

Just discovered from the "Nurses' day out on Flyer" news article that there are 22,389 nurses nation-wide. I suppose it includes ENs and RNs. 22K for a population of 5 million, works out to approximately 1 EN/RN for every 220 persons. I wonder what the RN-alone ratio is like.

[Addendum 5-Aug-2011]
See my comment on nofearSingapore's blog entry on "Nurses' Day 2011". Despite the challenges that I face in getting my nursing registration in B.C., Canada (partly exacerbated by my early exit from nursing in Singapore), I still count myself lucky to be able to leave my unhealthy Singapore work environment.