How to Be a Nurse in Singapore: Nursing Path Unveiled

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

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Embarking on a career journey as a nurse in Singapore offers individuals the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling and rewarding profession. Nurses in Singapore are essential contributors to the healthcare system, as they deliver holistic nursing care and actively promote health across diverse healthcare environments.

In this article, we will explore the steps required to become an enrolled nurse, an overview of the various types of nurses, an examination of potential career paths and specializations, an analysis of salary prospects, and an assessment of the working conditions. Read further for a comprehensive overview of the process and requirements for individuals aspiring to pursue a nursing career.

Understanding the Role of Nurses

Nurses in Singapore are skilled healthcare professionals who undergo training to deliver patient care, offer support, and advocate for health promotion. Healthcare professionals operate in a variety of healthcare establishments, such as hospitals, clinics, and community health centres, with the primary objective of delivering optimal patient care.

Responsibilities of Nurses in the Healthcare System

Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing compassionate care and support to patients in various settings. From enrolled nurses to senior enrolled nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses, each role brings unique contributions to the well-being of patients. These healthcare professionals are the backbone of medical institutions, ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.

One of the primary responsibilities of nurses is to deliver relevant clinical nursing practice, utilizing their medical expertise to assess patients, administer treatments, and monitor their progress. Nurses work closely with other healthcare professionals to develop comprehensive care plans tailored to individual patient needs. Nursing education and training programmes equip them with the necessary skills to execute these duties efficiently and empathetically.

Furthermore, nurses not only care for patients physically but also address their emotional and mental well-being. They act as a comforting presence, providing emotional support to patients and their families during challenging times. In cases of chronic illnesses or complex medical conditions, advanced practice nurses take on higher responsibilities, providing extended care and ensuring patients’ holistic well-being.

Moreover, nurses often take on leadership roles as nurse managers and oversee nursing units or departments. They are responsible for coordinating nursing activities, managing nursing staff, and ensuring smooth operations in the healthcare facility. Their expertise in nursing management allows them to maintain high-quality care standards and ensure the efficient allocation of resources.

The healthcare industry in Singapore benefits from the contributions of foreign-trained nurses, who bring diverse experiences and perspectives to the field. Singapore nursing homes also play a crucial role in providing specialized care to the elderly population. To enhance their skills further, nurses are encouraged to pursue professional and personal development, including continuous education and training to stay up-to-date with the latest medical advancements.

Distinguishing Registered & Enrolled Nurses in Singapore

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in nursing have the option to select from two primary classifications: Enrolled Nurses (ENs) and Registered Nurses (RNs). ENs, also known as Enrolled Nurses, pursue a diploma in nursing from reputable institutions such as Ngee Ann Polytechnic or Nanyang Polytechnic. They fulfil a crucial function in the provision of patient care, operating under the supervision of registered nurses or healthcare professionals.

On the contrary, Registered Nurses have successfully fulfilled the educational requirements for a nursing degree from esteemed institutions such as the National University of Singapore or the Singapore Institute of Technology. Nurses in this role possess an elevated level of responsibility in the provision of patient care and are commonly found working in critical care environments. Registered Nurses have the opportunity to pursue specialization in different areas of nursing, which can lead to assuming extended practice roles.

Navigating the Nursing Career Path in Singapore

Enrolling in a nursing programme at a pre-tertiary school is the first step in pursuing a nursing career. These educational institutions provide comprehensive education and training programs that equip aspiring nurses with the necessary skills and knowledge for their future careers.

Upon completion of a nursing diploma or degree, individuals pursuing a career in nursing must proceed with the registration and enrollment process with the Singapore Nursing Board (SNB). The SNB serves as the governing body responsible for overseeing the activities of nursing professionals in Singapore. The application process necessitates the submission of specific documents, and candidates are required to meet certain criteria established by the SNB.

The Licensure Examination for Nurses

To obtain the designation of a registered nurse, licensure exam candidates are required to successfully complete the licensure examination administered by the Singapore Nursing Board. The purpose of this examination is to assess the nursing skills and knowledge of candidates, to verify their ability to provide holistic nursing care.

The successful completion of this examination represents a notable achievement, as it bestows upon nurses the official authorization to practice as registered nurses in the jurisdiction of Singapore.

Pursuing Employment and Certification

Upon successfully passing their licensure examination, aspiring nurses are eligible to commence the application process for nursing positions within diverse healthcare institutions throughout Singapore. Equipped with their practising license, individuals are adequately prepared to pursue a diverse array of employment prospects within both public and private healthcare establishments.

In addition, nurses have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills through specialized certification programs. The aforementioned certifications serve to enhance nursing skills, ensure nurses are well-informed about the most current healthcare practices, and adequately prepare them for advanced nursing roles.

Exploring Nurse Specializations

In Singapore, the field of nursing provides a wide range of specializations to accommodate the diverse interests and career goals of individuals. Nurses have the opportunity to acquire specialized training and education, enabling them to cultivate expertise in specific domains of healthcare.

In Singapore, several nurse specializations are highly sought after. These specializations are widely recognized and valued within the healthcare industry.

1. Nurse Clinician

A nurse clinician is a healthcare professional who possesses advanced clinical nursing expertise and frequently assumes specialized roles in the provision of patient care. They collaborate closely with healthcare teams to develop and execute treatment plans for patients who have intricate medical conditions.

2. Nurse Educator

Nursing education involves the instruction and guidance of enrolled nurses and other healthcare professionals in their educational and training endeavours. A nurse lecturer is employed in educational institutions, hospitals, and healthcare organizations, where they are responsible for disseminating knowledge and imparting essential skills to aspiring nurses.

3. Nurse Manager

Being a nurse manager involves the supervision and management of nursing units, with the primary objective of ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of patient care. The individuals in this role are responsible for overseeing the staffing, budgeting, and coordination of nursing services to achieve the goals and objectives of the healthcare institution.

4. Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)

A profession as an Advanced Practice Nurse entails specialized training, enabling them to deliver an extended level of care and exercise autonomy in their professional practice. Nurses have the option to specialize in various roles, such as nurse practitioners, nurse anaesthetists, nurse midwives, or clinical nurse specialists.

5. Nurse Researchers

Nurse researchers play a vital role in advancing nursing knowledge by conducting research studies. Their efforts contribute to the enhancement of patient care outcomes and the advancement of the nursing profession.

Various Career Tracks in Nursing

The field of nursing provides a wide range of career paths that allow nurses to advance their professional growth and assume greater responsibilities within the nursing profession. Career progression in the field of nursing often entails the pursuit of advanced education, the attainment of additional certifications, or the transition into managerial positions.

1. Staff Nurse

Staff nurses are crucial in healthcare settings as they serve as the primary caregivers, directly attending to patients’ needs, administering necessary medical treatments, and providing emotional assistance.

2. Nurse Specialists

Nurse specialists are healthcare professionals who specialize in a particular area of nursing practice, such as paediatrics, geriatrics, critical care, or mental health. They possess a high level of proficiency in their designated domain and make valuable contributions to the provision of specialized care for patients.

3. Nurse Manager/Supervisor

A nurse manager or supervisor oversees nursing units and teams to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of patient care.

4. Nurse Educator

A nurse educator works in universities or healthcare organizations to impart their knowledge and expertise to nursing students and other healthcare professionals.

5. Nurse Researcher

Nursing research plays a vital role in advancing the field of nursing by conducting research studies and actively participating in clinical trials. Their contributions significantly contribute to the existing body of nursing knowledge.

6. Nursing Director

A nursing director is tasked with the leadership and management of nursing divisions or units within healthcare institutions.

Examining Nurses’ Salaries

Nursing careers enjoy competitive compensation packages that reflect their expertise and contributions to the healthcare industry. Salaries can vary depending on experience, qualifications, and the healthcare institution.

Here is a general salary range for different nursing positions in Singapore:

  • Enrolled Nurse: SGD 2,000 to SGD 3,500 per month
  • Registered Nurse: SGD 3,000 to SGD 5,000 per month
  • Senior Enrolled Nurse: SGD 3,500 to SGD 5,500 per month
  • Nurse Educator: SGD 4,000 to SGD 6,500 per month
  • Nurse Manager: SGD 5,000 to SGD 8,000 per month

Registered nurses, with advanced qualifications and extensive responsibilities, command higher salaries than senior enrolled nurses. Salaries may also differ based on qualifications and additional responsibilities, such as nurse educators with expertise in technical education.

Overall, the nursing profession offers a fulfilling career path with diverse salary prospects for the number of nurses in Singapore.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Nursing Career

Being employed as a nurse clinician presents numerous benefits and obstacles. In this analysis, we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of the subject matter.


1. Career Fulfillment: Nursing is a profession that offers significant fulfilment as it entails providing assistance to individuals and effecting positive changes in the lives of patients.

2. Job Stability: The healthcare industry exhibits a strong demand for nurses, ensuring job stability and offering a plethora of career prospects.

3. Career Advancement: Nurses are afforded the chance to specialize and progress in their professional journeys by pursuing further education and training.

4. Variety of Work Environments: Nurses have the opportunity to work in a wide range of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, community health centres, and other similar facilities.

5. Holistic Nursing Care: Nurses possess the unique opportunity to deliver comprehensive nursing care that encompasses the physical and emotional well-being of patients.


1. Challenging Occupation: The nursing profession entails significant physical and emotional demands, particularly in critical care environments.

2. Irregular Working Hours: Nurses may be obligated to work non-standard hours, such as night shifts, to maintain continuous provision of patient care.

3. Health Risk Exposure: Nurses may encounter potential health risks when providing care for patients with infectious diseases.

4. Elevated Level of Responsibility: Nurses bear a substantial amount of responsibility when it comes to making critical decisions and safeguarding the welfare of their patients.

Assessing the Working Conditions for Nurses

The working conditions experienced by nurses may differ depending on the healthcare institution and their area of specialization. Nurses employed in hospital settings may encounter high-pressure conditions, particularly within critical care units.

In contrast, nurses employed at community health centres often experience a more consistent work schedule and have the opportunity to establish enduring connections with their patients.

In addition to their employment in healthcare facilities, certain nurses may opt to establish their clinics and deliver autonomous nursing care to patients.

Prominent Healthcare Institutions in Singapore

Singapore is widely recognized for its exceptional healthcare system, which includes a multitude of prestigious hospitals and medical centres. These institutions provide nurses with exceptional opportunities to work in cutting-edge facilities and acquire invaluable experience in their respective fields.

Singapore is home to several renowned healthcare institutions. These institutions are widely recognized for their excellence in delivering healthcare services.

Singapore General Hospital (SGH)

It is the largest and oldest healthcare facility in Singapore. It provides an extensive list of medical services and specialized care.

National University Hospital (NUH)

It is a teaching hospital that is affiliated with the National University of Singapore. It is renowned for its provision of advanced medical care and its commitment to research.

Changi General Hospital (CGH)

A public healthcare facility situated in the eastern region of Singapore. It is renowned for its extensive range of medical services, catering to the diverse healthcare needs of the population.

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH)

A renowned healthcare institution that focuses on providing specialized services for women and children. It holds the distinction of being one of the largest maternity hospitals in Singapore.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)

A prominent healthcare facility situated in Singapore. It holds a distinguished position as a national hub for the management and treatment of infectious diseases.

Key Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Singapore

1.Enrol in a nursing course offered by reputable pre-tertiary institutions such as Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, and Nanyang Technological University.

2. Acquire a nursing diploma or degree from an accredited educational institution.

3. Complete the registration and enrollment process with the Singapore Nursing Board (SNB) by satisfying the prescribed criteria and submitting the requisite documentation.

4. Complete the necessary preparations and successfully pass the licensure examination administered by the State Nursing Board (SNB) to obtain the registered nurse (RN) designation.

5. Seek employment opportunities in healthcare institutions specifically for nursing positions, while concurrently engaging in additional certifications and training programs to enhance professional growth and advancement.


The pursuit of a nursing profession in Singapore offers individuals the opportunity to embark on a rewarding and influential career within the healthcare sector. Nurses fulfil a vital function in delivering holistic care and assistance to patients, thereby promoting their overall health and recuperation.

Nursing presents abundant prospects for both professional and personal growth, owing to its diverse specializations and career pathways. Aspiring nurses must be adequately prepared to meet the demands and assume the responsibilities associated with the nursing profession.

In Singapore, nursing careers extend beyond traditional healthcare settings. Opportunities also exist in elderly apartments in Singapore, where part-time caregiving in Singapore is essential for the well-being of senior residents.

If an individual possesses a strong passion for patient care and is prepared to contribute positively to the well-being of others, pursuing a career in nursing within Singapore’s thriving healthcare industry may prove to be an ideal choice.

One should adopt a mindset of embracing the journey, maintaining a steadfast commitment to lifelong learning, and actively engaging in a noble profession that has a significant impact on the lives of numerous individuals.

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