SINGAPORE: More young people have chosen nursing as a career, says the National Healthcare Group (NHG).
NHG says those aged between 20 and 24 make up about 20 per cent of their 4,000 nurse, compared to a decade ago in 2002 when there were no nurses below the age of 25.
In 2002, more than a quarter of NHG nurses were aged 55 and above.
The statistics were revealed on Wednesday as Singapore celebrates Nurses Day.
24—year old Dionne Liew, a senior staff nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, found her calling when she was a teenager.
"I want to be there to be able to support people, especially when they are at their most vulnerable periods in their time," she said.
Nur Aliff Azman, a male nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, was touched by the work of nurses and decided to join the profession.
"My dad got sick. He got warded. That was the turning point. I decided if people can do this to him, I also want to do my part," he said.
These examples, and more, explain why young people have chosen nursing as a career.
Olivia Tay, chief human resource at NHG, said: "A lot are driven by their personal compassion. We spend a lot of time reaching out to the students in the schools, in the polytechnics, sharing with them how meaningful the profession is."
NHG has also seen a rise in the number of diploma holders joining the nursing profession over the past 10 years.
Over 63 per cent of nurses under the age of 25 have a diploma today, compared to just 29 per cent in 2002.
The number of degree holders has also increased, from about 10 to 13 per cent in the same period.
However, NHG could not provide the breakdown between foreign and local nurses.
SingHealth told Channel NewsAsia that close to 40 per cent of its nurses are degree holders, of which 4 per cent have master degrees and PhDs.
The Ministry of Health says 40 per cent of registered nurses in 2011 were degree holders.
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