Categories: Health & Nursing

20% New Nurses in Singapore this year, why are more people taking up nursing?

The ageing population and the pandemic continue to drive the demand for trained healthcare professionals. In Singapore, nurses form the largest group of professionals – statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that there are 42,000 nurses in Singapore as of 2020, of which 1,400 are new, a double from 2019. Why are more people choosing to take up nursing, and what does this profession entail?

What is a Nurse?

Within the healthcare sector, the nurse is focused on patient care – nurses work closely with doctors, medical professionals and are required to assess patient’s conditions, administer medication and coordinate information and care between doctors, patients and their families. 

Different Types of Nurses in Singapore

In Singapore, there are 2 types of nurses, Registered Nurse (RN), or Enrolled Nurse (EN). As nursing students, the RN and EN undergo different training, require different educational qualifications, and are both registered with the Singapore Nursing Board (SNB).

Registered Nurse

A Registered Nurse in Singapore can pursue different career tracks, and focus on specialities to develop their nursing skills, with opportunities to develop their interest and specialities. According to the Ministry of Health, the 4 career tracks for a Registered Nurse are: Management Track, Education Track, Clinical Nursing Track, and Nursing Research.

  • Management Track: An RN going for this can progress to become a Nurse Manager taking charge of allocating manpower, job evaluation and policy review.
  • Education Track: The RN who takes up the education track can choose to work in a healthcare institution as a Nurse Educator, or schools as a Lecturer, focusing on education and imparting skills and knowledge.
  • Clinical Nursing Track: A Nurse Clinician works closely with patients to implement appropriate care and treatment plans, to help manage acute or chronic illness. A Nurse Clinician also helps with training other nurses and healthcare staff and can train to become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN).
  • Nursing Research: As a Nurse Researcher, the main roles include planning, initiating and facilitating nursing research.

Within the 4 career tracks, the RN can train and advance to become the Director of Nursing within the selected track.

Enrolled Nurse

An Enrolled Nurse (EN) works under the supervision of a Registered Nurse, to assist and provide support to the Registered Nurse in providing patient care. An EN can eventually progress to become a Senior Enrolled Nurse, who will be able to take on more nursing responsibilities.

Salary of Nurses in Singapore

A Registered Nurse will receive a higher pay grade than an Enrolled Nurse – it is estimated that the starting salary of an RN with a Diploma average around $2,500 per month, while an RN with a Degree average around $3,500. The average starting salary for an EN is estimated to be around $1,800.

According to the announcement by the Ministry of Health in March 2021, nurses in Singapore’s public healthcare sector; for example, public hospitals – will receive an increment of 5% to 14% in their basic salary, from July 2021.

How to Become A Nurse in Singapore

To become a Registered Nurse in Singapore, a Diploma in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) is required. In the Clinical Nursing track, a Nurse Clinician who wish to become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) must also take up a Master Degree.

To become an Enrolled Nurse, a NITEC in Nursing is required.

Upon graduation from the course, the Registered Nurse and Enrolled Nurse are required to take the Singapore Nursing Board Licensure Exam, before being able to practise nursing in general hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare institutions.

20% Increase in Nurses Numbers Than the Last Year

Nurses are needed not just in hospitals, but in the community – with the ongoing pandemic, an ageing society and the prevalence of chronic diseases.

Many are now considering taking up nursing as a profession, a career switch, while some nurses are upgrading themselves, for better career advancement and development.

Accredited by the Singapore Nursing Board, MDIS partners with Edinburg Napier University (ENU) to deliver the Bachelor of Science Nursing (Top-up) programme. The 24-month part-time course is fully taught by the ENU faculty, the largest school of Health and Social Care in Scotland.

Upon completion of the programme, students will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and practical skills and gain employment in the four career tracks as a: Clinical Nurse Consultant, Nurse Manager, Nurse Educator and Nurse Researcher.

For more information on the course and curriculum, please visit:


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Jewellery Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management.

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