Nursing Practice in Singapore Faces Many Challenges

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Singapore, like many other industrialized countries, was experiencing a nurse shortage. Not only will the demand for nurses continue to rise as the population grows and ages, as life expectancy rises and the burden of chronic diseases rises, but so will the intensity and scope of nursing care required. During COVID-19's peak, these issues were very common. Despite the fact that these nursing difficulties may appear insurmountable, nurse leaders and other health care specialists in Singapore are committed to staying on top of them.

Singapore’s Healthcare Delivery System
Singapore's healthcare system is excellent. They are, however, confronted with issues such as an aging population, rising chronic disease burdens, slower employment growth, and rising healthcare expenses. Singapore's Ministry of Health adopted a comprehensive series of reforms in 2012 as part of its Healthcare 2020 Masterplan to address these issues. 

These reforms significantly boosted the capacity of public hospital beds and ILTC services in the community, expanded primary care and long-term care subsidies, and implemented a series of healthcare funding reforms to improve financial protection and coverage. However, it became evident that these solutions would not, in the long run, address the underlying causes of system stress. Instead, much more fundamental adjustments to the system's approach are required and are being implemented.

Recruitment and Retention of Nurses
When it comes to the recruitment process, common challenges include ineffective communication, a lack of briefing and debriefing throughout the interview process, and poor candidate management. This may have a detrimental impact on your overall recruitment approach of the hospital or facilities.

Likewise, inadequate staffing levels can endanger patient health and safety and increase the complexity of care, but they can also harm RNs' health and safety by raising nursing stress, exhaustion, injury rates, and their capacity to give safe care. Facilities with high retention may rely on a highly experienced group of nurses to form deep bonds with patients, enhancing not only patient happiness but also long-term health results.

Nurses’ Ratio and Workforce
Nurses are the largest professional category in Singapore's healthcare workforce, according to a study undertaken by Gek Phin Chua, MN, RN. In 2018, the overall registered nurse (RN)-to-population ratio was roughly 7.5 nurses per 1000 people, or 1:134.

Foreign nurses make up a significant component of the nursing workforce and are divided into two categories. The majority of the group, including people who have already completed their nursing education in their home country, is hired on a biannual basis as RNs, ENs, or health-care assistants (HCAs).

Fear Of The Pandemic
Globally, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed new concerns for healthcare providers. As a result of the pressure and stress, healthcare personnel experienced sleeplessness, loneliness, sleep disorders, and mental despair. Furthermore, there is a scarcity of healthcare workers in the industry. Many people do not practice nursing, putting the active nursing workforce in public and commercial hospitals under more strain.

Working conditions had been modified throughout time, and nurse earnings had been revised on a regular basis to maintain competitiveness in the tight job market. Other measures included boosting nursing's profile, promoting career recognition and growth, and rehiring nonpracticing nurses.

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