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Filipino Nurses for Singapore
Jul 23, 2008

Over the last decade or so, Singapore’s economy and people have steadily grown to be the Southeast Asian giant that they are today. Each year adds another slew of investors both local and foreign just waiting to take part in the Singaporean economic boom. Such growth is bound to bring a lot of economic possibilities for the country. And included in that list of possibilities is the foreseeable increase in job opportunities.  


Singapore’s Nursing Need                            


In the past, Singapore has always had an adequate supply of nurses. It meant that there was little need for importing nurses. But lately, the country has seen a decrease in the number of nursing graduates. As a result a number of Singaporean hospitals are experiencing a shortage in their nursing staff. Now, Singapore is looking to other countries to fill up the need – that is where the Philippines come in.


Opportunities for Filipino Nurses


If Singapore is having a shortage of nursing graduates, then the Philippines is exactly the opposite. Each year thousands of Filipino nursing students finish school. Every June and December, a majority of them take the exams and become Philippine RNs. And all of them are looking to break into the nursing field in one way or another.


Most of the new board passers go on to take exams such as the NCLEX and CGFNS. Some work in other fields not related to nursing. A select few choose to work at local hospitals to earn money and at the same time gain valuable experience. Others opt to work in foreign countries other than the US. And one of these countries is Singapore. But, before a nurse can work in the country, they must first go through the Singapore Nursing Board.


The Singapore Nursing Board (SNB)


Nurses in Singapore are regulated by the Singapore Nursing Board (SNB). This board is the one in charge of licensure for both foreign and native nurses working in the country. Anyone who wants to work as nurse in the country must meet the board’s criteria before they are granted a license. The Board’s function also extends to the regulation of nursing schools and programs within the country.


Singapore Registered Nurse


Filipino nurses who want to work as a Registered Nurse in Singapore must meet a certain set of requirements.


1.      A minimum of 3 years work experience – The nurse must bear employment certificates stating that she has worked for three (3) years in a hospital settig. The SNB does not consider volunteer work as part of the required three years. A few years ago, the minimum requirement was two (2) years, but with the increased interest, they bumped it up to three.


2.      Applicants must pass the Singapore Nursing Board Exam – Before a nurse can work as an RN in Singapore they have to pass the country’s board exam.  


3.      The Basics – Birth Certificate, Nursing Transcript, Passport and References and Certificate of Employment from previous employer.


Enrolled Nurses


Enrolled Nurses in Singapore are nurses that haven’t passed the Nursing board. They often work as Nursing Assistants in hospitals. Most foreign nurses who go to Singapore usually start out as enrolled nurses and later on register with the SNB. Nurses who have three years of experience can immediately apply for SNB registration.


Getting to Singapore

 Filipino nurses can have their chance to work in Singapore by contacting a local agency. The POEA has a list of approved agencies that have successfully sent nurses there. Most of the time, these agencies offer their applicants the position of Enrolled Nurses. Keep in mind that in Singapore Enrolled Nurses are only legally allowed to work as Nursing Assistants or Nursing Aids. But, if the applicant has enough years of experience, then, he/she has the opportunity to register with the SNB. After passing the exam, he/she can now work as an RN in the country.
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