Dear Reader,

Fourteen years ago, the National University of Singapore introduced an undergraduate nursing degree. Taught by experienced faculty with extensive nursing experience gained here and abroad, the pioneer batch of graduate nurses has gone on to make their mark in various healthcare roles throughout Singapore.


They have been joined over the years by over a thousand other NUS Nursing graduates. Working alongside other healthcare colleagues, NUS Nursing graduates have contributed immensely to the health and well-being of Singaporeans from all walks of life. This year, the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies celebrates the 10th anniversary of the graduation of that inaugural Nursing Class of 2009. That first class numbered about 50 graduates. Today, the graduating class numbers stands at 197.


The setting up of the Centre as a department within the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in 2005 has also enabled many synergies within the School over the last 14 years. Chief among these was paving the way for future nurses and doctors to learn together, allowing them to benefit from better understanding and knowledge of one another’s profession. Interprofessional training helps them see one another’s point of view and learn better teamwork and communication.


The Centre’s research output has also been equally impressive, propelling the Centre to pole position in the Asian ranking of nursing programmes, and to place among the top 20 programmes globally.


With NUS Nursing, Singapore has a degree programme that has helped raise the public perception of nursing and professionalised the image of nurses. Today, nurses’ inputs are sought in the development of care and formulation of policy. It is a much higher level of practice than 20 or 30 years ago.

As we look ahead, I am confident that Nursing will play an even bigger role in the planning and delivery of care, especially when the focus of care shifts beyond hospitals. This is where our graduate nurses will come to the fore. They are the best professionals to deliver care in the community, as the population gets older and more chronic care is required.


The next time you encounter our nurses, please take a moment to congratulate them. They do us all proud.


On an equally happy note, I am pleased to introduce our School orchid, the Vanda NUS Medicine. The orchid is distinguished by its base yellow colour and tessellations that range from orange to crimson red – colours that correspond to those on the hoods of academic gowns worn by Medicine (red) and Nursing (lemon yellow) graduates.
A cross between Vanda Kultana Fragrance and Vanda Memoria Thianchai, the free flowering hybrid’s hardy and adaptable nature is an apt expression of the characteristics that denote the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine graduate. More about the Vanda NUS Medicine and its merchandise will be featured in the next issue.


The School orchid was unveiled to a 700 strong rousing crowd of invited guests and donors, graduates, faculty, as well as executive and professional staff at this year’s Medical Dinner. Held annually to welcome the graduating Medicine and Nursing classes to the healthcare fraternity, the dinner this year paid tribute to the School’s founding donor, Mr Tan Jiak Kim. Thanks to his far-sighted vision of a medical school to train doctors to care for the local community, and the unstinting support of many donors over the years, the School has grown by leaps and bounds to become Asia’s leading medical institution of higher learning and research.


Happy reading!


Yap Seng