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His true calling

While becoming a nurse may not be Mr Tang Yang Yew’s childhood dream, a career in the healthcare sector has always been at the back of his mind since his days as a Red Cross Youth in secondary school.

“The experience of taking care of elderly people and making a difference stuck with me.”

He had other career choices but having to be warded at the hospital several years back inspired him to pursue nursing.

“Those days in the hospital made me reflect on my life. The professionalism and warmth of the nursing staff at Tan Tock Seng Hospital made me feel like that was something I could see myself doing,” recalls Mr Tang. “It was then that I decided to apply for the nursing programme offered by the National University of Singapore (NUS).”

Heading into healthcare

He received the MOH Holdings Healthcare Merit Award in 2017 and is currently enrolled in the nursing programme at NUS. “I learnt about the scholarship during the Freshman Orientation camp and regretted not finding out about it earlier as the full-term scholarships were already awarded by that point,” he says.

“Luckily, I had some seniors who told me there was a mid-term path where I can apply once I finish at least a semester. Mid-term means you can use your current school results, versus previous A levels or diploma results.”

The 26-year-old is scheduled to graduate in May 2020. For now, he is soaking up his school life, which he balances with his practicum at NUS. “I think the folks who said uni will be the best time of your life had it right. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun or grown as a person at any other point,” he says.

He envisions himself taking the clinical route in the future: “I can see myself as an advanced practice nurse as it is a role which will allow me to collaborate and make decisions together with the medical team. I am also fascinated by the oncology and palliative specialities and hope to explore these areas in greater depth.”

Mr Tang is looking forward to becoming a staff nurse at Alexandra Hospital, which is a part of the National University Health System cluster, to fulfil his scholarship bond.  

“Alexandra Hospital has been billed as a focal point for trying out new models of care such as facilitating the integration of healthcare into the community, and I’m excited to be a part of that vision,” he says.