Global Careers in Caring for UCSI's Nursing Students

Kuala Lumpur: For some, the sight of Daniel Chan Kian An and Rooney Saw Sze Wei carrying low-fidelity human simulators swaddled in blankets may induce laughter. But not for these two boys. They take their Bachelor of Nursing programme seriously and aim to stand tall and proud among the country's leading nurses. 

Daniel and Rooney broke away from convention when they enrolled for nursing at UCSI instead engineering or information technology, which are the more common career choices for men. However, their bold and divergent move has paid off. Both of them have been offered employment with an established Singapore medical provider, even before graduating. They are just two of UCSI’s nursing students who are off to a great start in their global career. 

The undergraduates share their sentiment that men too can be nurses and excellent ones at that while denouncing the societal stigma on male nurses. Prior to joining UCSI, the then 17-year-old Rooney was actively involved with St John Ambulance Malaysia (SJAM) Penang in providing medical services to the public. Along the way, he discovered that he is strongly inclined to care for the sick and needy. "There are some things you can do that will make a huge difference in people's lives. Caring for people is one of them," the 22-year-old says. 

It is the same for Daniel who sees a purpose in giving back to the community through social service. "Nursing resonates with my purpose," he relates. 

Arguing that men make equally excellent nurses, Daniel adds that much of the profession requires physical strength and stamina. "Once I saw three nurses struggling to lift a heavy patient. Their job would have been easier if there were more male nurses," the former UCSI Student Nurses Association president says, recalling a hospital experience. 

Daniel stresses that the gender of a person does not make a difference on how an individual performs professionally. In fact, having more male nurses would only increase productivity. "So what is stopping us men from becoming nurses? Nothing actually," he offers. 

Daniel is right. Not many may realise this, but nursing offers a lucrative and bright future - in particular for men - with high demand, competitive salaries (ironically, male nurses are paid more than female nurses even if they outnumbered), diverse specialisations (anaesthesia, flight, emergency, or trauma) and a stable career pathway. 

There is an overall high demand for Malaysian nurses, more so from developed countries with a growing ageing population. Some countries like Singapore and Australia have emerged to join Middle East, Europe and New Zealand as attractive employers offering monthly salaries of up to RM10K. Malaysia itself requires 130,000 nurses by 2020 based on the United Nations ratio of 1 nurse for every 200 people. The demand is further compounded by the growth of medical tourism and the large outflow of nurses from the country. 

Taking cognisant of this field's potential, UCSI's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences started offering nursing programme at three levels - diploma, degree and master. Its nursing degree is the first private university programme to be fully accredited by Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) while all its programmes are recognised by Malaysian Nursing Board and Public Service Department (JPA). 

To provide a world-class learning experience, UCSI utilises world-class facilities such as its Nursing Clinical Skills Unit. The unit houses a simulated hospital ward which comes equipped with emergency trolleys, ward beds as well as the latest health care equipment used by nurses. This allows students to be trained in a setting that closely resembles the real world. 

UCSI is also in the final stages of completing its teaching hospital at Springhill, Negeri Sembilan. Combining various aspects of a private medical centre and community medicine, this state-of-the-art hospital will serve as the hub for students to conduct their clinical postings. 

In addition to world-class facilities, the faculty also boasts a high-calibre, experienced teaching faculty that works hard to bequeath its students with a strong foundation in theory and practicals. 

The School's Head, Norizun Mohd Noor who has 18 years' experience in health care including teaching and management shared that in order to provide quality education, only former nurses with a minimum of five years' experience in clinical and teaching as well as a Masters qualification or above are hired. 

The teaching faculty is diverse with some specialising in intensive care unit (ICU), orthopedic, community etc. Through a mentorship programme, each nursing student is assigned to an experienced lecturer from the start. 

"Each student is guided and their progress monitored till they graduate," says Norizun. Through this mentor-mentee approach, the students can voice their concerns and have their queries addressed. "Our main aim is to produce graduates who are knowledgeable, skilled, motivated and competent regardless of gender," Norizun adds. 

All the programmes are designed with the patient in mind. The degree programme comprises of basic sciences, theoretical and clinical courses, as well as courses in social sciences and humanities to support nursing theories. While the diploma programme focuses on the art and science of nursing, the degree programme facilitates competency-based learning through guided inquiry, reflection and critical thinking related to nursing theories and evidence-based practices. 

The goal is to produce nurses who are trusted not only by patients but by doctors too. Upon completion, graduates can sit for the Malaysian Nursing Board Examination to be licensed to practise as a Registered Nurse (RN). 

The master programme, on the other hand, is designed for nurse clinicians to enhance their individual knowledge and competence whilst working in their selected area of specialization such as adult health, community health, maternal and child health, paediatric, and mental health. Postgraduate students can also participate in clinical research that can influence and contribute to the development of nursing. 

The winning combination of its excellent academic programmes, teaching staff and facilities makes UCSI a leading provider in top-quality nursing education. Aspiring to be a world-class leader in nursing education, research, and community outreach, UCSI continues to break new ground in its approach and delivery of producing nurses like Daniel and Rooney, who are not only competent but also compassionate and proud of their profession. To know more about UCSI University's nursing programmes, please contact Office of Postgraduate Studies at 03-9102 4739 or visit us at