The Sun (Malaysia)
Nursing a lifelong learning for healthcare
statistics from the Health Ministry reveal that Malaysia has a total of 115,230 nurses, resulting in a nurse-to-population ratio of 1:283. This ratio falls short of the World Health Organisation’s target of 1:225.
The nursing profession demands for a commitment to ongoing learning. This dedication is crucial not only for enhancing the quality of care but also for ensuring patient safety, improving health outcomes and staying attuned to the evolving healthcare environment.
Malaysia offers avenues for professional growth in nursing. Among these opportunities are advanced nursing courses, specialised care seminars and technology-enhanced training modules.
However, obstacles, such as cost, geographical location and time constraints, frequently hinder access to these valuable resources.
One notable challenge to professional development is the demanding nature of the nursing profession. Extended shifts, cumulative work hours and the emotional rigours of patient care often deplete energy reserves, relegating additional learning to the background.
Delays in accessing advanced courses, especially in institutions where seniority dictates opportunity, and where opportunities are limited outside the Health Ministry’s framework further impede professional growth.
Drawing on our collective experiences, spanning over 15 years in teaching and clinical realms, we advocate for proactive steps to promote continuous learning as follows:
1. Healthcare establishments should set aside specific times for nurses to partake in training, workshops or courses without compromising their regular earnings.
2. Digital learning platforms, such as online courses and webinars, should be prioritised to give nurses the flexibility to learn at their discretion.
3. Experienced nurses should mentor new nurses to pass on invaluable expertise.
4. Providing customised short courses that focus on mentorship can be beneficial, bolstering the proficiency of mentors.
5. To encourage professional advancement, hospitals should consider offering more competitive remuneration for specially trained nurses.
In essence, continuous learning is imperative in the field of nursing. By advocating for opportunities and cultivating a culture that values ongoing education, we can shape nurses who are not only skilled but also emerge as pioneers in healthcare.
Investing in their professional development will ensure Malaysians receive top-tier healthcare. Considering the rapid advancements in medical technology and knowledge, our nurses need to stay updated to provide unparalleled care.