For many decades, the Philippines has been producing generations and generations of nurses, who have eventually become one of the important pillars of the country’s economy.
Because of the quality of technical skills being developed in the country, Filipino nurses have earned the respect of foreign employers when it comes to work performance and adaptability. For these reasons, Filipino nurses are being sourced by many Western countries such as the US, the UK, as well as Canada.
7 Reasons Why You Should Work as a Nurse in Singapore
However, if these opportunities do not seem to fall along your alley, there are still many other alternatives for work such as the Middle East and Singapore.
In this post, we will share 7 basic reasons why working in Singapore is also a highly attractive option for Filipino nurses, based on a YouTube vlog post by a Filipino nurse working in Singapore known as Nurse Juan OFW.
1. The Singapore Nursing Board Exam is relatively easier than other professional licensure exams in other countries — the Philippines included.
If you’ve undergone training and preparation for the licensure exam for nurses in the Philippines, you would understand how challenging the preparation and review can be.
But in Singapore, you might be surprised to find out that the entire professional licensure exam is only comprised of 60 items, unlike the 2-day, 5-part exams that Filipino nurses have to take to become full-fledged registered professionals in the country. But this isn’t a bad thing because it raises the standards and competencies of Filipino nurses, making them global quality professionals. And the main point here is that there’s a higher chance that you’d make it as a professional licensed nurse in Singapore if you pass the licensure exam in the Philippines.
2. Better Working Conditions
Of course, coming from a third-world country, Filipino nurses would immediately recognize the difference in terms of pay and working conditions in some of the first-world countries in Asia such as Japan and Singapore.
Firstly, the facilities in Singapore are world-class and they have state-of-the-art technologies in the field of medicine which is a big plus if you’re eyeing to gain more technical skills and knowledge to further your career as a nurse anywhere in the world.
And then, the pay is competitive as it can not be compared with what nurses are earning back in the Philippines. On average, a staff nurse in Singapore earns around SGD 2,500 to SGD 3,500 (PHP 95,000 – PHP 133,000) per month excluding annual bonuses, hazard pay, and other benefits. Of course, to get this kind of salary you have to factor in one’s specialization as well as working experience.
3. Singapore is geographically and culturally close to the Philippines.
The Philippines and Singapore are just a few hours away from each other. Because of this, much of the geographic features of Singapore are quite similar to the Philippines (i.e. tropical climate, cultural affinity, as well as social diversity). This proximity also allows Filipinos based in Singapore the convenience of direct travels to many parts of the Philippines which would approximately take about 3.5 hours max. For this reason, homesickness can easily be addressed once you are earning enough and are already stable here in the country.
4. Singapore has a huge community of Filipino expats.
Perhaps because of the first three points (mainly), Singapore has become the second home to many Filipino workers and professionals. And when there are Filipinos in a group, you would immediately know. This is because Filipinos are naturally friendly and outgoing, and Filipino communities usually enjoy organizing events such as talent shows, sports fests, or even simple get-togethers or house parties on a weekend.
Although hospitality and a strong sense of community can be seen as natural traits among Filipinos, these also provide a way for the community to help its members to cope with homesickness which is always a problem for both new and long-time OFWs anywhere in the world.
5. Singapore is one of the safest places in the world.
Singapore prides itself as an organized country with law-abiding citizens. This is why many Filipinos somehow get culture-shocked when they first move in the country. The crime rates are extremely low and you wouldn’t expect petty crimes and misdemeanors in Singapore’s public places and streets even late at night. This can be attributed to the government’s use of a national ID which keeps all the records of their residents and citizens. This means that any criminal activity no matter the degree or extent will permanently be reflected on your record, and this can affect one’s prospect for jobs or career here in the country. On top of this, Singapore also imposes strict laws that maintain peace and order in the city-state. For this reason, Singapore has been aptly labeled as a “Fine City”, because they have a fine for almost every misdemeanor committed in public such as chewing gum, smoking, and littering, and many more. And as you can tell, this has served Singapore really well.
6. There is no “traffic” in Singapore.
Following point number 5, the government is also very strict when it comes to traffic laws, even restricting their residents’ ability to purchase cars. In Singapore, having a car is a luxury not everyone can afford because of the cost of cars and the permits that come along with having/maintaining one. This is basically to discourage residents from overcrowding the small city with cars and at the same time to promote healthier forms of transportation such as cycling and even walking. Also, Singapore has one of the best train systems in the world, so public transportation is ideal for everyone in the country.
7. Singapore offers different kinds of “freedom” for Filipinos.
Owing to the previous points raised, Singapore offers different kinds of freedom for Filipino nurses. This includes financial freedom and freedom to pursue one’s passion in life since people here are living in an ideal environment and are able to provide for all of their basic needs as well as for their families back in the Philippines. Also because of the comforts offered by the Singaporean lifestyle, people are able to save up and pursue higher goals, whether it be advancing in one’s chosen career or moving into another country such as the US, Canada, or the UK.
Here’s the video guide shared by Nurse Juan OFW via his Facebook channel on YouTube:
As for some tips, it’s important to understand that you don’t need to rush things. Focus on building your skills and experiences first, and use your connections to look for opportunities that can help you land a job in Singapore. And once you’re in Singapore, be ready to upskill and to refine your craft so that you would be given more opportunities for career growth. And while doing all these, be sure to save, save, and SAVE!
Remember, the ability to earn more does not automatically mean you should be spending more. If saving up money becomes a good habit, it will then eventually become a lifestyle. And you’d be surprised at how much your life will become more comfortable and taken care of even as you pursue higher goals such as building a family of your own or migrating to another country.
If you’re looking to jumpstart your career in nursing but are not yet financially and emotionally prepared to leave your family behind for the US, UK, or Canada, Singapore is an ideal place to start. If you are able to take advantage of your opportunities as a nurse in this country, then there’s definitely more for you out there when you venture out to other countries.