Kickstart Your Nursing Career With the Right Education Pathway

By Clara Foong - July 07, 2020
What to Study Wondering how you can become a nurse? Here are the different study options you can take to become a Registered Nurse and the benefits of each option.
Kickstart Your Nursing Career With the Right Education Pathway

You’ve read about career opportunities that you can explore if you want to expand your skills and knowledge in the nursing field. Now, you’re probably wondering what are the education pathways that you can choose to become a Registered Nurse.

You can use the chart and explanation below to find out what each pathway is all about so that you can make the best decision on your study options, unlock your potential, and more importantly fulfill your academic needs.

Uni Enrol helps students plan their education pathway based on their interests, passion and grades.

 

Explanation on Various Education Pathways You Can Choose To Become a Registered Nurse

 

Taking a nursing degree and foundation is the most direct pathway to become a registered nurse.

After taking a Foundation course in Science, you need to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and pass the Malaysian Nursing Board Examination before you can qualify as a Registered Nurse.

Why consider this education pathway:

  • You want to be more marketable and move up the pay grade ladder. Employers typically pay more to RNs with a Degree because of the multiple skill sets that they acquire from their programme including management, patient assessment and research
  • You want to pursue alternative nursing careers in non-hospital settings like private practice, consulting or teaching

Minimum requirements for Foundation:

  • At least 5 credits in SPM (including Mathematics, General Science/ Pure Science - Biology/ Chemistry/ Physics and 3 other subjects AND a pass in Bahasa Malaysia and English) or an equivalent certificate

Minimum requirements for Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing:

  • Foundation in Science or an equivalent certificate with CGPA of 3.0

Duration to become RN:

  • Foundation (1 year) + Degree (4 years) = 5 years

 

Taking a Pre-University course gives you more flexibility to discover your interests.

Once you have completed a Pre-U course (STPM, A-Levels, SAM, etc.), you can opt for a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and pass the Malaysian Nursing Board Examination before you can qualify as a Registered Nurse.

Why consider this education pathway:

  • You are unsure of what career to pursue after completing your SPM, so you study for a Pre-University programme to discover more about your passion and interests

Minimum requirements for Pre-U Programme Certificate:

  • At least 5 credits in SPM (including Mathematics, General Science/ Pure Science - Biology/ Chemistry/ Physics and 3 other subjects AND a pass in Bahasa Malaysia and English) or an equivalent certificate

Minimum requirements for Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing:

  • STPM – CGPA of 2.50
  • A-Levels – Pass in 2 subjects
  • SAM - Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) 70 AND Grade B in 2 relevant subjects

Duration to become RN:

  • Pre-University (1-2 years) + Degree (4 years) = 5-6 years

 

An Assistant Nurse Certificate has lower entry requirements compared with nursing diploma and degree courses.

This pathway will see you taking an Assistant Nurse Certificate and work as an assistant nurse before you can pursue a Diploma in Nursing (Assistant Nurse Conversion). Then, once you have passed the Malaysian Nursing Board examination, you can start working as a Registered Nurse.

Why Consider This Education Pathway:

  • If you do not fulfil the basic requirements to enrol into a basic Diploma course, you can choose to study for an Assistant Nurse Certificate and work as an assistant nurse before proceeding to become a Registered Nurse in Nursing

Minimum requirements for Assistant Nurse Certificate:

  • At least 2 credits in SPM (including Bahasa Malaysia with a pass in General Science/ Biology, Mathematics and English) or an equivalent certificate

Minimum requirements for Diploma in Nursing (Assistant Nurse Conversion):

  • Obtained the Assistant Nurse Certificate
  • Have 3 years of work experience as an assistant nurse in hospitals

Duration to become RN:

  • Assistant Nurse Certificate (2 years) + work experience as an assistant nurse (3 years) + Diploma (2 years) = 7 years

Extra Notes:

  • Once you have at least 3 years of work experience as an assistant nurse, you are permitted to complete the Diploma (Assistant Nurse Conversion) in just two years instead of the usual duration of three years
  • After completing the Diploma (Assistant Nurse Conversion) programme, you need to take the Nursing Assistant Registry Exam to obtain the Annual Practice Certificate (APC) as a Registered Nurse

 

A nursing diploma will give you more hands-on experience which is valuable for nurses.

Upon completion of Diploma in Nursing, you will be considered qualified to start practicing as a RN

Why Consider This Education Pathway:

  • A Diploma course is for you if you want practical experience. You will be given training through laboratory work and clinical placements, where you will be posted to hospitals
  • Many SPM leavers choose this path because once you’ve graduated from your Diploma, you get to join the workforce immediately and start your career as a RN early before moving on to alternative opportunities in the field later on

Minimum requirements for Diploma in Nursing:

  • At least 5 credits in SPM  including Mathematics, General Science/ Pure Science - Biology/ Chemistry/ Physics and 3 other subjects AND a pass in Bahasa Malaysia and English or an equivalent certificate

Duration to become RN:

  • You can start working as a RN after completing a 3-year Diploma in Nursing course

Extra Notes:

  • You can choose to pursue a Degree in Nursing after 3 years of work experience as a RN if you want to specialise or increase your salary. You can use the knowledge you’ve gained from your working experience in your Degree studies when you are assigned to clinical training
  • Having a Degree would also mean that you would be qualified for career opportunities in non-hospital settings like teaching or consulting
  • There are certain nursing schools/institutions that offer scholarships to study for a Nursing course, so make sure you fulfil the academic requirements of the type of scholarships offered before applying for one
  • If you are on a full scholarship to study for your Nursing programme, you will be required to serve a certain number of years with the institute before you can take the next step to advance your Nursing career

 

Here’s Your Opportunity to Work in One of the Top Leading Healthcare Facilities in Malaysia!

Image credit: www.sunwaymedical.com
Uni Enrol matches students with scholarships offered by nursing colleges, universities and private hospitals.

Sunway Medical Centre is offering full scholarship for Diploma in Nursing with a coverage inclusive of full tuition fee for a 3-year Diploma, monthly allowance, accommodation, meal allowance, resources fee, and many more!

Once sponsored students have graduated from their Diploma and qualified as Registered Nurses, they will be required to work at Sunway Medical Centre for 5 years, which means that they are guaranteed a job position.

 

Why Consider This Education Pathway:

  • You are interested in transitioning into a teaching career and wish to take up positions in nursing schools, universities or colleges. You have the desire to impart your clinical skills and knowledge to the next generation of aspiring nurses
  • Nurses normally choose this pathway if they don’t want to practice nursing anymore but still wish to remain connected to the field after accumulating years of experience and knowledge

Minimum Requirements for Master in Nursing:

  • A basic Degree in Nursing or Nursing related Degrees
  • Registered with the Nursing Board Malaysia (NBM)
  • Possess the Annual Practising Certificate (APC)
  • Have at least 3 years of work experience in relevant field

Minimum Requirements for PhD:

  • A Masters Degree in Nursing or equivalent from related discipline with minimum CGPA of 3.0 OR CGPA below 3.0 but above 2.0
  • Registered with the Nursing Board Malaysia (NBM)
  • Possess the Annual Practising Certificate (APC)
  • Have at least 3 years of work experience in relevant discipline

Course Duration:

A Masters Degree would normally take 2-4 years to complete, followed by a PhD in Nursing, which would take another 2-5 years

The various education pathways we’ve illustrated in the chart above are just some of the study options that you can consider to become a Registered Nurse. It is a guide to help you make well-informed decisions in choosing the best education pathway for yourself.

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