In 2021, 7.4% of local nurses quit their jobs, bringing the percentage of public hospital nurses who resigned to a five-year high in Singapore.
With 14.8% of foreign nurses in the public sector quitting their jobs last year, the rise was larger.
Recently in Parliament, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam provided these statistics in answer to inquiries about nurse welfare, workload, salary, and resignation rates from Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC).
In the public sector, the attrition rate for local nurses was 6%, 6.3 %, 7%, and 5.4 % in each of the years from 2017 to 2020.
In each of the years from 2017 through 2020, it was 8.2%, 9.1%, 9.4%, and 7% for nurses who were foreigners.
In response to this, Rahayu stated that foreign nurses are leaving us, but now that the borders are open, they can return. The opportunities abroad are also luring them.
She said this results in a decrease in the number of foreign nurses in Singapore and added that while paying and working conditions are important and we are continuously looking for methods to enhance them, we shouldn’t automatically assume that they are the cause of all manpower issues.
Staff nurses made an average of USD 42,800 to USD 53,700 per year in 2017, and that figure increased to USD 46,300 to USD 58,500 per year in 2021. Senior staff nurses made an average of USD 65,000 to USD 79,700 per year in 2017, and that figure went from USD 71,200 to USD 87,600 in 2021.
A staff nurse in 2017 might be earning an annual wage at the senior staff nurse level by 2021, according to Rahayu, who said that it takes a fresh graduate four to six years to become a senior staff nurse.
She further added that the key issue is to retain the services of the nurses, for which the government has come up with a key plan to retain them.
First, consider the nurses’ job description. Public healthcare facilities are streamlining care processes and employing specialized administrative and support care staffers to help nurses, in order to lessen the administrative workload of nurses and free them up so that they can focus on patient care.
Several improvements in the technology are also being made so as to ease the load of non-clinical tasks.
Second, it’s crucial to guarantee that salaries are fair both domestically and abroad.
Lastly, families and carers should collaborate with the healthcare system to lighten the strain on healthcare workers in order to address the increased demands on healthcare manpower brought on by an ageing population.