Is nursing an art or a science? Interestingly, it governs both and is a holistic profession. The cornerstone of nursing would be the human touch. “At Nilai University, we strive to produce nurses with both the heart and mind for nursing. It requires cognitive ability to make sound clinical decisions while the art for nursing lies in the ability to make a patient comfortable and promote recovery despite everything else. The team of lecturers here, always remind the students to treat patients the way they would want their parents, siblings or loved ones to be treated. Every patient is someone’s father, mother, brother or sister. It is a simple rule that works.” stressed Olive Louisa Lopez, Head of the School of Nursing.
In her childhood, Olive felt inclined to serve the sick, and it was during her teens when a friend suggested for her to become a nurse. For then on, she embraced all the challenges and expectations of her journey as a dedicated nurse and now, an educator who takes on the responsibility to mould and nurture the next generations of nurses. Her dedication to providing high-quality nursing care paved her career to be an educator, inspiring the younger generation to serve with their hearts and minds.
Olive has more than ten years of clinical experience, specialised in neonatal nursing and another thirteen years as an educator under her belt. Her list of the proudest moments is endless, for example, when a student embraces a challenge and rises to face it or when a timid student can discuss an issue confidently. Other fond moments will also include when a student weak in the language can present effectively or when an academically weak student performs well in an examination or when students are sharing accommodation and selflessly look out for each other despite differences. All these are little moments that make her swell with pride. Like many dedicated educators, graduation is undoubtedly the epitome of pride for her.
So why be a nurse?
Logically, the nursing profession provides a stable career with guaranteed employment. Many local and overseas hospitals offer job placements to students in the School of Nursing even before they graduate. After a few years, students will seek employment overseas whilst enjoying lucrative remuneration benefits. However, one should never approach the nursing profession in terms of dollars and cents. Although having the right knowledge is fundamental, the desire and passion to serve the sick are more significant.
“If you ask me, what do you need to be a nurse? In my personal opinion, nursing requires a true and sincere love for people, the humility to keep learning and internal motivation to excel. With this, one could acquire and develop the knowledge and the skills to be a professional nurse and to keep growing as a person and a professional,” Olive firmly stated.
Authentically, she advises her students that working as a nurse is immensely rewarding, but they have to acknowledge the challenges, stress and the high possibility of burnout that comes with a caring profession. Therefore, at Nilai University’s School of Nursing, the lecturers inculcate the practice of reflection and teach students the Gibb’s reflective cycle. It provides a structure to facilitate the reflective process. With reflection, every experience; bad or good becomes a learning tool. It helps the students through every challenge, finding their way forward instead of wallowing in fear or worry or despair. During stressful situations or when there is an incident, the team of lecturers will facilitate the process to help the student go through the phases. The beauty of reflective practice is that learning comes from the experience of the person in the mirror; therefore, personal and professional growth is without limit.
Why is the Nursing School at Nilai University unique?
All nursing programmes in Malaysia are strictly governed by the Nursing Board of Malaysia and therefore are equally good. However, at Nilai University, the educators’ approach to nursing education is holistic. “We support and facilitate the growth of the student as a person. The School of Nursing is multidisciplinary and also cater to international students; therefore, even the simplest interactions can provide an experience that promotes development,” elaborated Olive. The guided learning environment also promotes and values respect for the different cultures and the use of a common language; English. The nursing students speak relatively well. The nursing programme has both theoretical and clinical attachment aspects. On campus, the lecturers provide the academic input through lectures, tutorial, and discussions. Students are introduced to various nursing skills and are required to practice these skills in the skills laboratory. Then, Nilai University will post its nursing students to partner hospitals for “real life” experience - where the integration of knowledge and practice occurs. Hence, the theory is translated into practice and clinical decision making with warm, sensitive, and compassionate nursing care. A qualified clinical instructor guides this process.
“Besides this, we also utilise high fidelity simulation during the programme and especially so during the revision for the professional examination. It facilitates learning in a safe and controlled environment that enhances team skills; communication skills as well improves clinical decision making without jeopardising patient safety. All these, together with reflective practice, promotes both enrichment and learning for life,” Olive explained further.
Nilai University offers different levels of qualification for students who wish to undergo the Nursing programme. Students may opt to study the foundation in science, and upon achieving a CGPA of 2.5, they could enrol directly to the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nursing.
Gain US Health Care Experience; Part of the curriculum for the Masters of Health Care Leadership, Cleary University, US
Cleary University grants the graduates of the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nursing entry to pursue the Master of Health Care Leadership offered by Cleary University, US, if they score a CGPA of 2.5 and above. Daniel R. Kelch, Director of International Admissions, who has been in the education industry in this region for more than 40 years, was impressed with Nilai University’s credible reputation. He commented that graduates from Nilai University are proficient in the English language.
“The School of Nursing at Nilai University trains and coaches its students to be proactive, responsive and attentive to feedback. Therefore, they do well studying abroad,” claimed Daniel.
“The course structure of the Masters of Health Care Leadership at Cleary University incorporates work experience as part of its curriculum. In this way, students will have the right environment to apply all the theories they learned in class. This programme is very flexible and takes into consideration the working schedule of students. Classes facilitated by the lecturers also serve as a guided platform for students to deliberate the issues they face at work with course mates. Students will have a sound understanding of the theories and hands-on, pragmatic approach,” said Daniel “Imagine the career opportunities available upon graduating with work experiences from overseas. The exposure and knowledge will set graduates apart from the competition,” highlighted Daniel.
Ready to serve and have a globe-trotting career?
Students who enrol in the diploma of nursing directly after their SPM can expect to complete their diploma in 3 years. Nilai University will assist students to seek for financial aids or sponsorships from various organisations, private and local hospitals. Upon graduation, sponsors will employ the respective students. Students with a diploma in nursing will have work for at least two years in hospitals, honing their skills. Once they have gained the relevant work experience after two years, students may pursue their Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nursing and then a masters specialising in nursing or healthcare or even business and management.
Some alumni of Nilai University’s Nursing School have taken on established positions in Singapore, Australia, Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia, and the United States of America.
There are a few niches in non-healthcare industries such as education, insurance, pharmaceutical, wellness and possibly the military that may require this medical expertise.
Nilai University provides seven types of scholarships where students can enjoy tuition fee waiver from 30% till 100% for its foundation, diploma and degree programmes in a wide range of courses, namely nursing, business and other science-based courses such as Aircraft Engineering Technology. Speak with Nilai University’s education counsellors on the sponsorships and scholarships available. The July intake is in progress for the Diploma in Nursing and Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nursing.
Please call 06-850 2308 for an appointment or click on www.nilai.edu.my or visit the campus in Nilai. Nilai University is open seven days a week except for public holidays.
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