Melissa Lee Kar Yan

High achiever earns scholarship to do nursing degree at Nilai U.

Melissa Lee Kar Yan has all the hallmarks to be a high quality nurse. She is soft spoken yet assertive, and appears to be an attentive listener, all the hallmarks of someone with good bedside manners, so crucial in the nursing profession. More importantly, she possesses the steely determination to succeed in her chosen profession, no matter what the obstacles. One of the obstacles happened to be her own mother who wanted Melissa to pursue a medical degree. Given that the 24-year-old former student of Methodist Girls’ School, Ipoh scored 10A1s in her SPM and three ‘A’s in her Cambridge A-levels, it is perhaps unsurprising her mother had wanted her to be a doctor.  But Melissa persisted and finding support from her father, she managed to convince her mother that she really wanted to be in the frontline of providing healthcare care to patients.

Her father saw an advertisement in the papers about Nilai University’s BSc (Hons) in Nursing programme and told Melissa to check it out. She had already made enquiries in various other specialist nursing colleges but she was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere of Nilai University’s campus and also liked that it was a multi-discipline campus. She admits that having students from other programmes was an important factor. “I want to be able to learn from other people who are from different backgrounds and doing other programmes.” But the factor that sealed the deal was being offered the High Achiever Scholarship from Nilai University (Nilai U). “When I was able to tell my mother that my tuition fees will be taken care of she finally relented,” smiles Melissa proudly.

“I wanted to be in direct contact with patients and to really understand their needs, not just be a doctor who visits them during rounds,” says Melissa. “After many placements at various hospitals, I know that patients are usually more comfortable approaching a nurse with questions than the physician. Nurses are a vital aspect of a patient’s recovery.”  She credits this caring attitude to her involvement in St John’s Ambulance since she was 13 and the special training in clinical care opened her eyes to a possible career in nursing.

Melissa is fully enjoying her time at Nilai U and as she prepares for her final year exams, she is full of praise for her lecturers who have guided her to this point. “The nursing lecturers at Nilai U are very helpful and take great concern about the welfare of the students. They also try to stimulate our thinking instead of just referring to text books,” she says. “Having facilities such as the high fidelity patient simulator also helps nurses learn better.” The lecturers at Nilai U have had such an impact on the young lass that she is contemplating a possible career in academia. But she wants to garner some work experience, preferably abroad, before doing her master’s degree. Melissa is also keen to be able to raise the overall quality of nursing care in the country. “In some places that I have worked, I noticed that the standard of nursing care leaves much to be desired. Some cases, the patients become even more ill due to the lack of care,” she says. It is her ambition to someday join the Nursing Board to try raising the overall quality of nurses and also implementing policies that will ensure that there is a minimum standard of nursing practices that must be adhered to.

She advices students thinking about joining nursing programmes to be mentally and emotionally prepared. “Taking care of the ill and infirmed is not for the faint hearted or those who are not focussed on the patient’s needs. But to those who are dedicated to the well-being of their fellow human beings, there can be no more rewarding profession,” she concludes.


For more information on Nilai U and the available scholarships and financial aid schemes, please browse our website or call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336