Thursday, April 19, 2012

Coming Full Circle: Kelly's Long Journey to NYP

By Kelly Liew, Year 1, Advanced Diploma in Nursing (Midwifery)

Have you ever been asked to give up what you want because of 'what's best for you'? Have you ever felt so strongly about something that you always come back to it, regardless of everything pulling you away from it? When that happens I call it  passion, and that's how I feel about nursing. I have always been passionately attracted to it.

Since I was a child, I always knew that service was my thing. I always smiled at strangers and when I started a part-time job as a departmental store brand promoter during my teens, I knew I loved to serve.

My big dream was to work in an internationally-recognised hotel. But that changed during the year of my 'O' Levels. During an unplanned trip to the hospital, I got a glimpse of nurses in action. I saw nurses carrying out their duties with the same level of service as the guest service officers in hotels. it was at that moment that I realised I wanted to serve with a purpose.

As a child, I wasn't a genius, but I was able to perform well in comparison to my peers. So with nursing in mind, I did my 'O' Levels.

When the results came back, I was determined to come to NYP to start my Diploma in Nursing. However, my parents had some reservations. Out of respect to them, I decided to pursue my 'A' levels instead.

After my 'A' Levels, I was prepared to go into NYP again to study nursing. But my parents wanted me to enrol in a university. Coincidentally, in 2006 NUS started its first cohort of nursing students. I finally felt like I would be able to fulfill my wish of becoming a nurse without having to disobey my parents.

Here I am (first from left) with my pals from NUS.
Studying in the university was fun. But being a nursing student was even more fun. Like the nursing students in NYP, we also had to complete clinical placements in the hospitals. We empathised, smiled and sometimes even cried with our patients. But in general, we were just a bunch of crazy girls passionate about serving our patients.

I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) with Merit. It was a good year, I spoke proudly at the commencement ceremony as Valedictorian and shortly after, I joined the National University Hospital as a registered nurse.

Speaking at my graduation.
Many would agree that nursing is a difficult career. We face the sick everyday but we have to stay strong because we are our patients' pillar of hope. We need to be skilled enough to help patients while always wearing a smile - no matter how tough the job gets. Everyday can be a struggle. With patients' needs being paramount, we sometimes forget that we too, need to go to the toilet, have our lunch or simply take a break.

A small note, but it means so much.
Don't be mistaken, I don't think it is bad bad to be a nurse. It has many wonderful moments. With all the countless 'thank-you' and hugs I have received , I  have nothing to complain about. Silly as it may sound, but I always find it hard to hold back my tears of joy when I receive words of thanks from my patients. To some, I am just doing my job, to others, I make a world of difference to their lives.

"You think nurses light up patients' lives? No, I would say they light up ours."
I have my fun moments too. I get to take amazing pictures with my patients. You think nurses light up patients' lives? No, I would say they light up ours.

Once I got a chance to act like a pregnant lady to experience how it felt like. I remember my colleagues laughing non-stop at how I looked.
Just as I became comfortable in my new career as a nurse, the idea of coming to NYP popped up again. Maybe it is fate that brought me back to NYP. After all these years, I thought there was no chance for me to come here, but when the hospital offered  me a chance to do my Advanced Diploma in Nursing (Midwifery) in NYP. I readily accepted the offer.

I am now proud to be a 'freshman'. Coming back to a school environment after working for 2.5 years can be challenging but I am certain I will be well taken care here. I've wanted to come here since I was 16 and  9 years later, I still want to be here.

This is my poly, my choice.

After 9 years, here I am, finally in my NYP Nursing uniform :)

Kelly is a first year student, pursing an Advanced Diploma in Nursing (Midwifery), who loves reading and cooking. She also likes to spend time with her friends, engaging in relaxing activities. Her friends describe her as unpredictable, spontaneous and inquisitive.


  1. U go girl! It's never too late~ Jia you!

  2. Hi Kelly

    We like to make a special request to you. Could you pm us please at

    We are from the tailor! Who made the nyp ad uniform.