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The first thing we do, let's send all the lawyers to nursing school

August 4, 2004 -- Today the Straits Times (Singapore) included a generally good article by Lynn Lee, "Vasanthi quits law to become a nurse," about a former public prosecutor who has "traded her black lawyer's garb for nursing whites," enrolling in a special two-year diploma programme launched by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) that is currently training about 200 mid-career professionals like her to become nurses.

The piece explains that Vasanthi Velu's career change was inspired by her stay in the National University Hospital to deliver her son two years ago. She was "very impressed and touched by the care, concern and professionalism of the nurses there. That inspired me to study nursing as these are skills that will come in useful no matter where I go or what I do." This lawyer's focus on the "professionalism" and "skills" of nurses in this quote is, well, impressive and touching. It appears that the WDA and the Institute of Mental Health are paying Vasanthi's course fees at Nanyang Polytechnic as well as a monthly allowance, in exchange for a three-year commitment to the Institute following her graduation next year. The piece might have explained the larger context of the program, which was presumably created to address the nursing shortage.

The piece notes that Vasanthi's earnings have been "halved" by the switch in professions, but quotes her as saying: "job satisfaction is important to me."

See Lynn Lee's article "Vasanthi quits law to become a nurse" in the August 4, 2004 edition of the Singaporean Straits Times.




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