Singapore, most commonly known as the “Tiger of Asia,” is known for its impeccable economy. Even if Singapore is a small country, Singapore has an excellent reputation and is significantly advanced in its economy, technology, and others. Singapore was one of the first countries infected by the virus, COVID-19. However, Singapore’s fast and early response has earned praise from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The early COVID-19 response has helped many people who live in Singapore cope and be safe from the virus. This pandemic has shown how flexible and ready Singapore is regarding health issues. Included in the country’s early response was the extensive surveillance in identifying where the virus came from and effective contact tracing to contain those already infected and prevent further transmission of the virus. This was made possible because of the healthcare professionals, one of which is the nurses.

The number of nurses and midwives from 2016 to 2020 is about 42,000 – 75 percent of which are all Registered Nurses (RN) while the rest are midwives and Enrolled Nurses (EN). RN and EN undergo training and perform a different scope of practice. EN work under the supervision of the RN. Over the years, the number of registered nurses employed in Singapore has increased due to the increased demand. Below are the steps on how to become a nurse in Singapore!

Steps on How to Become a Nurse in Singapore

1. For Locals, Choose a Singapore Nurses Association (SNA) – accredited Pre-Registration/Enrolment Program

Singapore offers a lot of programs for the locals who want to be registered nurses, enrolled nurses, or midwives. The first step to becoming a nurse in Singapore is to choose programs in an accredited institution. To be eligible to work, they are required to complete at least one program that is SNA-accredited. To see the full list of the Nursing Programs, please visit the Singapore Government Agency Website.

For further information regarding the program duration and the institutions where the programs can possibly be completed, please see Accredited Nursing Programmes.

2. Complete the Program and Finish All the Trainings

The accredited nursing programs take 2 to 4 years to complete, depending on the chosen program. In order to be ca nurse in Singapore, it is a must that you complete the program and finish all the training. Nurses in Singapore are required to complete the program and training and obtain either a Diploma in Nursing or Bachelor of Science degree to be able to practice the profession.

3. Apply for the Singapore Nursing Board (SNB)Licensure Examination

After the completion of the program, the next step for you to become a nurse in Singapore is to take the SNB licensure examination before you can practice nursing in Singapore. SNB will send a notification letter regarding the examination schedule and venue to the licensure exam candidates. For the full details (i.e., venue of the exam, things to bring, and things not o bring during the exam) of the SNB Licensure Examination, please see the SNB Licensure Examination page.

The licensure examination candidates are expected to be in the venue at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam.

4. For Foreign Trained Nurses and Midwives, Obtain an Offer of Employment with eligible healthcare Institutions in Singapore

The SNB will only consider the application for registration/enrolment of foreign-trained nurses or midwives if they have an offer from an employer. So, if you wish to work in Singapore, you must first apply to hospitals or institutions in Singapore and have an offer to be eligible to work in the country.

The Human Resource (HR) Specialist must inquire with SNB on their eligibility to employ qualified foreign nurses for them to be able to proceed with your offer. Once approved by the SNB, your employer or HR can already submit your application for registration/enrolment via an online application.

5. Prepare All the Documents Required for Eligibility for Application for Enrolment/Registration

To be eligible for application for enrolment/registration for a nurse in Singapore, the SNB will require you to submit the following documents:

  • Completion of a nursing program which is equivalent to an accredited pre-registration / pre-enrolment program as assessed by the SNB in Singapore
  • A current nursing license issued in the country of origin
  • Nursing registration from the country you were trained
  • Relevant clinical nursing practice in the country of origin for the past five years

All documents submitted shall be kept by the SNB as proof of your registration/enrolment and shall no longer be returned. Requests for copies of the submitted documents will not be allowed.

6. Submit all Documents Required for Registration/Enrolment via Online Application

After confirming that you are eligible for application for registration/enrolment, the SNB will require you to submit the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Transcript of Records from the school/college/university where you took your nursing program. His should include the breakdown of hours or weeks spent for theory and clinical practice.
  • Training certificates or Graduation Certification/Diploma
  • Nursing Registration Certificate
  • Copy of current nursing license
  • References from previous employer/s (i.e., certificate of employment written by the Head of Nursing Department or Nursing Director stating the period of work, area of practice, work performance)

These documents should be original or certified true copies. These must be notarized by the Justice of Peace, Notary Public, or employer. The notarization must be in English.

7. Pay the Required SNB Fees

There will be fees that need to be settled before you can work as a nurse in Singapore. First is the Application Fee for Registration/Enrolment, which shall be paid upon online application. Second is the registration/Enrolment Fee which shall be settled upon approval of the application. And lastly, the Application for Practicing Certificate Fee will also be paid upon approval. For the full and complete breakdown of fees, please see the SNB Fees page.

8. Accomplish and Finish the Application Process

After approval of documents and payment of all necessary SNB Fees, complete the application for registration/enrolment by taking and passing the licensure examination, competency assessment, and/or placed on provisional registration/enrolment.

9. Wait for the Result of your Application

The SNB will assess your application. The applicant is to follow up the result to his/her employer or the HR of the healthcare institution where he got an offer. The SNB sends and informs the institutions regarding the outcome of the registration applications.


We hope that this article on Steps on How to Become a Nurse in Singapore was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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  1. AGELE FUNMI February 11, 2024 7:00 am - Reply

    I find all the information useful and educative on how to become a nurse in Singapore.

    • Hyun Lee February 13, 2024 7:23 pm - Reply

      Glad you find it helpful!

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