Home gen y speaks Gen Y Speaks: I aspired to be a radio DJ, but my grandfathers’ deaths led me to nursing

Gen Y Speaks: I aspired to be a radio DJ, but my grandfathers’ deaths led me to nursing

Gen Y Speaks: I aspired to be a radio DJ, but my grandfathers’ deaths led me to nursing

Kimberley-Ann Tan Zi Ying


Three fulfilling years later, I’m currently a senior staff nurse in an acute internal medicine unit at TTSH. 

I’m also currently a preceptor to students and new nurses who are at the start of their nursing journey. I do my best to support them just like how my seniors supported me at the beginning of my career.

I frequently reflect on my journey and think about how differently I deal with similar situations now, thanks to the experience I’ve gained over the past few years. 

I know that three years ago, I would not have had the confidence I currently possess to handle demanding patients and their family members, while being efficient and effective in the coordination of my patients’ care.

But it was thanks to hard work and the support of my seniors that showed me how it is done.

With Nurses Day approaching on Aug 1, I’m also proud of how the role of nurses has evolved over the years, as well as the opportunities given to us to specialise in our areas of interest such as research, education, management, or clinicals. 

Nursing is hardly a stagnant role, and there are schemes to encourage innovation among us too. For example, TTSH’s Nursing Innovation Bunch has a S$1,000 funding scheme for new nurses to trial their innovative ideas in their first and second year of employment.

I’m able to do less repetitive and strenuous tasks thanks to robotics and automation, which frees up my energy to focus on building trust and strong relationships with my patients and their families. 

This allows me to provide more holistic patient care and attend to their emotional needs, a vital aspect of a patient’s recovery journey that is often overlooked.

I decided to write this article because my career in TTSH nursing has been nothing short of fulfilling and exciting, despite all the challenges that come along with it. 

Every shift is completely different, and you learn and experience something new every single day. It’s one of the professions that changes your life for the better while you do the same for others.  

Despite mostly being in clinical nursing, I’ve also embarked on many creative projects along the way in TTSH, tapping into my past as a mass communications student.

From creating nursing content for our social media, to writing articles and hosting events, I’ve been given many opportunities to keep my creative side alive. 

My advice to anyone who might be at the crossroads of deciding what career path to head down would be to take a chance at something new.

After all, my experience taught me that we don’t just have one passion in life to pursue.

Work hard and learn as much as you can no matter which stage of life you’re in. You’ll pick up things that’ll help you wherever you’re going next, even though they may seem completely irrelevant at that point in time.


Kimberley-Ann Tan Zi Ying, 27, is a senior staff nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. She is a member of TTSH nursing’s Recruitment Operations and Business Strategic Team, also known as Robust, and is a part of its social media sub-committee.