Distinguished alumna champions nursing education

Brenda Lim Bee Khim is a La Trobe Distinguished Alumna who has shown extraordinary dedication to the nursing profession for more than three decades

Brenda Lim Bee Khim is a La Trobe Distinguished Alumna who has shown extraordinary dedication to the nursing profession for more than three decades. In 2013, she completed her Master of Nursing through the University’s longstanding partnership with the Singapore Nurses Association (SNA).

Today Brenda leads the Nursing Department at Singapore’s National Skin Centre and serves as Board of Director of the SNA and Vice President (Special Project) of Association of Diabetes Educators Singapore (ADES). She has improved standards of dermatology and diabetes education nursing by establishing the SNA’s Dermatology Nurses Chapter (2012), the Asian Dermatological Nursing Group (2018), and a pioneer working committee of the ADES (1997). For her immense contribution to healthcare, Brenda received a La Trobe Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017.

We asked Brenda Lim Bee Khim about her La Trobe journey and how it helped to position her as a healthcare leader and ambassador.

“I trained as a paediatric and diabetes nurse. I was competent in my day-to-day work and clinical care, and had never considered a degree essential to my advancement. One day, a senior colleague told me that a tertiary qualification would enhance my career opportunities. I listened to that advice. I undertook a Bachelor of Nursing and it opened doors, allowing me to move into operational support as a clinic manager and, later, an operations manager.

I wanted to further enhance my skills and so La Trobe’s Master of Nursing was the next logical step. Since 1998, the University’s longstanding partnership with the SNA/Nurses Learning Hub has created a respected program that resonates with students and the profession. It is global learning tailored to the local context, and under the SNA’s purview of care. The program has enhanced clinical and theoretical expertise in Singapore’s nursing profession and instilled a lifelong desire for learning in its graduates.

The Master of Nursing equipped me with a different skillset for my senior role as Head of Nursing at the National Skin Centre, particularly in relation to systems design. Nurses are trained to focus on the immediate firefight rather than long-term workplace efficiencies that improve patient outcomes. My Master’s degree gave me the skills to do both, which has empowered me and given me great professional satisfaction.

Becoming a member of La Trobe’s alumni chapter has also provided me with further opportunities to network, share knowledge and build capability with others who specialise in IT,  business , work processes or marketing. It’s a model that I have adopted with the establishment of the SNA Dermatology Nurses Chapter, the Asian Dermatological Nursing Group, which includes nursing specialists from Singapore, Hong Kong, China and the Philippines. This kind of networking is priceless.

I have devoted my career to taking the nursing profession in Singapore to the next level. I have an open mind and I never stop learning. I believe in interdisciplinary collaboration and the organisational uplift that comes from investing in education. I have developed a support network which allows me make decisions quickly and effectively. All these factors are key to developing a successful healthcare system that supports professionals to help patients.”

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