Coreen Low Kim Kuan is a distinguished La Trobe alumna. She completed her Master of Nursing in 2012 through the University’s longstanding international partnership with the Singapore Nurses Association (SNA).
Today, Coreen is Senior Nurse Manager at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore and a Board Member of the SNA. We asked her about her La Trobe journey and how it equipped her for a prestigious career in healthcare.
“I think I was born a nurse. At school, I volunteered for the Singapore Red Cross. I had a white uniform with Red Cross black uniform buttons I wore when I visited patients in hospitals, keeping the old folks company. I enjoyed that immensely. I studied to become a Registered Nurse and graduated in 2002. I worked in the field and in hospital business development prior to undertaking my Master of Nursing.
I chose La Trobe because many of my colleagues and SNA members had completed studies through the University’s partnership with the SNA and had positive feedback. La Trobe has an outstanding reputation. Its Bachelor of Nursing (Post-registration) course, for example, is the longest running degree conversion program in Singapore, 24 years to date. It has more than 1200 graduates and has enabled Registered Nurses with a diploma qualification to expand their professional education to a bachelor’s degree. The University has also offered postgraduate degrees through the partnership, including the Master of Nursing.
The lecturers flew in from Australia to teach us. The program was carefully customised to Singapore’s local context, but the quality of the subject matter and the support was the same. The rapport between the lecturers and students was fantastic. If we ever got stuck on a problem, help was only an email away. I had access to a library and other facilities and, most importantly, benefited from the professional guidance offered by the Head of Nursing and Midwifery.
When I graduated, I encouraged my friends and colleagues to apply. I hope that more healthcare professionals will recognise how important tertiary education is, and that the knowledge they gain is beneficial to their day-to-day work. It results in patients receiving high-quality, evidence-based, compassionate care.
I am so proud to say that I am a La Trobe University graduate. In the hospitals in Singapore, we ask colleagues, ‘Are you La Trobe alumni?’ It’s nice to be a part of that group, because we support and mentor each other. I have always said, ‘I am a living example of what a La Trobe education can do.’ I hope that I inspire my colleagues to learn new skills so that they too can achieve and contribute effectively to the nursing profession. As a Board Member of the SNA, it is my duty to make sure that the partnership continues to thrive and benefit nurses in Singapore.
Today, I am a Senior Nurse Manager at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. I manage the Cleft and Craniofacial Centre, Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, as well as Paediatric Burns. I am currently involved in the setting up a Paediatric Outpatient Burns unit. It’s my latest mountain to climb. I am also very active in raising awareness on best practice in wound management. The learning never stops.”