Meet Nurse Wan Ru – a palliative care nurse from Singapore

Categories: Care, Featured, and People & Places.

Once again, we are sharing the stories of the nurses making a difference in the field of palliative care, from the “Palliative Care – Celebrating Nurses Contributions report”.

Nurse Wan Ru joined HCA Hospice Care, Singapore, as a palliative care nurse in 2011. Wan Ru joined the hospice after having first crossed over from the corporate world into oncology nursing where she stayed for a decade, working in the cancer unit of a tertiary acute-care hospital. She has since received further training and is now an advanced practice nurse in Singapore. Wan Ru also has an administrative role, leading a clinical team of multi-disciplinary professionals as the centre manager.


Wan Ru is currently the only advanced practice nurse (APN) working in the largest hospice home care service in Singapore, which serves over 800 patients at any one time, or about 3,000 new cases each year.

At HCA Hospice Care, she leads a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, medical social workers, and counsellors in providing care for patients with advanced disease at home. She is primarily a clinician and is responsible for teaching and upholding standards among the hospice home care nurses in her organisation. Wan Ru was awarded the prestigious Healthcare Humanity Award in 2013 where her dedication to loving the dying unconditionally was noted, along with the fact that she was competent, committed, compassionate, responsible, non-judgemental and perceptive, demonstrating creative ideas in fulfilling patients last wishes.

On receiving the award, she said “I’m very honoured to be one of the winners for this year’s HealthcareHumanity Awards. As a home hospice nurse, I have come to realise that two patients with the same diagnosis can be very different. And because of what my patients share with me about their experiences, life stories and struggles, I feel I am able to provide professional palliative care to my patients and render compassionate support to their families more effectively. As home hospice nurses, a constant challenge that we face is being able to come to terms with our patients’ need to maintain personal dignity as they see it, for the time of life that they have left. Only then can we be empowered to add a new dimension to quality care that can be both effective and humane, beyond the hard science of clinical diagnosis and death.”


One area that Wan Ru is particularly interested in is that of spirituality and spiritual care, providing training and undertaking research in this area. Through the years as she has developed her expertise along with services at HCA Hospice Care, her strength and passion remain with the care of terminally ill patients at the end-of-life, where humanistic tenets of dignity-preserving person-centred care are lived out.

You can download your free copy of the report here “Palliative Care – Celebrating Nurses Contributions report”.


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