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Nurse Entrepreneur: IMU Alumna Turns Love for Nursing into Business Venture

11 Jun 2020

Valerie Lee started her nursing journey in 2008 by joining the nursing programme at IMU and she has never looked back since then. She shares her experience from the time she started studying the IMU Nursing programme to her current involvement in healthcare entrepreneurship (Click2Health).

To bring back your memories at IMU, describe your experience studying the IMU Nursing Programme.

IMU have prepared my classmates and I well for the nursing profession. The Bachelor of Nursing (Hons) programme is very good, especially with the dedicated and experienced lecturers who taught us in the years that I was studying the programme at IMU. Without them, we won’t be able to face the working world immediately after completing our degree and the stressful environment in the real working world. The programme and the lecturers had definitely equipped us with the knowledge and skills to think critically, which is one of the competencies that is required for me to carry out my duties. The mentor mentee system at IMU was also a great part of the programme, it not only brought us closer to our mentors (who are also our lecturers) but also provides us with the opportunity to do self-evaluation and be able to discuss with our mentors on measures to address our weaknesses. One of the most memorable experience was the clinical attachment in Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar Seremban (HTJS) which brought us, the students and the lecturers closer together. With the variety of case mix and bedside discussion with our lecturers, it was an important moment for us in relating theory to practice as well as in applying our critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills. Now, I find that with the competencies gained from this programme, I am able to carry out my duties in a safe and confident manner.

How did you adjust to working life after your IMU Nursing degree?
I did not have much problems with job opportunities upon graduation. After few interviews, I decided to join one of the top private hospitals in Klang Valley. I was lucky to be placed in the Intensive Care Unit where I gained experience in taking care of critical cases including Paediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Nursing. The working experience was indeed a memorable and satisfying part of my nursing journey.

How did the IMU nursing programme lead you to venture into your current business – Click2Health?

Actually, my venture into this current business was an unplanned journey. It is totally different from what I used to work with. It is an opportunity given by my ex-colleague, with whom I shared a vision of helping more people in this field. I was inspired by her; and on another hand, would like to try something new from what I was doing in the past. Although I just made this decision to venture into business by providing home nursing care in the mid-year of 2019, I felt that I had made the right decision, as we are both passionate in nursing, and we want to continue to provide high quality nursing care to clients at home. It was no doubt a challenging venture, but both of us felt that we can contribute positively towards improving the standard of home nursing care. Moreover, with my working experience and my strong Nursing training at IMU, I know that I am well prepared to face the challenge out there. I am ready!

How did IMU Nursing programme prepare you for your role today as a nurse entrepreneur?
IMU Nursing programme has indeed prepared me in terms of my critical thinking. It has developed me into a person who is always prepared for the worst but is able to overcome it with full positiveness, which I think it is very important. They have made me to be an independent and responsible individual. Other important competencies that IMU Nursing programme had prepared me with were in adaptability and flexibility. This reminded me of the old days where we were posted to different hospitals across the semesters. At first, it was a bit frightening to know that for every semester, we were going to different units and clinical settings or hospitals to add to our experiences and knowledge as part of our training as student nurses. However, it made us stronger and we were always ready to be in any new environment, with different teachers, colleagues, and also different hospital staff. From there, we learned not only the nursing skills, but we also learned how to adapt and be flexible in following instructions and work harmoniously with different kinds of people and new environments. From the above, it is obvious that IMU have prepared me well to become a nurse entrepreneur especially in the field of home nursing where I will encounter different individuals, family members, cases and environment. I know that there will be more challenges ahead of me, but I am sure with the right mindset and determination, I will succeed and eventually be where I want to be in the future.

 Valerie Lee (Third from right, back row) with her Click2Health team after a health screening session for Hulu Langat residents, an event organised in collaboration with Rotary Club Kuala Lumpur.

What is your vision for the next 10-15 years?

My vision in the next 10-15 years, will be to grow the current business into a larger scale with more quality nurses joining the team. I personally want to train more competent home care nurses and change the mindset of young nurses who regards home nursing as something that is simple and has no career prospects. It is my dream to expand the team and provide home care services that can provide a larger coverage of the population in Malaysia. This will be our end goal for the company.

What is your advice to the millennials who are interested in Nursing profession?  
The most important thing is to keep the passion and the interest in Nursing. As a nurse, our contribution to the healthcare profession is not only in working in a hospital setting but also in the areas of education as well as industry. There may be many challenges ahead of us and along the journey, but I still believe that we as nurses have a lot more to offer and bring the quality of nursing to greater heights.

Interviewed by Yee Bit-Lian and edited by Dr Lim Swee Geok.

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