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As early as the 1800 an, nursing in Malaysia began with the arrival of the East India Company where hospitals for the sick were established in Penang and Singapore.These hospitals were run by the Catholic nuns and which were later replaced by the nurses from England. Nursing practice in the pre-war era in Malaya then was carried out by nurses who received, on the job training, with lectures given by expatriates i.e. by European sisters, matrons and doctors at the hospital level. Each state/straits settlement organized its own nursing services, training and conducted its own examination, resulting in a varying standard from state to state. The emphasis of nursing practice then was the curative aspects of patient care.

The chronology of events in the formation of Nursing in Malaysia 1923 – introduction of legislation for the control of the Practice of Midwifery and the training of midwifes in the Straits Settlement and subsequently in the other states of the Malay Peninsular. The Nurses Act and Nurses Registration Ordinance were enacted to control the practice of nursing.

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