LAHORE - Nursing is a noble profession that requires dedication, compassion, love and care to patients. DG nursing Punjab, Mrs Irshad Javaid said this at the International Nurses Day ceremony of Saida Waheed FMH College of Nursing on Monday. Saida Waheed FMH College of Nursing joins the world community each year to celebrate the International Nurses Day. This year was no exception and the institute kept up its tradition in this regard.  The objective of the event was to bring together key stakeholders to review and discuss the status of nursing in Pakistan and to make recommendations for addressing critical issues. A seminar was held at Fatima Memorial Hospital Shadman, Lahore. As adopted by International Council of Nursing (ICN), the theme of the seminar this year was "Delivering Quality, Serving Communities; Nurses Leading Primary Health Care". In her inaugural address, Mrs Irshad Javaid reminded the nurses of their commitment to provide health services to the Pakistani nation. Congratulating the Saida Waheed FMH College of Nursing for the achievements and advancements it had made in the field of nursing education, Mrs Irshad Javaid said that the government highly appreciated the fact that FMS was taking special initiatives to advance the cause of nursing and give a voice to the nursing community of the country. Speaking at the occasion, Chairperson Executive Committee, Mrs Shahima Rehman said that nurses in Pakistan had provided services and solace to millions of patients and their families and had produced nurse leaders of whom they could be truly prideful. They needed to be assisted and facilitated in their mission through improved access to higher education, she added. Mrs Shahima Rehman further said that the need of the day was to enhance the quality of education and the skill mix. The Fatima Memorial System has worked for 30 years to support the government in nation building activities and with this new public private partnership, it hoped to enhance the capacity of all the 45 schools in Punjab with better trained faculty. She said that they were committed to deliver quality education, enhance the skill mix and produce nurse leaders for the province. Mrs Nisab Akhtar, Director of Nursing, said that nursing had always been a service to mankind in preventing illness, supporting those in need and giving care to others. Highlighting the various issues of nursing, she encouraged her colleagues to provide effective services to the nation for the promotion of quality life and good health. Dr Shabnum Sarfraz, Deputy Director Communications said that this year in line with the ICN Theme for 2008, they were highlighting the difference nurses make to the health. The occasion was used to present and discuss the state of nursing in Pakistan and formulate recommendations for advancing nursing in the country. Six papers were presented in the Scientific Session and a poster competition on the theme of Primary Health Care was exhibited at the event.  Participants of the conference organised included nurse leaders, health professionals, government officials, parliamentarians, civil society representative and various categories of nurses and midwives. The Fatima Memorial System today occupies a prime position in the healthcare industry, taking a leadership role not only in providing quality medical services by highly competent and professional staff but also in educating and development professionals for the healthcare sector's future needs. The seminar on the International Nurses Day was very well attended and nurses from in and around Lahore actively participated in the event. Mrs Irshad Javaid, DG Nursing, Punjab was the chief guest and several prominent Nursing Representatives from the private sector, government healthcare institutions as well as the Armed Forces graced the occasion. These included Mrs Anwar Aziz, Principal School of Nursing; AJK, Ms Zahra Ladhani, Director Shifa College of Nursing; Shakeela Begum, Controller Exam Board, Peshawar and Ms Tazeen Saeed Ali, Assistant Professor School of Nursing, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. The Seminar was not only a major continuing professional development event for the participants, but also provided nurses with a great opportunity to meet a number of their colleagues from different healthcare institutes of Pakistan.