LAHORE: Aimed at raising the standard of medical education and training of nurses at par with the international standards, the Punjab government has upgraded eight nursing schools to colleges of nursing and midwifery. Well-placed sources privy to this development told Daily Times that Punjab Chief Minster Shahbaz Sharif had approved a summary for upgradation of these schools situated in different medical institutions.As per the details, schools of nursing situated at BV Hospital, Bahawalpur, Nishtar Hospital, Multan, Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, Lahore General Hospital, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi and Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi have been upgraded to colleges. Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department Secretary Najam Ahmad Shah has approved affiliation of these newly upgraded nursing colleges with the University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore.The administrative and financial control of these newly upgraded colleges is shifted to the principals of the medical institution concerned, including Quaid-i-Azam Medical College, Nishtar Medical College, Allama lqbal Medical College, Ameerud Din Medical College, Shaikh Zayed Medical Complex, Punjab Medical College and the Rawalpindi Medical College. The university and the principal concerned would be responsible for provision of faculty, updating of its curricula and introducing new courses to the field of nursing according to the provisions of the university regulations as well as healthcare demand of the government.The secretary has further allowed the UHS to launch two years BSc Nursing (Post RN) programmes at these newly upgraded colleges. The UHS has also allowed the authorities concerned to select and enrol fifty qualified nurses per session while working on job in their parent hospitals in the first class and provide / supervise education to them.It was also allowed to the on-job nurses at the teaching hospitals concerned to apply for admissions, and, if selected, to undergo teaching programme.The SHC&ME secretary has also directed the UHS’s administration to formulate admission criteria for admission to newly upgraded colleges in line with the regulations and of the Pakistan Nursing Council, and implement these criteria after approval from the competent authority.According to a statement, the secretary said that the provincial government was taking revolutionary steps to raise the standards of nursing education. He said the government had decided to start BSc nursing programme across the province. He said the government would soon upgrade 45 nursing schools to degree colleges.