Nurses are to healthcare as blood is to our bodies. They tend to our needs even before and after we have consulted the doctors. They see to our diet, hygiene and medication, and care for our bodies as much as our hearts. Nurses can also improve the efficiency of healthcare and lower its costs. Certainly our nation needs excellent nurses, but what is one and how can we train more? And how do nurses stay sharp and passionate despite the daily toll? In conjunction with International Nurses Day (May 12), we speak to Irene Quah, a nurse of more than 35 years and who now directs nursing training.