1. Section Editor(s): Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN
  2. INS Chief Executive Officer Editor, Journal of Infusion Nursing

Article Content

As the global authority in infusion therapy, INS has long been aware of the need to educate nurses everywhere about the importance of the specialty and its correlation to high-quality patient care and superior patient outcomes. Thanks to the many electronic platforms available for dispensing information worldwide (ie, e-mail, webinars, video, social networking), INS has the ability to inform and educate farther and faster than ever before.

Mary Alexander, MA, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowMary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN

In the past few months, I've traveled to Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and Russia. I find that practice in some countries is more advanced than in others. The scope of practice varies among nations, as does the professional standing of nurses. Some nurses are regularly placing peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs), whereas others are not even inserting IVs because it is the physician's responsibility. Nurses are also viewed divergently: as physicians' "helpers" or as the educated, autonomous, skilled professionals that we are.


In each country-different from each other though they may be-nurses want to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that they have, but they also want to learn more from INS. We share common interests: patient safety; best practices; applying the Standards of Practice1 to clinical practice; the safe administration of medication; and a goal of implementing infusion teams. Many nursing organizations are garnering support for the specialty of infusion nursing from physicians and other key opinion leaders, such as representatives of their ministries of health.


INS' new president, Nancy Mortlock, has also traveled around the world on behalf of the infusion specialty. Her experiences and hopes for the future imbue the theme for her term, "Bridges to a Global Alliance." As you will see in her Presidential Address (p. 218), she encourages INS to be "proactive and deliberate" to further influence the nursing profession around the world.


Some of our "proactive and deliberate" activities include recruiting nurses for our International Affiliates program, which represents a more formal relationship between a foreign infusion nursing organization and INS. Within the last year, we welcomed 2 new affiliates-INS UK and Ireland(R) and the Intravenous and Chemotherapy Nurses Society of Thailand. As we spread the word about this program and as current affiliates shape policy, interest in establishing affiliates is gaining steam in countries such as Russia, India, China, Colombia, and New Zealand.


INS' Gardner Foundation also supports continuing education in infusion therapy for foreign-educated nurses living outside the United States by offering annually the Ireta Neumann Scholarship for International Nurses, sponsored by BD Medical. Those nurses who wish to expand their knowledge of infusion practices through attendance at an INS national meeting can apply for a scholarship of $5000; the Foundation awards 2 scholarships each cycle. In past years we have had many applicants and winners from China, but recently the pool of talent has become more diverse, with applications from Malaysia, India, and Thailand. I urge foreign- educated nurses to apply for the 2011 scholarship toward the end of this year (members will receive an announcement in the mail and in an e-mail). By attending an INS meeting you'll gain a wealth of infusion therapy information that you won't find anywhere else.


At this year's Annual Meeting, I was delighted to see many nurses from around the world; 72 attended our gathering in Fort Lauderdale. We have more than 275 international members from 38 countries and territories outside the United States, and that number is growing rapidly. Our reputation as the global authority in infusion therapy has earned us international respect and recognition. That, I believe, will never be lost in translation.


Mary Alexander




1. Infusion Nurses Society. Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice. J Infus Nurs. 2006; 29(1S). [Context Link]