1. Puglise, Kathy MSN/ED, RN, CRNI(R)
  2. INS President, 2012-2013

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The following speech was delivered at the INS Annual Convention and Industrial Exhibition in Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 20, 2013.

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Good morning, friends, colleagues, and my family, who traveled a long way, and welcome to Charlotte! I would like to begin by saying thank you to all of you for your dedication to our wonderful profession and to this organization. Last year during my presidential address, I mentioned that I went to nursing school when I was 18 years old even though my father wanted me to be a physician. My mother, who is in the audience today, specifically told my father, "She will go to nursing school, and that is the end of the conversation." Often I am asked, if I could go back to my college admission, would I change my mind and choose another profession? I can honestly say no; I am truly proud to be the nurse that I am today. I love this profession and am honored and humbled to be your colleague. I look out at each of you and know why our profession is the most trusted. We work collaboratively every day to make a difference in the lives of our patients. So I ask all of you to please look around the room and give yourselves a big round of applause. You are INS.


This marks our 40th year of the INS Annual Convention and Industrial Exhibition. Our meeting this week in the state of North Carolina brings us full circle to our inaugural meeting, which was held in Durham, North Carolina, 40 years ago. The similarities don't end there, however.


Much like our founders, we continue to strive to deliver the best infusion care possible. While the infusion practice has changed over the past 40 years, our commitment to the specialty and the patients we serve has not. We continue to serve as patient advocates and promote the most effective means of infusion delivery.


It is my strong belief that our founders would be proud of what our profession has become and what we have accomplished over the past 40 years. We have expanded their legacy by continuing to serve as the voice of the infusion nursing profession. Our growth has been tremendous, as has our influence. Each day we bring new and innovative ideas, techniques, and products to our profession, which has had a very positive impact on our patients. As we continue to serve as the global authority in infusion therapy, it is important to reflect back to the 16 nurses and 1 technician who understood the importance of the infusion profession and who paved the path that we all follow some 40 years later.


We invite each of you to help us celebrate this very special anniversary by visiting the INS Retrospective just outside this ballroom. It is a wonderful way to share our history and our success.


When I began my term as INS president last year and introduced my presidential theme, I thought of how far we have come as an organization and a specialty and how we were able to accomplish this. From our early beginnings to the present day, INS has always taken a leadership position. That is why I chose the acronym LEAD as my theme: Leadership, Education, Accountability, Development are hallmarks of our organization. They are the reasons we have excelled in what we do and why our opinion is often sought. They are also a direct reflection of the day-to-day actions of an infusion nurse.


In today's health care system, all nurses are leaders, no matter the practice setting. Much like INS, our opinions as nurses are constantly sought out and add tremendously to the health care equation. It is important that INS, as an organization, and each of you individually, continues to lead the way.


Everything we do at INS begins with our loyal membership. As we continue our work, we do so with the knowledge and understanding that our membership plays a critical role. Your support of our efforts and your commitment to our organization have enabled us to reach heights that would otherwise seem unreachable. Words cannot adequately express how privileged we are to have your support, your expertise, and your unending commitment to our organization and our profession.


Our membership is not limited to the United States. Our international influence has expanded tremendously over the past several years. Since this time last year, we have added 3 new groups to our International Affiliates program. Our colleagues in Brazil and Germany were officially welcomed into the INS family, bringing the total number of International Affiliates to 10. We welcome them and thank them for their work on behalf of clinicians and patients throughout their respective countries.


Education continues as a main tenet of INS' mission. Continuing education programs, like the one you are all participating in this week, are integral to the learning needs of the infusion nurse. Yet our educational development does not end with our national meetings. We are able to deliver information in many different ways. From online webinars and educational programs to educational resources, we are able to reach thousands of infusion nurse professionals every single day.


The expansion of our online Knowledge Center was one of our highlights in 2012. Developed as a means to augment INS' existing live continuing education offerings, this online learning platform houses a wide variety of educational programming, content, and resources in one central location. It is divided into 4 main sections: Educational Programming, Educational Resources, Webinars, and Clinical Nursing Forum. During 2012 we were able to add a total of 10 hours of programming to the Educational Programming and Educational Resources sections, enabling more than 900 people to participate in online learning. In addition, almost 2000 people participated in 1 of the 12 webinars contained in the Webinar section, thanks in large part to the timely Recommendations for Frequency of Assessment of the Short Peripheral Catheter Site program. This webinar was based on the findings of the INS task force that researched and published a position paper on this very important topic. Lastly, the Clinical Nursing Forum section, which allows INS members to submit clinical questions and search our database of previously answered questions, experienced record use in 2012. A total of 950 questions were submitted, and approximately 11 500 searches were conducted. The Knowledge Center is a shining example of why so many people choose to be members of INS-they simply cannot get information like this anywhere else.


The year 2012 also brought about the development of new educational resources. We expanded our laminated card deck series by adding CVAD Occlusions: Identification and Interventions as well as Infusion Therapy Device Selection to the series. Both resources were well received in 2012 and were examples of INS' ability to respond to the needs of our membership.


We also created Infusion Spotlight, a question-and-answer online publication that focuses on a topic of interest unique to the infusion community. Each issue brings a different infusion topic to light and provides guidance on how best to address some the toughest infusion challenges. The Card Deck series additions and the debut of Infusion Spotlight came about as a direct result of the questions being submitted by our membership through the Knowledge Center's Clinical Nursing Forum.


We also revised Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing of the Older Adult, which provides up-to-date procedures and techniques that are essential to infusion therapy delivery in the older adult population. This revision enabled us to mirror the format of our standard Policies and Procedures resource and align it with the most recent edition of Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice.


Last year marked our 35th anniversary with Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, publisher of the Journal of Infusion Nursing. Part of this celebrated milestone included the development of an app for the iPad. Both INS and Lippincott were proud to learn that our journal was the very first specialty nursing association journal to have an iPad app. There were more than 1500 downloads of the app in 2012, and that number continues to increase. And most important, the Journal continues to be a leading resource for infusion nurse specialists and other health care professionals involved in infusion therapy as demonstrated by the record number of manuscript submissions.


It is certainly no secret to anyone sitting in this room that nursing is all about professional accountability. We accept ownership each and every day that we go to work. We are accountable to our patients to ensure that we deliver the very best care. We are accountable to the organizations we work for to be knowledgeable and competent. But most of all, I believe we are accountable to ourselves to strive to be our very best.


In turn, INS is accountable to our members by striving to be our very best. This is exemplified in our values statement, which says in part: we are dedicated to continually improving ourselves, our programs, and services. It is something we take very seriously and serves as motivation for us every day.


As we look back over the past 40 years of INS' history, one can't help but be impressed with how far we have come, especially in the last 10 to 15 years. Our continued development as an organization has led us to where we are today: the recognized leader in infusion nursing. The state of our society remains very strong both educationally and financially. Much like the health care environment itself, INS had to face many challenges in 2012. Our ability to adapt to these challenges and continue to grow our organization is a key to our success.


The treasurer's report, which you will hear shortly, outlines some of those challenges. It will also show that our overall health is solid and that we are well positioned for continued growth.


It has been an honor to serve as your president this past year and sit in the chair that so many talented and dedicated people have occupied since our beginning in 1973. The commitment that you and so many previous members have made to INS and the infusion specialty has helped to elevate our profession and given us a seat at many different tables. As I travel the country, I am humbled and thrilled at how our organization and specialty are held in such high esteem. This is all the direct result of what each of you as infusion professionals do on a daily basis. I thank each of you for your support, your dedication, your talent, and most of all, your passion.