1. Section Editor(s): Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN

Article Content

Nursing is one of the few professions that requires its practitioners to continue educating themselves throughout their careers. Because the well-being of our patients is at stake, it is incumbent upon us to engage in lifelong learning. Technology and techniques change rapidly, and evidence-based practice changes as research progresses. The infusion specialty is growing and evolving constantly. The swift movement of health care delivery makes it impossible for us to perform our jobs well without continuing education.

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Lifelong learning does not necessarily mean time in the formal classroom, although pursuing additional degrees is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. There are a variety of ways in which you can keep your skills up to date and learn how to add to your nursing knowledge. In fact, you have already started by reading this journal.


The American Nurses Association's Code of Ethics endorses lifelong learning: "Continual professional growth, particularly in knowledge and skill, requires a commitment to lifelong learning. Such learning includes, but is not limited to, continuing education, networking with professional colleagues, self-study, professional reading, certification, and seeking advanced degrees. Nurses are required to have knowledge relevant to the current scope and standards of nursing practice, changing issues, concerns, controversies, and ethics."1(p10)


Nursing membership organizations exist to help you with your professional development. INS offers a host of opportunities for you to continue your educational journey. The spring and fall national meetings provide much of what you need for professional success: a choice of many educational sessions; the Industrial Exhibitions, which offer face-to-face learning with representatives of the top infusion device manufacturers in the country; networking, through which you can learn from your colleagues in a less formal setting; and much more.


The INS Web site is a valuable resource for your lifelong learning. The Knowledge Center, a members-only benefit, is the home of webinars; publications; recorded sessions from INS national meetings; and discussion forums, where you can learn from your colleagues online. INS is committed to supporting you as you work toward your educational goals.


Earning the credential of a Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI(R)) is a major step on the road to lifelong learning. CRNI(R)s demonstrate specialized knowledge, skills, and experience every day, to the great benefit of our patients. Exam candidates have noted how much they learn from studying for the exam. And not only can CRNI(R)s recertify by regularly attending educational programs and sessions, they can also earn recertification units by completing this journal's CE test.


Now that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is being fully implemented, nurses have more opportunities for education and the grants and loans with which to pursue it, as mandated by the ACA itself.2 A number of nurses were at the table when the ACA was being written. Their voices were heard, and the far-reaching educational opportunities and financial assistance are the result of that input.


Whether you work toward an advanced degree, study for specialty certification, attend meetings and webinars, read nursing literature regularly, or learn from networking with your colleagues, you are continuing to learn and grow in your profession. So never stop learning; your patients will thank you!


Mary Alexander




1. American Nurses Association Web site. Code of ethics for nurses. Published 2001. Updated 2010. Accessed January 17, 2014. [Context Link]


2. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 42 USC [S]5202-5311; 2010. [Context Link]