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

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As we close out another year, I'd like to wrap up our "I Never Stop" theme and thank you for all that you do for your patients. Your devotion to your patients' well-being demonstrates why the nursing profession is so highly regarded around the world. Nursing certainly has its rewards, but it grows more challenging every day, as well.

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Owing largely to the Affordable Care Act, the health care environment is transforming rapidly. Health care organizations are demanding that nurses do more with fewer resources. Technology is constantly changing. Nurses are taking on additional responsibilities, and we're expected to make serious changes in the ways we've always performed our professional tasks. "That's the way we've always done it," is no longer an acceptable explanation for our work habits; we must apply the latest research to our practices. Time for ourselves seems to be eroding, making it harder than ever to achieve that much-needed work-life balance.


For some of us who have been practicing for many years, this new frontier can be a bit intimidating. Continuous learning and adapting to new techniques and systems compel us to step out of our comfort zones. We all have to make changes in our workplaces nearly every day; this is one of our challenges.


For many of us, nursing can also be physically and mentally taxing. But it's important to take care of yourself so you can provide your patients with the best care possible. Get plenty of rest and exercise and, even though it can be tough when you're working 12-hour shifts, eat healthy meals to help you get through your long days. These efforts, too, can be challenging.


As CEO of the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), I am constantly challenged to make sure that INS provides its members with appropriate programs, products, and services that meet your needs, enhancing patient care and resulting in positive outcomes. I'm responsible for demonstrating the impact that infusion nurses have in the health care environment and for ensuring that infusion nurses have a place at the table when issues of patient safety and quality of care are discussed.


I'm happy to accept these challenges as long as I know that my work results in helping you improve your knowledge and skills to better care for your patients.


So, as we turn the page on the calendar to a new year, I challenge you to be a better infusion nurse for your patients. Start by actively engaging with INS: write an article for this journal; join a local chapter; attend a national INS fall or spring meeting; and vote for your INS Board of Directors candidates during the January online election period. Earn the CRNI(R) credential and then become a CRNI(R) Champion by promoting the benefits of the credential among your colleagues. When a new nurse enters our specialty, take the time to mentor her or him, providing guidance while recognizing the contributions a young person can make. Add to the science of infusion nursing by doing research, incorporating evidence-based practice into your workplace, and promoting the use of Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice.


I Never Stop, but I know You Never Stop either. Whether it's advocating for your patients, learning a new procedure, or applying innovative techniques to your practice, your commitment and dedication to infusion nursing are unsurpassed. As 2014 comes to an end, take time to reflect on the challenges you've conquered and those yet to come. Working together, we can undertake them.


Wishing you a safe, healthy, and peaceful New Year!


Mary Alexander