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

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Having recently returned from another inspiring trip to China, I am struck by how far and wide INS' influence has reached. It is clear to me that there is a universal longing for information about our specialty and how infusion nurses can create better outcomes for their patients.

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Whenever I am invited to speak overseas, I am gratified to see the positive changes in health care delivery and the status of nurses. Years ago, in some countries, nurses were not even allowed to place steel needles; now they're placing peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and central lines. Infusion nursing was not recognized as a stand-alone specialty; now many health care professionals and regulatory bodies, such as ministries of health, welcome the changes that nurses have brought about. Nurses everywhere have helped to promote our specialty and garner the respect it deserves by attending INS national meetings; seeking out INS' resources and applying their directives to clinical practice-particularly the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice-creating infusion teams; and promoting leadership from within their ranks.


Our international outreach has resulted in a number of exceptional achievements. Mexico, New Zealand, and China have supported and developed national infusion guidelines. Brazil and China have added to the body of nursing literature by publishing research on reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections (Brazil) and PICC use and associated outcomes (China). In addition, we regularly receive manuscript submissions from outside the United States (4 were published in 2014). We have also been approached by international publishing companies for permission to translate our Standards of Practice into Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian. The first three have been completed and are currently being distributed.


At press time, INS had 10 international affiliates, each of which has a shared interest in the specialty practice of infusion therapy. The goal of our international affiliates program is to expand INS influence and expertise abroad through collaborative relationships between INS and interested parties. Nurses' organizations in the UK and Ireland; New Zealand; Russia; Colombia; India; Canada; Germany; Philippines; Brazil; and Thailand have joined INS to bring innovative new resources and opportunities to all health care professionals involved in infusion therapy. They are a valuable part of an international forum in which ideas and information are exchanged freely.


Many members of our affiliates regularly participate in INS national meetings, presenting oral abstracts and posters (15 at the 2014 Annual Convention). Each year, INS offers two Gardner Foundation scholarships of $5,000 each to help support continuing education for foreign-educated nurses outside of the United States who wish to expand their knowledge of infusion practices through attendance at an INS national meeting. I'm always pleased to see and feel the enthusiasm from our international nurses, whether I am hosting them at a meeting in the United States or traveling to make a presentation in their countries.


I can see that while there may be cultural, linguistic, economic, regulatory, and practice issues, nurses all over the globe want to provide safe, quality patient care. Technology, in particular the Internet, is bringing us closer together and giving us the ability to connect and respond more quickly to each other. Now our colleagues in countries outside the United States don't seem so far away. Indeed, the world is flat.


As we welcome in 2015, I extend warm wishes to you for a safe, healthy, and peace-filled New Year!


Mary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN


Mary Alexander