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Figure. Brenda Dugge... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure.

Welcome to Indianapolis! It is wonderful to see this gathering of committed healthcare professionals. I am proud, as I hope you are, to look back on a year of stunning accomplishments. We have expanded our horizons; we have truly made a difference. And we are well on our way to creating a global community that embraces everyone in the infusion profession.


INS has accomplished so much in these challenging times. We provide the resources and support that infusion nurses need to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology. We advocate for quality care and competency validation in all practice settings. We are taking on the challenges and creating new opportunities.


Caught up in the midst of change we cannot control, INS is making a great change for itself. With the support of the membership, we will now be known as the Infusion Nurses Society. We will officially adopt our new name at Opening Session. It was clear that our identity needed to reflect the profound changes affecting our specialty. Though intravenous therapy will always be central to our roles as specialists, infusion better captures the scope of what we do. I hope you will all continue to be proud members of INS...after all, whether infusion or intravenous, these initials still stand for the premier professional organization of the specialty.


Our elected leadership also is in transition. We were all sorry to learn that Anne Liechty, this year's President-Elect, will not be able to serve out her term as President because of changes in her professional responsibilities. It has been a privilege to serve on the Board of Directors with Anne, and I am disappointed to lose my chance to support her presidency. However, I am thrilled that the Board has the confidence in me to ask me to serve another term as President. It is an honor to have their support, and I look forward to continuing our work together.


As Board members, we made great progress toward fulfilling the initiatives of our Strategic Plan. We revised the Infusion Nursing Code of Ethics, which will be printed in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Infusion Nursing. This document guides the infusion nurse in ethical decision-making-so important in these times of shifting values. We also reviewed several INS Position Papers, revising some as needed and discontinuing those that are less relevant today. And we added a new Position Paper on "The Infusion Nurse Specialist's Role in Pain Management," as we continue to bring awareness to a healthcare system that allows too many patients to suffer needlessly.


Members are the heart of our organization, and INS continually strives to make membership more personally and professionally rewarding. This spring, INS embarked on a campaign to improve membership services by sending out a survey called Allegiance for Associations. This simple form allowed members to rank the INS services most valuable to them and indicate the ways they prefer to communicate with INS. Based on these responses, INS has been working with the Allegiance program to develop a clear picture of members' educational and professional needs. Just as INS members are committed to delivering excellent infusion care to their patients, this survey is part of INS' commitment to provide members with the highest quality resources and services.


This year, two of those invaluable resources were brought up to date to reflect the enormous advances in the infusion specialty. After 2 years of intensive research and revision, the new Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice were published in November 2000, with a new format and current references. In February 2001, the second edition of the INS textbook was published under the new title Infusion Therapy in Clinical Practice. The much-referenced "bible of IV therapy" now has information on nonvascular access, interventional radiology, and other topics that have become vital to infusion therapy practice. Sales of these outstanding publications are soaring beyond our early projections. We owe our thanks to the Standards Committee and the textbook editors for their hard work, and to all the members who contributed their time and expertise. The new editions of the Standards and the textbook truly reflect our current practice in all settings.


Established publications also are doing extremely well. The Policies and Procedures manual continues to enjoy great popularity, with large orders still coming in. The Journal of Infusion Nursing remains the top source for information on exciting new developments in the specialty. Again in 2000, the Journal provided quality educational opportunities through the supplement issue, the continuing education testing program, and two Special Focus Issues. The INS Newsline continues to be the members' valued bulletin board, filled with Society news, Local Chapter happenings, and timely clinical advice. This year saw the debut of a new column called "IV PUMP-Politically Useful Messages for Practicing Nurses," which will no doubt be a useful resource in these times of heated political contests and policy debate.


It is important that we continue to create our global community using all available media. The INS Web site ( is our station in cyber space, accessed around the world by healthcare professionals seeking information on infusion therapy. INS again collaborated with Primedia Workplace Learning and the Health and Sciences Television Network to develop and produce two infusion therapy videos, Peripheral Site and Catheter Selection and Potential Complications Associated With Peripheral Infusion Therapy. These were broadcast to more than 100 hospitals and 1000 long-term care facilities.


Educational programs remain a cornerstone of INS, providing valuable recertification and continuing education units as well as networking opportunities. Two one-day programs were offered this year, one in Chicago, presented in conjunction with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Home, Hospice, and Long-term Care Conference, and another in Orlando on the day before the INS Fall National Academy. All were well attended. The quality of the sessions has been outstanding, and the meetings are receiving excellent feedback from attendees.


It was vital to me as President to continue to develop our collaborations with other healthcare organizations. I serve as the Secretary on the Board of Directors of the National Federation for Specialty Nursing Organizations (NFSNO). The Federation was established to provide opportunities for specialty organizations to network and learn from each other. Its sister organization is the Nursing Organization Liaison Forum (NOLF), which functions under the auspices of the American Nursing Association and provides a forum for nursing issues to be heard and discussed. INS is a member of both. NOLF and NFSNO are at a major crossroads. The member organizations have requested that they dissolve and form a new entity. At the joint annual meeting in November, leaders and members shared their vision of what the new organization should look like. Both groups want a forum that would enable them to engage in networking and dialogue about issues that are pertinent to all of our organizations. The ultimate goal is to increase nursing's visibility and make a national impact on healthcare. These member organizations represent more than 350,000 specialty nurses. INS is recognized and respected by other nursing organizations, and it is thrilling to be a part of the development of this new alliance. I hope it will be a powerful one, allowing us to support the work of our sister specialty organizations and stand together on healthcare policy issues that affect our practices.


Last June, at the American Nurses Association (ANA) meeting here in Indianapolis, I was one of several NOLF constituents invited to talk about their specialty organizations. My 2-hour presentation was called "Quality Initiatives: Applications to Clinical Infusion Practices." My message was that patient outcomes can be improved by high-quality infusion care and management. The ANA emphasizes the importance of Nursing-Sensitive Quality Indicators; these include patient satisfaction with nursing care, overall care, pain management, and education, as well as nursing staff satisfaction. All of these indicators can be positively affected by excellence in infusion care. This means INS members have many opportunities to improve patient outcomes and patient satisfaction scores through their practice. INS also was represented at the National Student Nurses Association's Mid-Year Convention in November, leading a successful skills workshop in infusion therapy for the second consecutive year.


Director-at-Large Libby Wilhite-Luterman represented INS at the multidisciplinary Consensus Conference on the Use of Alteplase (t-PA) for Thrombotic Catheter Clearance, hosted by the National Association of Vascular Access Networks (NAVAN). In September, NAVAN released guidelines based on the consensus statement developed at the conference. INS endorsed this important consensus statement, which responded to the urgent need for information on the safe use of thrombolytic agents to treat thrombotic catheter occlusion. Similar efforts include our response to the Nursing Outcomes Classification questionnaire, which will be used to create the third edition of Nursing Outcomes Classification, published by Mosby. The outcomes identified by INS-those that are relevant to patients receiving infusion therapy-will assist healthcare organizations with database development and analysis, and development of nursing curricula for specialty practice. We must continue to participate in efforts like these, ensuring that INS' expertise is reflected in all references and guidelines that impact infusion care.


INS has been active in shaping national healthcare policy. We submitted comments on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' "Standards in Support of Medical/Healthcare Error Reduction Programs in Accredited Organizations." We joined the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists in supporting the Health Care Financing Administration's rule to defer to states on the matter of physician supervision of nurse anesthetists, a rule that respects the collaborative relationships between physicians and professional nurses and helps expand anesthesia access in underserved areas of the country. We showed our support of the rule by submitting a letter to the White House and the Office of Management and Budget and by signing an open letter to Congress. We also signed on in support of ANA's response to the American Medical Association's Citizen's Petition to the Health Care Financing Administration. This petition called for implementation and enforcement of a system that would deny Medicare payments for services provided by nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists without a physician's collaboration. The ANA's response outlined the scope of practice laws already binding professional nurses and emphasized the importance of providing access to quality healthcare. We will continue to advocate for policies that ensure the best possible patient care and the best possible practice conditions for nurses.


Media has a huge influence on our culture, and it is essential that we pay attention to media coverage that affects our specialty and our profession as a whole. For instance, after reading an article in Excellence in Clinical Practice stating that certain infusion therapies could be performed by patients, family members, or nonlicensed personnel, we submitted a letter to the editor emphasizing the danger inherent in this suggestion and reiterating the importance of specialized infusion care. Many of you probably also read or heard about the infusion pump article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune last December. This brought important attention to the problems associated with infusion pumps lacking anti-free-flow devices, as detailed in the Joint Commission's recent Sentinel Event Alert. In our response to this article, we emphasized the role of Standards of Practice, certification, and competency validation in the prevention of tragic errors and the continuous improvement of patient care.


These many partnerships have helped expand our community on the national level. Of course, our mission also is to reach beyond our country's borders and connect with nurses in other parts of the world. My visit to Japan in July was the opportunity of a lifetime. The Japanese Expert Nurse magazine, along with Baxter, BD, and 3M, cosponsored the trip. Shuichi Takahashi, owner and editor of Expert Nurse, was our gracious host. I traveled with Jean Fleming, an infection control specialist from Pittsburgh. In Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Kobe, we gave seminars on vascular access management and infection control. The sessions were full and the audiences extremely polite and attentive. Infusion therapy in Japan faces many challenges, as was evident in the use of steel needles for IV therapy, the preference for femoral placement of central catheters, and the lack of peripherally inserted central catheters. However, the nurses in our audiences were eager for knowledge and share our goal of the best possible infusion care for patients. The trip was unforgettable, and I was truly honored by the opportunity to represent INS overseas. We must continue to learn about other cultures and their healthcare issues. Only by learning from them, and sharing knowledge with them, will we create a global community in which all patients receive the care they deserve.


This year as President has far exceeded my expectations. I have grown personally and professionally. I am proud to say that INS has accepted the challenges of our changing world and has met them with innovation, integrity, and courage. Through the skill and dedication of so many remarkable people, we are truly making a difference in this new century.


I am so grateful to all who made this year possible. Thank you, INS members, for your participation in INS programs and activities. Thank you for your expertise, your knowledge, your dedication to excellent patient care, and your support of other nurses who practice infusion therapy. You are vital to everything we do. I want to particularly thank the Chapter Presidents, the Regional Liaisons, and the members of the INS Committees for their efforts this year.


My heartfelt thanks goes out to my fellow Board members for their amazing accomplishments. They have been a source of unwavering support for me, both personally and professionally. It is a privilege to serve with these talented and dedicated people. Thank you, also, to the Past Presidents of INS for your continuing examples in leadership. My sincere appreciation goes to Mary Alexander and the rest of the staff of the National Office. They have been a great help in keeping me up to date and providing information. Finally, I thank my husband and family for their loving support.


It is thrilling to look back on all that we have accomplished. But while the past shines, the future beckons. There are many more challenges ahead of us. As we continue to expand our horizons, we must stay strong and focused. As infusion specialists, we have the opportunity to be leaders by sharing our expertise with other healthcare workers. As nurses, we have the opportunity to be a shaping force in healthcare by uniting our voices and making them heard. Be proud of INS! Be proud of your specialty practice! Together, we continue to create a global community dedicated to excellent infusion care.