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

Last year, we began a new millenium. Many of us found the year full of personal and professional challenges. The challenge that I set for INS was to create a global community. The challenge I set for myself was to make a difference. Together, we forged new opportunities for our specialty: delivering infusion therapy in all practice settings; serving as consultants, educators, and authors; and advocating on the national and international level for high standards and quality care.


I believe that we have met the goal to expand our horizons for INS. Changing our name to Infusion Nurses Society exemplifies our mission to address all modalities of infusion therapy and to include all nurses who perform them. Recognizing that most hospitalized patients and many outpatients require multiple infusion therapies, we need to continue to expand our vision. We need to involve the providers of those services, to elicit a higher level of performance that will provide patients with the best infusion care possible.


My challenge for you now is to position INS as the leader in infusion therapy. Our new logo contains the tagline "Setting the Standard for Infusion Care."Setting the standard is the theme I have chosen for this year. INS has given us wonderful resources through textbooks, manuals, audio and video materials, journals, Local Chapters, and educational programs. From the Standards of Practice to Policies and Procedures, from the Core Curriculum to the INS textbook, INS is the "standard bearer" of the infusion community. Today I ask for your help in setting the standard for infusion nursing practice everywhere.


This new theme defines who we are and what we do. It means we provide only the highest quality resources, backed by current research and nationally recognized experts. It means we hold our nurses to high standards of care and that we advocate for certification and competency validation. It means our patients look to us to answer their infusion questions, insert their access devices with minimal trauma, and increase their odds of remaining free from phlebitis or infection. It means that other healthcare professionals seek our expertise and rely on us as a resource. It means that we are known and respected as the premier professional organization representing the infusion specialty.


It is up to you to use the resources provided by INS and create opportunities to spread the knowledge. Share your expertise with colleagues, physicians, and administrators. Work to make all nurses aware that excellent infusion care can reduce the length of hospital stay, reduce infections, and improve quality of life. Join with the movement to stop undertreatment of pain. Give feedback to product manufacturers and help them improve infusion products for the patient and the healthcare provider. We need to continue our efforts to become an essential working partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and other healthcare agencies.


We found during the United States presidential elections that one vote makes a difference. Our accomplishments, too, whether large or small, also make a difference. Large accomplishments often start out small-perhaps sparked by a single idea or person-but then they grow. INS began as a small group of nurses interested in intravenous therapy. Today, INS sets the standard for infusion therapy around the world.


The boundaries of my world expanded when I visited Japan. I found that the Japanese nurses wanted to learn more about our culture, our methods of infection control, and our infusion therapy techniques. Their hunger for new information was overwhelming. Many knew nothing about peripherally inserted central catheters or midlines. They were amazed that nurses could insert these lines, because only physicians insert IV catheters in Japan. The trip made me realize that even though we are thousands of miles apart, we share a common goal of providing better care to our patients.


My global perspective increased even more when my hospital sent me on a recruitment trip to the Philippines. I envisioned the beautiful water that surrounds the 7000 tropical islands. I did not imagine the real-life picture of poverty in a third world country. I struggled with my own good fortune when I heard nurses tell me that they worked unpaid for a year to get a hospital job, and when they did they were paid $4 a day. Though their healthcare system does not include the technological advances to which we are accustomed, the nurses are eager to learn and provide better patient care. In our country, multiple options are being exercised to find nurses. The nursing shortage teaches us new lessons about the value of nurses to our community and to society.


You as a nurse are well respected by society. Millions of dollars are being spent in recruitment and retention efforts to find and keep good nurses. Our patients have not changed but the way we administer and relate to patient care will have to change. IV teams are being developed again because the recent "cost-cutting attempts" to eliminate them have resulted in an increased rate of bloodstream infections, increased length of stay, and poor patient satisfaction scores. We already know that treating a bloodstream infection costs an additional $7,000 to $10,000. Did you also know that the risk of death due to a bloodstream infection is greater than 20%?


Other nursing organizations are facing the same dilemmas that INS faced this year: fewer members, less volunteer time available from members, decreased revenue, and increased need for action. But we are learning to work around these challenges, finding new ways to communicate, to increase the use of written materials, and to offer more options for education. Networking with other organizations has been so exciting and stimulating. I have had the extraordinary opportunity to be a part of creating a new collaborative structure to address the issues of nursing through the combined networks of the National Federation for Specialty Nursing Organizations and the Nursing Organization Liaison Forum. The new alliance represents more than 350,000 nurses! When we stand together with other specialty organizations, we speak with a powerful, united voice. This voice will be heard and will make a difference.


I try to learn from my experiences. My father died in December 2000. It was difficult at first to find any benefit from his death. As time passed, I discovered several lessons. The first is that we pass through this life only once and we need to make a difference in the short time that we have. Days, weeks, and years pass so quickly. We are so entrenched in our work and personal lives that we hardly realize the years are getting away from us. The second lesson is that during our living years, we choose how we will be remembered, often by what we say and how we treat others. A terse comment can sever relationships that might never be repaired. A kind word and loving care may bring peace to a patient's last days. The third lesson is that life is not easy. We were never promised a rose garden on this earth, and things worth doing are often the hardest to accomplish. Time spent to make an organization better may benefit others for years to come. Success often comes when you are focused on the desired outcome rather than the steps to achieve it.


I was given a greeting card a while ago that said this about success:


The pathway to success lies in believing in the dreams-


Seeing them, not as far-off wishes,


But as today's possibilities.


It's being willing to take risks in order to grow,


And being able to accept mistakes in order to learn.


It's trusting your heart to know


When to seek direction


And when to follow your instinct,


When to pursue, when to persist,


And when to just be patient.


The quality of success


Lies in sharing your vision-


Encouraging others and setting an example,


Giving praise, advice, and credit where it is due.


It's never being too focused on your own goals


To lend a helping hand


Or offer a friendly smile to others.


The true measure of success


Lies not so much in what you have achieved,


But in whether you have made a difference-


It's knowing you have touched the lives of others,


And have in some way made the world


a little bit brighter, a little bit better.


Thank you for this opportunity to be your President. You make my life richer. You help me grow. I am learning from you-learning to search until I succeed and to give it all I've got.


It seems like only yesterday that I accepted the Presidential Gavel in Minneapolis. I thought that today, one year later, I would be standing before you and giving my farewell address. Instead, I have the honor of continuing my term. I am so grateful for the Board's confidence in me, even though I am sorry to lose the pleasure of supporting Anne Liechty through her presidency. With the energy and talent of this great Board, I have no doubt we will keep up the momentum of this wonderful year.


I would like to thank INS for the opportunities to travel and to meet other organizational leaders. I thank my husband and family for their loving support in allowing me to spend time away from home. Thank you, INS members, for the time you spend and the sacrifices you make so that your patients receive excellent care. Thank you for the commitment and dedication that you give our profession. Thank you for the opportunity to serve with the Board of Directors, with the committees, with the INS staff, and with you. Thank you in advance for continuing to set the standard in healthcare. God bless and keep you always.