1. Alexander, Mary BS, CRNI

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Figure. Mary Alexand... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure.

In this issue, we say goodbye to 2001, a year that saw many changes for INS and the Journal of Infusion Nursing. The Society underwent a name change-from Intravenous Nurses Society to Infusion Nurses Society-and we gave the Journal a smart new design. Over the course of the year, the Journal addressed ongoing issues such as the nursing shortage and other factors that affect patient safety, suggested methods for reducing medication errors, and needlestick safety.


As we enter 2002, the Journal will continue to look at ways for infusion professionals to develop personally and professionally, with continuing education supplements to help you reach your certification goals. As always, we encourage our members to participate by attending and speaking at INS meetings and submitting manuscripts for publication. We ask infusion nurses to share their knowledge and experience with nurse generalists, students, and critical care professionals, and to mentor other nurses.


To address patient safety issues and reduce errors further, we want to encourage healthcare administrators and providers to use competent, highly skilled infusion nurses. Data has shown what infusion nurses already know: that infusion therapy performed by specially trained infusion nurses reduces complication rates. Evaluating and assigning nursing responsibilities according to level of expertise and experience would also reduce complications. These steps would alleviate the pressures on nurse generalists and allow infusion nurses to concentrate on their area of expertise while nurse generalists and hospital staff focus on other patient care issues. Common errors such as pump misuse and catheter embolism are sure to go down as we continue to educate infusion nurses in proper equipment usage.


Although recent studies have reported that reduced staffing compromises patient safety, there is still a need for infusion nurses who have continued their education and achieved specialty certification. An overall nursing shortage lingers, making this an important time to reach out to young women and men to interest them in the profession and to evaluate how nursing education will be delivered and funded. As medical technology steams ahead, we will see the healthcare profession move into cyberspace with distance learning and the increased use of computerized and wireless technology for patient records and plans of care.


INS plans to stay focused on infusion nursing around the globe, promoting the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice and helping nurses incorporate them into their practice. Many countries do not recognize infusion nursing as a specialty practice (yet). Infusion professionals must be aware of cultural differences as well as economic limitations and methods of reimbursement of each different country. We hope that the use of new technology and the standardization of terminology also will aid in global recognition of infusion nursing.


Best wishes for a healthy holiday season,