1. Alexander, Mary BS, CRNI

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Is there a leader in you? As nurses, we are leaders almost by definition, because we are required to make quick and important decisions every day, decisions that can greatly affect the lives of our patients. But many of us aren't aware of the opportunities to share our ideas and talents because we don't know how or where to begin. Leadership opportunities can be found in many of the places we inhabit every day: in the workplace and community organizations, where our colleagues depend on us; in political arenas where we can affect healthcare policy; and in schools, where tomorrow's nurses are just getting started.


Leaders in infusion nursing have the power to influence the quality of infusion care that is administered to all patients and ensure that the highest standards are maintained. To achieve this, we must first effectively demonstrate the important role that infusion nursing plays in patient safety and remain involved throughout the continuum of patient care. Maintaining high-quality patient care also requires us to strengthen our numbers. This means finding new ways to address the nursing shortage with recruitment and retention efforts.


Just as leadership development is important to your professional career, it is critical to the success and viability of an organization. In addition to integrating leadership skills into your career, take a look around at your peers to identify, nurture, and mentor future leaders. Effective leaders are able to maintain the objectivity to recognize potential in others and encourage them to take the lead. Create a culture of success within your professional organization or your workplace by providing others with the tools to develop their own leadership skills.


Growing into a leadership role doesn't have to come all at once. Start slowly by creating a personal development leadership plan. Serve on a committee or board within your professional organization. Gather knowledge on the topics that interest you-read books or articles in peer-reviewed journals, or attend educational programs and workshops. Infusion Nurses Society supports its members' professional growth by presenting programs and workshops at its annual meetings that focus on specific leadership skills. If you are already an experienced leader, we encourage you to share your expertise and encourage the growth of potential leaders by delivering a presentation at a meeting or submitting a manuscript about leadership and professional development.


Infusion nurses play a key role as members of one healthcare team. We serve that team best when we support our peers and promote the importance of our specialty by sharing our knowledge and expertise. Start today: consider the ways in which you can take the lead in infusion nursing.



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