1. Alexander, Mary BS, CRNI

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Over the last year, the Infusion Nurses Society has taken part in many collaborative efforts by the nursing community to address the nursing shortage. As nurses, we know that the shortage has become a national public health problem; as professionals, it is our responsibility to remain actively involved in the future of our profession. This spring, INS took yet another step to help stem the nursing shortage.


Leaders of national nursing organizations met in Washington, DC, this past April to finalize a plan to address the nursing shortage. The result was "Nursing's Agenda for the Future," a collaborative plan that will move the nursing profession forward by addressing 10 key domains, or interrelated factors, that impact the profession. The agenda will be advanced by a steering committee comprised of 19 national nursing organizations. The steering committee will guide and monitor the overall work on the initiative.


INS is proud to be a member of the steering committee and cochampion of one the 10 domains-Professional/Nursing Culture. This domain's primary strategy is to enhance professionalism by promoting membership and participation in professional nursing organizations, providing leadership development initiatives, and establishing certification as a professional benchmark. The other domains identified in the agenda are: leadership and planning, economic value, delivery systems/nursing models, work environment, legislation/ regulation/policy, public relations/communication, education, recruitment/retention, and diversity.


The positive reaction to the agenda is inspiring. As of this writing, 200 work plans have been submitted by 44 nursing organizations. All of the organizations working within these domains recognize that addressing these issues is central to ensuring the quality of healthcare into the future. Successful implementation of the plan would vastly change society's image of nursing and the value it places on the profession's contributions.


The momentum behind this dynamic process is building. We must encourage other nursing organizations to participate in the agenda and identify the next generation of work plans. We also must identify barriers that hinder our plans, applaud the successes we achieve, and prepare for the future.


As a continuation of this effort, nursing leaders will advance this agenda to stakeholders outside of nursing with a "Call to the Nation" planned for late 2002 or early 2003. At the Call to the Nation meeting, groups representing the spectrum of policymakers, consumers, and providers of healthcare will be invited to support the plan to ensure high quality nursing care.


This is an exciting time to be a member of INS. Let's show our commitment to our profession by forging a new agenda for tomorrow's nurses.



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