Article Content

Over the course of my tenure at INS, my presidential goals were to create a global community and help our members set the standard for infusion practice. I believe that we have attained those goals. During this past year of my presidency, we changed our name to the Infusion Nurses Society so that we could be more inclusive and reflective of our practice. We expanded our focus to nurses in all practice settings. We have positioned ourselves as leaders within the nursing profession. The members of INS have shared their expertise with colleagues, helped reduce hospital length of stay and infection rates, and improved the quality of life for many patients. We have worked at the national level to increase the awareness of infusion nursing and establish our organization as a recognized and valued entity.



When I was asked to serve a second term as president of INS, I never expected a year so full of change, growth, challenge, and opportunity. The world changed on September 11, 2001, for all of us. None of us will ever forget where we were or what we were doing on that sad morning. I was near Washington, DC, with INS Chief Executive Officer Mary Alexander and other national leaders at "A Call to the Nursing Profession," a summit meeting where 60 organizations began to work to change and improve the image of nursing. The Call to the Nursing Profession meeting did not stop, however. The work that day was interrupted, but the commitment to solve the nursing profession's problems grew stronger.


INS took part in the development of the guiding statement for the future state of nursing. The future vision of nursing is that nursing is a pivotal healthcare profession, highly valued for its specialized knowledge, skill, and caring in improving the health status of the public and ensuring safe, effective, quality care. INS helps fulfill the vision by fostering and providing the types of specialized knowledge and skill in providing infusion therapy that improves health in a safe, effective, cost-efficient manner. INS promotes professionalism and expertise through certification.


The Call to the Nursing Profession meeting produced a strategic plan to ensure safe, quality patient care and address the root causes of the growing nursing shortage. The plan that has resulted from our efforts, Nursing's Agenda for the Future, focuses on strategies such as recruitment, retention, diversity, delivery systems, nursing image, and the economic value of nursing that will move our profession forward. The nursing shortage has been identified as a public health problem and the solutions will need funding and organized efforts. A Call to the Nation will occur in late 2002 or early 2003 to bring policymakers, consumers, and providers of healthcare together to support the plan to ensure high quality nursing care.


Through Mary Alexander's capable leadership, INS is on the steering committee of Nursing's Agenda for the Future and is cochampion of the nursing image and professional culture domain. Believing that asserting nursing's high standards of professional practice, education, leadership, and collaboration will enhance professionalism, image, and career satisfaction. By promoting membership in professional nursing organizations, increasing the number of certified nurses, fostering leadership development to advance professional nursing culture, and concentrating on nursing management skills to champion professional culture in their workplace, we will realize that vision.



This has been a year of growth for us in several areas. We have established international presence in several countries and have increased memberships in Europe. Mary Alexander and I met with BD representatives in Sweden to discuss expansion of excellence in infusion nursing. We also have gained recognition from other nursing specialty organizations and regulatory agencies. Mary Alexander serves as our delegate to the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USPC). The USPC brings medicine, pharmacy, industry, consumer groups, and government together to develop approaches to promote public health through the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary. Mary also served on a panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise the guideline on prevention of infection in central lines.


The second edition of Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing is now available. It features new policies on IV push, blood and fluid warmers, and first dosing. It also includes a new chapter on pediatric infusion care. These policies and procedures comply with the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice and may be used to develop or enhance infusion programs.


We strive to stay on the cutting edge of infusion-related knowledge and technology. The Journal of Infusion Nursing continues to offer excellent clinical information on pertinent topics such as total parenteral nutrition, hepatic lines, phlebitis, and specific infusion needs in chronic disease. Dr Charles Edmiston, Public Director on our Board of Directors, coauthored an article concerning the clinical aspects of microbial etiology and pathogenesis of central venous catheter infections. The publication also offers information about writing for professional journals, interventional technology, competency programs, new products, and cost and legal issues.


Newsline continues to grow. Craven and Ober Policy Strategists have added a new column entitled IV P.U.M.P: Politically Useful Messages for Practicing Nurses, in which they address up-to-the-minute news and legislation that affects infusion professionals and nurses in general.



We have many challenges ahead. This past year, patient safety has become a major focus. According to the Institute of Medicine's report in 2001, approximately 19 people die every day due to errors. With medication errors in the news, we are all affected by the doubts cast on nursing skills and the dangers that result from errors. Medication errors have been found to occur 38% of the time due to incorrect prescriptions or administration of the medication. Sixty-one percent of the errors in administration were most costly and were IV related. Infusion nurses can effect a positive change by leading the way to safer practice and advanced expertise.


To meet the challenge to provide the education needed to practice quality infusion therapy, the INS National Academy and One-Day program "Immunoglobulin Therapies: Impact on Nursing Care" was held in Dallas in November 2001. INS cosponsored another One-Day program in Las Vegas in February 2002 in conjunction with the National Home Infusion Association Annual Conference. The meetings were well attended and the evaluations were excellent. We would like to extend our thanks to the sponsors of these programs, Bayer Corporation and BD Medical Systems.



Mary Alexander and I had the incredible opportunity to attend the International Council of Nurses Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. What a highlight it was for us to see the parade of nations and to stand and cheer when the United States was announced! Mary and Sharon Weinstein delivered presentations on infusion therapy in the United States. We were honored to attend the leadership institute led by Sharon for the development of nursing leaders from underdeveloped and economically challenged countries.


In November 2001, the last meeting for the National Federation of Specialty Nursing Organizations (NFSNO) and the Nursing Organizations Liaison Forum (NOLF), met in Salt Lake City. NFSNO dissolved and NOLF has plans to dissolve to form a new alliance with one voice for nursing under the name Nursing Organizations Alliance (The Alliance). Most nurses will join only one organization and that usually will be the one dedicated to the specialty in which they work. What an opportunity to join those members together! As a member of the NFSNO board, I was a part of the development and planning of the new organization. At the meeting, I was elected to serve on the coordinating team of The Alliance, which will hopefully grow to represent more than 350,000 nurses in specialty nursing organizations. We have been busy developing a new business plan and planning our first meeting this November in Indianapolis.


The nursing shortage has increased awareness that nursing is so valuable. Studies have shown that there are direct relationships between staffing levels and the incidence of urinary tract infections, pneumonia, shock, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, the length of hospitalization, and positive patient outcomes and recovery. New nurses are on the way. In April, there were more than 3000 bright and excited students who attended the NSNA convention. At the end of a very long week and late on a Saturday evening, more than 30 student nurses attended a session on infusion therapy. We have begun to get the word out that all nurses are infusion nurses. Students need to know the importance of patient assessment, early recognition of complications, and the legal implications of our practice. Incoming INS President Roxanne Perucca delivered a presentation to the faculty about envisioning education to promote infusion excellence. Interested faculty members shared their methods of study and asked questions about how to improve their programs. For too long, infusion therapy has been left out or scanned over in nursing curricula. In July, I will be making a presentation on the cost, value, and legal issues involved in infusion therapy at the American Nurses Association biennial convention in Philadelphia.


In the past, infusion nurses have experienced the disappointments of elimination of infusion teams, reduced reimbursement for home therapies, and market pressures imposed by managed care. Some of our nurses have left our infusion specialty disillusioned. But we are seeing a reversal of downward trends. There is great interest in infusion therapy now. Infusion teams and PICC teams are being started or revitalized. Recognized value has been restored to our specialty.


Many opportunities lie ahead-change, growth, challenge, and opportunity. We can all take part in celebrating our accomplishments and in anticipation of great things to come. I leave you with a bright future. INS is in good hands. Roxanne Perucca is capable, willing, and excited about her presidency. Her new board comes with enthusiasm and eagerness. I'm sure that you will continue to work with her, as will I, to meet and exceed other goals.



With a thankful heart, I appreciate having this opportunity to grow professionally. I never felt like I was asked to give too much. The more I became involved, the more I enjoyed trying to make a difference in nursing. I would like to thank INS members, INS staff, and the Board of Directors for giving me this opportunity. Thank you for your support, time, hard work, and dedication to our specialty. A special thanks goes to Mary Alexander who could not have been more supportive. I thank my employer, Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta, for allowing the time away and the value that they placed on this position. I would like to thank my family for their love and support. My husband never once complained about my being out of town!


Take the challenge and opportunity to be an active member of INS. Benefits will come to you and to our patients. I am proud to be a nurse, proud of our organization, and proud to be a part of INS. INS has set the standard for infusion care!



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