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INS has just completed another successful year, marking the 30th anniversary of the Society and the 20th anniversary of INCC. These are significant milestones and they represent an ideal time to think about the future, and what the coming year has in store for all of us. As I looked forward to my inauguration as President of INS, I reflected on the history of this specialty, the achievements we've made as a professional organization, and the challenges we face in the years ahead. The one constant that has helped infusion nursing grow over the last 30 years is commitment-to our work, to each other, to our organization, and most of all, to our patients. That commitment will be tested as we face greater shortages of staff and nursing faculty, enhanced clinical and administrative responsibilities, and changes in the structure of healthcare organizations. But I am certain that our integrity and our commitment will help us meet these challenges and continue to excel within our specialty.

Figure. Jaclyn Tropp... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure.

With this in mind, I chose my presidential theme for the coming year: "Renewing the Commitment." Commitment is a two-way process. The first part of that process involves you. It involves a responsibility to reach higher within the profession, as you provide patient care; to reach out to those around you, within your workplace, within your professional organization, within your local community. And INS, your professional society, mirrors this commitment to you by offering education, opportunities for professional growth, and networking. Because this is an organization that relies on you, the membership, your participation is crucial. In the coming year, I hope that together we can realize our renewed commitment to the infusion specialty in a number of ways.


First, I would like to initiate a drive to enhance INS membership with the goal of increasing our collective voice. Consider how you can help increase membership in your professional organization. The continued growth of the infusion specialty-and, by extension, the perceived value of the specialty- depends largely upon the number of nurses advocating for it.


Educating the membership about the opportunities that are available to them will be part of this effort. As all of you know, INS members have access to educational opportunities that enhance their technical proficiency, assist them in multidisciplinary collaboration, instituting safer practices, and demonstrating how to justify IV teams within their organization. INS has spent the last year developing competency tools to help infusion nurses document their knowledge and that of their coworkers.


Perhaps the most widely recognized educational opportunity for infusion professionals is INCC's credentialing examination. During my term as INS President, I would like to focus on promoting the CRNI credential, its importance in ensuring the best and safest practices, and its place in the future of infusion nursing. With your support, the recognition and respect for those who hold CRNI status will continue to grow.


INS member participation is another area on which I intend to focus during my presidential term. Volunteerism is one of the pillars of this organization, and one of the best places to begin your participation is where you live and work. INS Local Chapters have always been an important part of the Society, because they offer infusion nurses support, networking, and educational opportunities close to where they practice, and because they serve as a conduit for news from the National Office. Many INS Presidents and Board members became active in their local chapter, and many cultivated their leadership skills there. Local chapters are also one of the best ways to introduce new infusion professionals to the benefits of INS membership, and I would like to use my time in office to augment local chapter participation, and reach out to those who are local members only, encouraging them to become national members as well.


The year 2003 marks a new decade in Infusion Nurses Society history, and an opportunity to recommit and welcome both seasoned professionals and new members to INS. Think about how you might be involved in the coming year, as a volunteer in INS. Because volunteerism is the backbone of this organization, I want to encourage you to jump in and share your expertise in any way you can. Network with your fellow professionals at meetings. Perhaps a new nurse can benefit from your knowledge. Mentor those around you. Volunteer for a committee and help draft benchmarking tools. Publish a manuscript in the Journal of Infusion Nursing and contribute to the infusion nursing evidence base.


Renewing the commitment is about all of these things. It is the passion for your specialty[horizontal ellipsis]the passion for safe infusion nursing for all patients, regardless of the clinical setting in which care is delivered. I hope that you will ponder your commitment to infusion nursing as I have, and that you will resolve to renew that commitment over the coming year. I look forward to hearing from you and to working with you.