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We did it. We led the way through a tremendous year of challenge and change and were rewarded for our efforts by the increased viability and visibility of our professional organization. From the expansion of the INS Website and the National IV Nursing Network to the addition of more one-day programs to our roster of continuing education opportunities, INS showed that it continues to lead the way in the intravenous specialty.


Whether by committing their scarce free time to INS committees or supporting the work of the Gardner Foundation, INS members reached out to the Society and to each other in countless ways during the past year. I was privileged to offer my guidance as INS President, which afforded me a bird's eye view of the leadership abilities and dedication illustrated by IV nurse specialists in every sector of the profession. "Leading the Way," the theme I selected for this presidential year, challenged all INS members to make personal and professional investments in our specialty organization. I asked each Society member, National Office staff member, and INS corporate partner to lead the way to increased membership benefits, improved professional development opportunities, and ultimately, to even better care for our IV therapy clients. In this address, I will reflect on our accomplishments of the past year, keeping in mind the wide range of contributors to our recent success.


The Society's image continued its forward steps during the past year, leading the way among specialty nursing organizations. Aggressive marketing efforts increased INS' visibility among healthcare professionals, the IV industry, and the general public. Advertising in national healthcare journals such as Nursing 98, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, and Infusion spread the word about INS. The expansion of the INS Website as a valued communications tool put technology to work to reach our membership and meet registration goals.


The "Reach for the Stars" membership campaign begun during Corinne Wheeler's tenure as INS president brought in scores of new members, thanks to the recruiting efforts of dedicated INS members who encouraged their colleagues to join the Society. INS reached IV nurse specialists in Rhode Island and the tri-state area of Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa by establishing two new INS Local Chapters. Membership attrition and retention rates were addressed by a comprehensive membership services campaign involving telephone follow-up, membership surveys, and regular reminders of membership renewal opportunities.


The expanded National IV Nursing Network helped INS lead the way to better patient care. The Network was managed from the INS National Office, fielding tough clinical questions from healthcare professionals across the country. The National IV Nursing Network assisted hundreds of callers in 1998, a substantial increase from past years. A column featuring frequently asked questions became a regular part of Newsline in the first quarter of 1999, helping the Network to reach more INS members. The National IV Nursing Network became a valuable INS membership benefit as questions increasingly were answered on the spot, rather than through telephone referrals to distant Network members.


INS also led the way among providers of IV-related education. To meet INS members' need for continuing education and recertification credits, INS bolstered its educational agenda with a series of one-day continuing education opportunities. Programs such as "Current Strategies in the Management of Vascular Access Device-Related Complications," held in conjunction with the Fall National Academy of Intravenous Therapy, and "Collaborative Disease States Management," presented before the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Home Care '98 Meeting in Chicago, gave INS members and other healthcare professionals a chance to earn credits in addition to those offered for regular continuing education meetings. Corporate partners such as Abbott Laboratories and Baxter Healthcare teamed with INS to present these special meetings, which offered the latest IV-related technology and information on a more intimate scale than the larger INS educational events. Hundreds of IV nurse specialists registered for the year's one-day offerings, effectively giving INS their nods of approval for this educational program model.


The Fall National Academy of Intravenous Therapy, held in Phoenix, Arizona, and this exciting 1999 INS Annual Meeting and Industrial Exhibition continued the longstanding INS tradition of high-quality, advanced continuing education programs. Attendance at both meetings exceeded preliminary expectations because of the combination of accessible locations, outstanding convention facilities, and the latest IV therapy technology and information presented by the specialty's leaders. Members happily led the way to Phoenix and Charlotte for sunshine, professional development, and unequaled continuing education opportunities.


The INS Publications Department helped the Society to lead the way among professional journals for healthcare specialists. The Journal of Intravenous Nursing featured two Special Focus Issues in 1998, developed to highlight thematically related articles. This new format, which will be continued in 1999, was designed to meet the needs of IV nurse specialists whose practice is concentrated in particular patient care areas, such as pediatrics or cancer care. Newsline maintained an edge by publishing timely articles on medication errors, news in the specialty, and nurses' use of Internet resources. Progress also was made on other publications projects, including the revised Core Curriculum of Intravenous Therapy, due for a mid-1999 release; a revised edition of the textbook, Intravenous Therapy: Clinical Principles and Practice planned for 2001; and the 2000 edition of Intravenous Nursing Standards of Practice.


Partnerships with healthcare groups and other specialty nursing organizations solidified INS' role as a leader in nursing. Formal relationships were established with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Lynda Arnold's National Campaign for Healthcare Worker Safety, JobSpan, the United States Pharmacopeia, and Intravenous Nursing New Zealand. Other relationships were strengthened in 1998, including our ties to the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the National Federation of Specialty Nursing Organizations. Each of these partnerships results in long-term benefits for INS members-increasingly, affiliation with INS validates IV nurse specialists' credentials in the eyes of nursing organizations and healthcare professionals around the globe.


Another example of our increasing global presence is the partnership invitation extended by Intravenous Nursing New Zealand in the form of a proposal at the 1998 INS Annual Meeting. Mary Alexander, Presidential Advisor Corinne Wheeler, and I met with Annette Gohns, President of Intravenous Nursing New Zealand, to discuss a proposal to create a strategic alliance between the two professional organizations. The INS Board of Directors unanimously approved the agreement, which establishes a supportive relationship to facilitate communication and information sharing. I was pleased to sign an agreement outlining the terms of the new partnership between INS and our colleagues in New Zealand.


Industrial partnerships also were of great value to INS during the last year. Relationships with the leaders in the IV products and services industry helped INS to bring to the membership educational scholarships and grants, professional development opportunities, and continuing education programs. Industrial partners showcased the latest IV-related technology and answered members' questions at INS Industrial Exhibitions and Industrial Showcases, adding value to INS educational meetings. Our industry friends also sponsored networking and social events at our educational meetings, providing time for celebration of accomplishments, reflection on INS' historical achievements, and professional interaction with colleagues.


The Gardner Foundation kicked off its 1998 Capital Campaign to grow its financial base and increase scholarship and grant funding possibilities. Healthcare industry leaders and INS Executive Officers committed to the Foundation's values convened the inaugural Gardner Foundation Board of Directors meeting this February. The meeting marked a giant step forward in the Foundation's development, illustrating the Foundation's staying power even in this early stage of its existence. The first Gardner Foundation scholarship and grant awards recipients put the Foundation's ideals to work by attending INS educational meetings, producing manuscripts based on research funded in part by the Foundation, and furthering their education in the specialty. The expansion of the Gardner Foundation's work will continue in the years to come, making possible professional development, education, and research opportunities that otherwise may have been out of reach for IV nurse specialists.


Serving as INS President gave me a unique opportunity to represent the interests of the Society at meetings of other healthcare groups. During my tenure I have been fortunate to learn the value of professional collaboration by participating in conventions, symposia, and other meetings with colleagues from around the world. From the ANA's 1998 Biennial Convention, held shortly after I took office, to a meeting hosted by three specialty nursing organizations in January, I can safely say that I lived the concept of collaboration in the last year, and as a result, it has become a key component of my leadership style.


The ANA meeting in San Diego, California, titled "Uniting Nurses: One Strong Voice," encouraged participants to examine their lives and recognize the power we have as nurses to affect positive changes in healthcare. ANA President Beverly Malone challenged us to unite, not only within our respective specialties, but more importantly as nurses, to collectively influence the face of healthcare. As a result of INS' organizational affiliate ANA membership I was able to attend sessions of the ANA House of Delegates. These sessions provided tremendous insight into initiatives before the ANA and issues of concern to all healthcare professionals. At the Organizational Affiliates Breakfast, where officers and directors shared their organizational highlights and successes, I was proud to announce our collaborative partnership with ASHP.


Later in the year, I was the guest of the Canadian Intravenous Nurses Association at its 23rd Convention in Toronto. This 600-member group welcomes a continued affiliation with INS and shares our commitment to IV therapy patients. The convention was of a smaller scale than our Annual Meeting, but nonetheless offered impressive skills development workshops, educational presentations, and professional development opportunities beneficial to our Canadian counterparts.


In the spirit of collaboration, Mary Alexander and I represented INS at the first joint meeting of the National Federation of Specialty Nursing Organizations and the National League for Nursing in Washington, D.C. The meeting highlighted the common threads between the participating organizations and reinforced the collective desire for additional joint meetings. "Bridging the Centuries Through Collaborative Leadership" was the theme of a multiorganizational conference held in Orlando, Florida, in January. The meeting was a collaboration between the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Association of Operating Room Nurses and was endorsed by the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. Together with colleagues from several other organizations, we considered such topics as leadership in the 21st century, mentoring, and strategies for developing partnerships.


These meetings and the other events at which I had the honor of representing the INS membership allowed me to share our vision of the IV specialty's future with professionals from across the healthcare spectrum. The experiences have contributed significantly to my personal and professional growth during the last year, and I will carry their lessons throughout my career. I am hopeful that the relationships I helped to establish and nurture will benefit the Society well into the coming century.


Our organization stands on the cusp of a new and exciting time. As we prepare for the new millennium, we can look with pride upon our achievements of the last quarter-century. Our years of commitment to the specialty have solidly grounded INS as the premier IV therapy professional organization. I believe the Society is prepared to meet the challenges of a healthcare system that promises more years of change. I know that our members are prepared to ensure the delivery of high-quality IV therapy in the future. From the newest INS member to the seasoned members of the INS Board of Directors, the latest addition to the INS National Office staff to the longest-running INS Local Chapter leaders, our success and strength lie in our determination to lead the way. In our practice settings, in our communities, and in our professional organization, we lead the way every day.


It has been my profound pleasure to serve as your president. I thank you for the privilege of leading the Society through another year of resounding accomplishments. I extend my sincere appreciation to the INS Board of Directors, INS Past President Corinne Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer Mary Alexander, and the INS National Office staff. I also must thank all INS committee members, volunteers, and the entire INS membership. Finally, my gratitude goes to my colleagues at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, and my greatest support system, my husband, Jim, and my family.


As we bid farewell to the 20th century and make way for the challenges of the future, be confident in your specialized skills. Continue to be compassionate in your patient care. Be sure of your impact on the specialty and the lives that you touch. You are leading the way to outstanding patient care, and you are not alone. Thousands of your IV therapy colleagues will walk with you toward the challenges of the future.