Article Content

Welcome to the future! I am honored to accept the INS presidential gavel today. It is a special privilege to lead this organization into the new century, knowing that we are capable of meeting each challenge that lies ahead. Fellow members of the INS Board of Directors, honored family members and guests, colleagues, and friends, I pledge to you this morning that I am prepared to challenge the future of the intravenous nursing specialty. Together, we will advance our skills and our profession.


We all have heard about the fear of computer system failure, financial turmoil, and otherwise fearsome repercussions of the approaching transition into the next century. Standing on the edge of the year 2000, IV nurse specialists face their own Y2K problems: Where will the alternate site care trends take us? How will the morphing healthcare system handle the demands of those it serves? Will we have the technology necessary to keep up with our patients' healthcare needs? Will we even recognize our profession in a few years?


As a nursing specialty, we must commit ourselves to constant revision of our perspectives on patient care to keep our profession viable long into the next millennium. Technological advances, improvements in communications systems, and newly identified healthcare issues will challenge the future of IV therapy. As caregivers, we must continue to anticipate the needs of our patients and their families while fulfilling our own personal and professional obligations.


In short, we must continue forth with the INS legacy: make the most of professional development and continuing education opportunities, master technology as quickly as possible, balance our professional lives with our home lives, and deliver the best IV care available. The Y2K challenges ahead are surmountable. Our specialty is laying the groundwork to thrive in the next century.


Your presence at this INS Annual Meeting and Industrial Exhibition demonstrates your commitment to the future of IV therapy. By your very participation here in Charlotte, you tell your patients and colleagues that you believe in the future of this specialty; you value the mission of your professional organization. You tell INS that it's on the right track, and its resources and services are giving you the professional edge you need. Thank you for being a part of this morning's celebration. Today we mark the dawn of a new millennium for the Intravenous Nurses Society.


Each of us shares in the responsibility of communicating the INS mission and goals to fellow INS members, our peers in the specialty, and our healthcare colleagues. In this age of technology it is essential that we use every means at our disposal to reach beyond the borders of our healthcare facilities, INS Local Chapters, geographic regions, and our own states of mind to expand the potential of this organization. There are no limits to our accomplishments. Unless, of course, we choose to limit ourselves.


At last year's Annual Meeting, we celebrated the colorful 25-year history of our professional organization. Today, we recognize that our future achievements will recall the strength and character of the leaders who came before us: INS past presidents, our colleagues in the specialty, our bravest patients, and the important mentors whose examples led us to become nurses. For me, the mentor was and is my mother.


My mother, Elizabeth Fabian, who I am honored to have with me here in Charlotte, was ahead of her time as a healthcare professional in the 1930s. Her nursing career spanned the acute care hospital, children's wards, the tuberculosis sanitarium, private duty nursing, and homecare. She earned a college degree and went on to help the World War II effort as an industrial nurse in a manufacturing plant. Eventually, she joined the Army Nurse Corps and cared for wounded soldiers in England and during the D-Day invasion at Normandy.


The passing years and the challenges of my own career have led me to appreciate my mother's dedication to the nursing profession. Nurses always have had a vision and a sense of purpose that helped them to fulfill the needs of those they serve. The heroes and mentors who planted in our hearts the desire to become nurses must remain in our hearts and minds as we look toward our profession's future. Their legacies guided us to the future of the IV specialty and opened up places for us in the profession. To honor their work on behalf of the Society and their achievements in healthcare, we must focus our energy on developing strategies to prepare ourselves to challenge the future.


To challenge the future, we must establish a vision for INS and bring it to life by making concrete plans to help us reach our goals. The insight and participation of the INS membership and Board of Directors is crucial to the organization's continued success. We must allow our vision to evolve by revising and re-energizing our plans at regular intervals. It's not enough to set goals; we must surpass them! The future will not wait for us. It is time for us to move forward into a strong and bright future.


To cross the threshold into the new millennium, INS must become a transformed society with members who are prepared to address the challenges they face. The "just a nurse" image is gone. Now, we are IV nurse specialists, healthcare professionals, highly skilled and competent caregivers. For our own survival, we have to step outside the structure and confinement of traditional nursing roles. This may mean that we move from the comfort of the familiar into a shadowy unknown to rewrite our roles for the 21st century. But if we are as strong and faithful as the patients we care for, we will discover that the uncertainty of shedding who we were will be surpassed by the glory of what we will become.


Who will we become in the next century? We will become a stronger body of certified IV nurse specialists; 3656 nurses maintain the CRNI credential. Just under 50% of the entire INS membership is comprised of CRNIs, or 2968 of our 6100 members. Think of how many more of our colleagues we can reach! Certification can be their key to professional advancement. Is there a nurse in your practice setting who would benefit from certification?


Who will we become in the next century? We will become a larger global presence among healthcare professionals. INS members establish local chapters, conduct continuing education seminars, achieve committee goals, develop policies and procedures for the specialty, create guidelines for special practice settings, and serve as the leaders of this specialty practice organization. In all of these ways, INS members reached out to nurses in collaborative practice roles in 1998. With your help, the Challenge 2000 membership campaign will help INS to share its resources with hundreds more new members. Each IV nurse specialist who joins the Society brings a new perspective, years of experience, and a fresh commitment to the INS mission.


Sixty-one INS Local Chapters serve our colleagues in all regions of the United States. The Society already reaches IV nurse specialists in such countries as New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and Canada. INS is fast becoming a global nursing specialty organization.


Who will we become in the next century? We will become better-skilled IV nurse specialists. More compassionate caregivers. More focused leaders. More creative thinkers. A more diverse and experienced professional organization. We will be more and do more in the next century because INS needs us more than ever. Together, we can use our influence to effect change. We can extend the boundaries of IV therapy to include all who will strengthen the specialty. We can use our strength and collective wisdom to convince healthcare administrators that we enhance the quality of IV therapy and provide positive patient outcomes.


Ready for the future? We're already ahead of the game. The INS Research Department, in collaboration with IV nurse specialists across the nation, is gathering data to quantify the value of the IV nurse specialist in patient care settings. The goal is to present statistics that justify the specialty practice in terms of quality outcomes and cost efficiency.


The INS Education Department and the National Council on Education (NCOE) have identified advanced professional education topics that will affect clinical practice in the years to come. The Education Department and NCOE are developing abstracts and schedules for meetings as far ahead as 2001, and planning one-day educational meetings to supplement the INS educational calendar. Intravenous Nursing Standards of Practice will soon undergo another round of revisions to keep its edge as the leading guide to the specialty.


The Publications Department keeps us in tune with technology and IV research by featuring the latest IV specialty news in the Journal of Intravenous Nursing and Newsline. First-time and seasoned nurse authors are being solicited to submit manuscripts for publication in the Journal, and publications such as the Core Curriculum for Intravenous Nursing are progressing through production phases. The department frequently updates the INS Website so that it remains a valuable resource for INS members. The Website serves as a "cyberspace headquarters," linking INS members, prospective members, the healthcare community, and those who are active on the local chapter level with the information they need.


INS Membership Services has refined its data management procedures and redesigned its member relations communications to improve service to INS members. Eye-catching advertisements in national journals and the Challenge 2000 Membership Campaign will reach prospective INS members with hopes of strengthening the INS membership base.


The Marketing Department has established relationships with potential industrial partners who can work with INS to develop 1-day educational events, Journal supplement issues, and other resources for INS members. Word of upcoming INS meetings is reaching more healthcare professionals than ever, and comprehensive marketing materials are moving them to register for INS events.


The INS Board of Directors has added three new positions to broaden its perspective on the specialty. The new Board members bring with them years of expertise in the specialty, fresh perspectives, and share a common commitment to improving and expanding the Society.


The Gardner Foundation will increase support of INS members' educational and professional goals by expanding its scholarship and grant programs. The new Leslie Baranowski Scholarship, honoring a friend and INS leader who passed away last year, will help an INS member interested in research or education as early as this year.


New committees on alternate site practice have been established to identify key concerns in Homecare, Long-term/Sub-acute Care, and Ambulatory Infusion Centers. The committee structure is vital to the life of the Society. The volunteers who comprise these committees devote much time, energy, and creativity to their work, and INS is appreciative of their service. Through involvement in these and other committees, INS members' participation at this level will increase by more than 200%. These INS futurists will be an active part of the changes and challenges to come.


Through communication and a constant drive to improve service to members, INS intends to maintain its edge among nursing organizations and providers of continuing education for healthcare professionals. The new Regional Liaison program links INS leaders, INS Local Chapter members, and INS national members. Other INS projects, such as the Standards of Practice revisions process, the continuing expansion of the INS Website, and the growth of the National IV Nursing Network, will help the Society to provide resources and information INS members depend on every day. During my term as INS President, I will encourage the INS membership, Board of Directors, and National Office staff to stay focused on the future.


The future is here, and it belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. INS has dreamed big-we have a renewed sense of purpose, a strong foundation for the work to be done, and clearly identified goals that will carry us into the new century. It is time to challenge the future-and make the most of what it offers. If we greet the future with confidence and unity, we will determine a positive course for INS, the IV specialty, healthcare, and our own careers.


I look forward to my presidential term and the excitement of a new INS year. I challenge you to cross the threshold into the new millennium with me. We can make the Intravenous Nurses Society a professional organization for the 21st century. Through continuing education, professional development, and communication, we will honor our vision for the Society's future.