1. Alexander, Mary CRNI INS Chief Executive Officer Editor

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This Special Focus Issue on Homecare represents the kind of challenge INS readily accepts: recognizing the growth of homecare as an important development in our specialty, responding to intravenous nurse specialists' need for information, and presenting timely, thorough research on topics that benefit our colleagues and patients. INS has pledged to continue this kind of work in the next millennium, taking advantage of every opportunity to share information and resources with the specialty.


To make the most of the opportunities we will face in the new century, we must be creative and forward-thinking. We must put our hands and minds to work at home, reaching out to our patients and colleagues in the specialty. We must build new relationships and strengthen existing partnerships with other healthcare professionals, their specialty organizations, and the industrial partners who make possible so much of the work that we do. We must encourage younger colleagues to join INS, remembering that today's student nurses have the power to preserve this specialty and act as stewards of the work we have begun.


While we're at it, we must nurture our global relationships, being sensitive to cultural differences, learning from international colleagues, and sharing our standards and practices with healthcare professionals around the world. The face of our specialty may differ from nation to nation, but we have a common goal: all of our international partners are committed to the same level of safe, quality patient care for which we strive.


INS has identified critical issues that will be the focus of our work in the years to come:


* Needle safety, so important to our profession in the past, continues to be a primary concern. Working with regulatory agencies, policy makers, and medical equipment manufacturers will help us to eliminate or at least minimize healthcare workers' exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Ongoing professional education, competency testing, and promotion of the use of vascular access devices will help us to minimize risk to our colleagues.


* The state of the nursing profession and the shortage of nurses is another issue we will have to address. It is imperative that we promote the benefits of the nursing profession to increase enrollments in our nation's schools of nursing. Intravenous nurse specialists must look to nurse practitioner programs and encourage students to pursue advanced degrees and credentials. Competent, experienced professionals must commit themselves to teach advanced practice nursing and promote our specialty practice.


* All IV nurse specialists must become adept at navigating the uncharted technological territory that will characterize the new millennium. The Internet and World Wide Web have been valuable marketing and educational tools for INS. In the next century we will continue to use these powerful resources to our advantage by presenting well-researched, accurate clinical information; sharing information with colleagues; and increasing awareness of the Society. Technological trends extend beyond our desktop computers-our IV-related equipment selections and safety depend on our comfort with high-technology products and services.



Each of us has the responsibility to take an active role in the life of our professional organization. INS ties us together, creating a community for IV nurse specialists in what otherwise may be uncertain territory. All patient populations in all practice settings need us. From neonatal to geriatric care, our services are vital in the hospital, home, ambulatory IV center, and neighborhood physician's office. The new year and the new century promise fast-moving changes. So far, we have been up to the challenge. I hope you will join me in welcoming the new millennium and the changes it brings.


I wish each of you the healthy and happy new year that you so richly deserve and continued professional and personal accomplishment in the new century.



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