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Thank you for joining us in Minneapolis for the 2000 INS Annual Meeting and Industrial Exhibition. This meeting concludes a busy year of INS activities and marks the transition from one leadership term to the next. I invite you to celebrate with us, in the days ahead, all that INS members, leaders, partners, and staff have accomplished since we gathered last May in Charlotte.


We have made progress on every front this year. We have strengthened member participation, developed new resources for infusion nurses, expanded our marketing efforts, advanced our partnerships with other healthcare organizations, and established new collaborations. In this time of rapid changes to the healthcare system, our course is decisive, and we are holding steady. I would like to take this time to review this year's achievements and share INS' vision for the future.


INS' marketing efforts continue to spread awareness of membership benefits through Newsline articles, Journal advertising, INS Website promotion, and improved telephone and written correspondence. Members receive exclusive access to the National IV Nursing Network, Gardner Foundation scholarship and grant funds, and discounts on publications, educational programs, and CRNI certification. Through a collaboration with Primedia Workplace Learning and the Health and Sciences Television Network, we developed and produced three infusion therapy videos that brought INS to the airwaves. Thanks to our partnership with VerticalNet, our website is now a virtual "storefront" on, highlighting our resources, products, programs, and expertise to healthcare professionals searching the web for infusion therapy information. We also are reaching out through exhibitions and presentations, with plans to present another infusion skills workshop at the National Student Nurses' Association's Mid-Year Conference in St. Louis in November 2000. In Boston this July, we will be exhibiting and speaking at a conference of the Oley Foundation, an organization that provides resources and support to patients who receive home parenteral and enteral nutrition. By introducing the name and mission of INS to a diverse array of healthcare interests, we intend to widen our membership base and offer INS resources and opportunities to a great variety of healthcare professionals who are involved in the delivery of infusion therapy.


Our challenge with membership is always to attract and retain members at a time when membership numbers of all specialty organizations are dropping. We are competing for people's time and energy. However, it is clear that those who do join us are finding their membership to be invaluable to their practice. Over this past year, we have surveyed our renewing members to determine why they stay with INS. The results have been highly encouraging. Members have told us they maintain their involvement because INS supports the specialty, makes a statement that excellence is important, and provides information that is vital to their practice. They have declared that their involvement with the Society is imperative to their professional development and keeps them "in touch, current, and marketable" in today's changing healthcare system. Through our marketing efforts, we hope to bring this message to all those infusion nurses who have not yet joined us, to let them know that INS is still the premier membership organization for the infusion specialty and offers the very best in resources and opportunities.


In our ongoing campaign for member retention, we have solicited biographical information to help us form a profile of our membership. Of our 5,600 current members, 99% hold active memberships; the remainder are associate or industry members. The practice settings in which our active members work reflect the general trends of healthcare: 43% are employed in the hospital setting, 42% in the homecare setting, 6% in outpatient/ambulatory infusion centers, 6% in long-term care, 2% in industry, and 1% each in hospice and physicians' offices. More than half (54%) are involved in clinical care. Another 15% of our members hold management positions; 11% work in administration, 10% in education, and the rest are consultants, nurse practitioners, researchers, or entrepreneurs. Our recruitment efforts are reaching out into all of these diverse areas. INS must benefit healthcare professionals in all settings, as their unique experience will benefit our Society.


To keep our membership viable, we need to expand our scope, to seek participation not just from infusion nurse specialists but also from all nurses whose practice involves the delivery of infusion therapy. We will seek out generalist nurses, intensive and critical care nurses, emergency department nurses, and long-term care nurses. We will reach out to nurses in all of the alternate site practice settings. Our aim is to continually seek to address members' educational and professional needs, to support every healthcare professional whose practice includes infusion therapy.


We will continue to recruit members on the local level as well. INS has some very strong Local Chapter leadership. The Leadership Institute will be conducted again this year to guide our volunteer leaders toward even greater success and effectiveness. Although only one chapter president will be recognized at the Celebration of Excellence, there were several outstanding examples to choose from. The Board of Directors and I have visited many chapters in the past year and have enjoyed witnessing the energy and enthusiasm at the grassroots level. To keep our organization vital, we need the collective strength of all INS members; we need their knowledge and expertise on a national level. We are trying to get more Local Chapter members to become National Members of INS, so we can harness their valuable energy and experience.


INS' collaborations with other healthcare and nursing organizations have been productive and rewarding this year. INS is an organizational affiliate of the American Nurses Association. This year at the 2000 ANA Biennial Conference, INS will present an educational session entitled "Quality Initiatives: Applications to Clinical Infusion Practices," the result of a proposal that we submitted last year. The presentation is designed to promote discussion of the infusion nurse's role in healthcare, and to identify methods for developing and validating clinical competency of those who deliver IV therapy. We hope the presentation will help involve the wider nursing community in our mission to ensure excellent infusion care in every setting.


In another example of mutually effective collaboration, INS has joined with the National Student Nurses' Association to promote INS membership to student nurses through their Partnership Program. This program offers NSNA members the opportunity to join a specialty organization, helping to raise awareness of specialty practice among tomorrow's nurses. NSNA also recognized INS at their Annual Convention for our partial sponsorship of their membership recruitment videos, The Sky's the Limit and Nursing: The Ultimate Adventure. INS will continue to support NSNA's efforts to promote infusion therapy training to nursing schools and will offer its resources and expertise to nursing students interested in the specialty.


INS staff has been participating in the Needlestick Injury Prevention Advisory Group on a monthly basis since June 1999. We join the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Massachusetts Department of Public Health along with medical, dental, nursing, faculty, and industry representatives to discuss ways to make healthcare delivery safer for both the patient and the caregiver. This is of paramount importance to the infusion specialty, and we have made great strides by being a part of this group.


INS will be represented on the committee to revise the Guidelines for the Prevention of Catheter-Related Blood Stream Infections. The Society of Critical Care Medicine commissioned the development of the guidelines, with involvement from the Infectious Disease Society of America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, American Thoracic Society, and American College of Chest Physicians are among the other participants. INS was asked to make a statement on the use of needleless systems before the United States Food and Drug Administration's Advisory Panel for General Hospital and Personal Use Devices in August 1999. The FDA was assessing issues of data collection, user awareness, and postmarket surveillance of needleless devices. INS made a valuable contribution to these efforts to evaluate the use of needleless devices.


INS maintained and grew its international presence this year, as we sought to stimulate a more global discussion on infusion therapy practice. Our incoming president, Brenda Dugger, will travel to Japan in July 2000, as Crystal Miller and Beth Fabian did in June of 1999. My own trip to China this past December proved to be an enriching experience: I went to promote the Standards of Practice and to familiarize our Chinese counterparts with American infusion practice. Although Chinese nurses are hesitant to change, they were eager for the knowledge. Much international interest has been shown toward INS in recent months. The National Office receives orders and requests from overseas; calls and e-mails for the National IV Nursing Network have come in from places such as Singapore and the Philippines. International representation at INS National Meetings is on the rise: in the past year, we have hosted colleagues from Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Brazil, and Argentina. INS is reaching out to the international community through its publications and website; efforts are under way to translate the Standards of Practice into Spanish.


In response to the many manuscript submissions we received from our colleagues abroad, INS developed the first-ever International Special Focus Issue of the Journal of Intravenous Nursing. Its scope reaches literally around the world, featuring studies and articles on infusion therapy practice from Canada, Sweden, Turkey, Russia, Japan, and Australia, as well as a Guest Editorial by Jane Salvage, Editor-in-Chief of the British Nursing Times. We learn much from this exposure to infusion practices of nurses in other countries, and it is important to recognize and acknowledge their work. Although their practice situations and standards may be different from ours, we share the common goal of safe, effective, cost-efficient care for our patients.


Whether we are targeting audiences in our home community or on the other side of the world, INS publications are fundamental to getting our message out. We made many advances this year with our printed resources, and more exciting projects are under way. The Journal of Intravenous Nursing continues to attract high-quality submissions on a great variety of topics that are of interest to the specialty. In addition to the international issue, we look forward to a Special Focus Issue on Fundamentals of IV Nursing. The articles, which will introduce readers to several key clinical issues, are directed toward less experienced nurses or those who are new to the infusion specialty. This Special Focus Issue is part of our efforts to embrace a wider community of infusion nurses by addressing fundamental as well as advanced concepts in infusion care. We also have planned a Special Focus Issue on Hematology, and a supplement issue based on the one-day educational program sponsored by Bayer last November. We will continue to make recertification units and contact hours available to Journal readers through the continuing education testing program that made its debut last fall.


The INS Newsline, our bimonthly newsletter, continues to welcome member input. Brenda Dugger's Presidential Message will debut in the May/June issue and will offer regular inspiration and insight into the goals and achievements of the Society. The Nurses' Spotlight section features topical articles contributed by meeting faculty, members, and INS leaders. The CyberNurse column continues to offer insights on Internet resources that can enhance nurses' practice. The Alternate Site Practice Committee column, introduced last year, rotates through the three subcommittees-Homecare, Long-term/Subacute Care, and Ambulatory Infusion Centers-providing viewpoints from the world outside the hospital. Newsline's FYI section is our members' bulletin board, alerting the membership to meetings, special events, and Local Chapter activities. Finally, the newsletter keeps members updated on new consensus developments, advisories and warnings, industry news, and important study results.


This spring, INS introduced Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing, an innovative guide to infusion therapy clinical practice. More than 700 copies of this manual were sold in the first month of publication. Another key resource, the Intravenous Nursing Standards of Practice, is undergoing its latest update and revision, with completion anticipated by the end of 2000. Its new format will enhance readability, and its sections have been reordered to match the chapter sequence of the Policies and Procedures manual. The INS textbook, Intravenous Therapy: Clinical Principles and Practice, also is being revised. The new edition is expected in the first quarter of 2001, complete with additional chapters on interventional radiology, case management, management of hazardous waste, and entrepreneurial roles in infusion therapy.


As we continue to celebrate each individual achievement, it is also vital that we look ahead to where we are going, and to reevaluate periodically the course the Society is traveling to ensure that it is appropriate to our current context. In keeping with our evolving vision for the Society, a special committee met last November to discuss the Strategic Plan for the organization and develop several initiatives to carry us forward. The Strategic Planning Committee revised the INS Mission Statement and Values to accurately reflect our membership's changing scope of practice. We also have expanded the INS Board to include its first public director and will an introduce an additional Board member in the coming year, bringing a broader perspective to our Society through the varied expertise of its leaders.


The Gardner Foundation continues to play an important role in achieving the mission of INS. One of the premier exclusive benefits of membership, the Gardner Foundation's research grant and scholarship programs recognize the outstanding contributions made by recipients to the practice of infusion therapy. The awards stimulate new advances in the specialty by enabling recipients to pursue educational goals or research projects. In the months to come, we will keep promoting this key membership benefit, hoping to attract a wide array of proposals and applications. We will restructure the scholarship program and continue efforts to seek corporate contributions. We will emphasize the importance of research in our practice, encouraging nurses to conduct research and write about it.


The Intravenous Nurses Certification Corporation complements the mission of INS by ensuring the clinical eligibility and competency of nurses holding the CRNI credential and promoting the value of credentialing to the healthcare community. INS supports INCC's mission with educational and professional opportunities for CRNIs. Recently, INCC participated in a survey of 20 nurse certifying bodies conducted by the Nursing Credentialing Research Coalition. This survey of certified nurses demonstrated that certification has a dramatic beneficial impact on patient care and safety, as well as personal satisfaction and professional development for the nurse. The results of this study support our efforts to promote the benefits of certification. Sharon Weinstein, INCC's Chairman, now holds a seat on the editorial board of ANA's credentialing journal, in recognition of the infusion specialty's importance to the larger conversation on credentialing.


As part of INCC's ongoing efforts to maintain the value of the CRNI credential, we are conducting a focus group at this Annual Meeting. We are asking nurses who do not hold the credential to tell us their reasons for not taking the certification examination. We are in a constant dialogue with members and CRNIs in an effort to elucidate the value of certification and to improve the professional and personal outcomes of certified nurses.


A thorough job analysis and role delineation study is under way, in an effort to update the definition of the infusion therapy practice. The results will help validate the examination process and the content of the CRNI Certification Examination. INCC's Job Analysis Committee, which recently completed Phase One, consisted of five CRNIs from various practice settings and one generalist nurse. This group was meant to be a true reflection of the population of nurses who practice infusion therapy today, to ensure that the new job description reflects the evolving role of the infusion nurse specialist.


In 1999, 428 nurses took the certification examination, and 61% passed. Twenty-eight CRNIs chose to recertify by taking the examination. In all, 72% of CRNIs renewed their credential. At the end of 1999, there were 3440 CRNIs. Member participation in INCC's programs remains strong, with increased opportunities for contact hours and recertification units. So far, 25 CRNIs have taken advantage of the new continuing education program offered in the Journal of Intravenous Nursing to obtain recertification units; 5 INS members also have used the test for contact hours.


INCC faced a change in leadership this year. Judy Hankins transitioned off the INCC Board of Directors after an extended term of 4 years. Rose Anne Lonsway completed her term on the RN Examination Council after 10 years of service, including 3 years as the Council Chairman. INCC is indebted to both Judy and Rose Anne for their contributions.


The INCC Chronicle was published twice in the past year, both times with the generous sponsorship of Bard Access Systems. We also revised and expanded the CRNI Exam Preparation Guide, adding 30 more test questions and other material to enhance the performance of nurses taking the examination. To further spread awareness of the examination content and purpose, a special new section will debut in the July/August issue of the Journal of Intravenous Nursing. This section will feature sample examination questions from each of the nine core content areas, prepared by members of the RN Examination Council. INCC hopes this presence in the Journal will reach INS members who are not CRNIs and encourage them to seek certification.


As I share this record of our progress, I am reminded of the hard work and dedication that is behind each accomplishment. Our members, our leaders, our industrial sponsors, and our organizational partners have shown their commitment to our mission in countless ways, and I thank you all. With your help, our programs are thriving, our resources are in high demand, and infusion nurses all over the world are looking to us for guidance and partnership. We are working together to make our mark in the new century, and I believe the INS name will continue to stand for excellence in every sense: excellent care for patients, and excellent professional opportunities for nurses. We are on a fast track toward the future. I look forward to many more achievements in the coming year.