1. Alexander, Mary BS, CRNI

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FIGURE Happy New Year! As our journey through the 21st century continues, our Society is about to face a major change. In the spring, we will officially become the Infusion Nurses Society-a name that reflects the recent advances in technology, expanded roles for nurses in our specialty, and new approaches to practice in an evolving healthcare system. The journal you are reading also will be renamed the Journal of Infusion Nursing, reflecting the broad range of clinical issues that are covered by the articles we bring you.

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A quick look at the content of this issue shows this range. As always, we seek to improve our specialty practice through clinical studies of factors affecting patient outcomes, such as the present study examining the incidence of phlebitis. More than ever, we encourage infusion nurses to play a role in investigative research, to apply their expertise toward determining which new therapies show promise and which products or techniques produce the best outcomes. Meanwhile, the call for development of a theoretical base for our specialty offers a glimpse of how we can further our profession as a whole. In the area of clinical practice, we continue to emphasize the infusion nurse specialist's principal role in the delivery of infusion therapy. Still, we have much to learn from specialists in other areas whose work intersects with ours; in this issue, they are certified oncology nurses and an expert on sickle cell disorders. From these articles, we take away the kind of diversified understanding that will help us meet the challenges of the changing healthcare scene. We reach beyond the traditional confines of the infusion specialty to enfold a wider community of healthcare providers, using our knowledge to bring infusion therapy to a new level of excellence.


"Infusion" encompasses these and many other crucial modalities of therapy that our specialists may need to perform. It covers not only the intravenous delivery of medication, blood transfusions, pain management, chemotherapy, and parenteral nutrition, but also epidural administration, intraosseous administration, intrathecal administration-the nonvascular routes of therapy that are crucial in some instances to the patient's care. The scope of the infusion nurse's responsibilities also includes many procedures not directly involved with treatment yet essential to the delivery of quality infusion therapy: patient education and assessment, aseptic site preparation, disposal of hazardous materials, site care and maintenance, management of complications, conscious sedation, local anesthesia, and more.


INS has always been the premier organization for the infusion nurse specialist, supporting and promoting the infusion specialty and the CRNI credential. As nursing shortages continue, the number of specialists dwindles, and the center of care moves steadily out of the acute setting, we must broaden our focus to include all modalities of infusion nursing and all registered nurses who participate in infusion therapy delivery. INS has the resources and knowledge base to support this expanded community. In future issues of the soon-to-be Journal of Infusion Nursing, look for new ideas and partnerships forming across the healthcare spectrum. We hope you will find it beneficial to your practice.