1. Deutsch, Lynn MSN, RN, CRNI(R), VA-BC

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I hope everyone has enjoyed INS 2019. I want to thank all the members, the board of directors, INS staff, past presidents, and Mary Alexander for this opportunity to serve this wonderful nursing organization. I really feel blessed to follow in the footsteps of those who have made a difference. I have been a member of INS and a CRNI(R) for 22 years. During my membership, I never thought I would be standing here as your president. In fact, if anyone suggested I become a volunteer leader for a national nursing organization, I would have laughed at them. I have always been at the bedside for most of my career; I thought to be president you had to be management.

Lynn Deutsch, MSN, R... - Click to enlarge in new windowLynn Deutsch, MSN, RN, CRNI(R), VA-BC INS President 2019-2020

I am truly thankful to be able to give back to an organization that has been so instrumental in my career as an infusion nurse and vascular access specialist. INS and my CRNI(R) credential have helped pave the way for me to become an adjunct professor of nursing at a community college. I am teaching my passion: vascular access, infusion therapy, and critical thinking skills to prelicensure nursing students in the hospital.


INS presidents are asked to develop a theme during their tenure in office. My theme is "Every Nurse's Journey: Lifelong Learning." It's simple but very relevant in today's health care environment. I chose this theme because it has been my personal journey and I want to share how lifelong learning has made a difference in my career.


I attended a community college in the late 1970s and graduated with my associate's degree in 1980. After graduation, it was always my dream to eventually go back and acquire a BSN. There were several obstacles I had to overcome before I could return to college. Among the obstacles I faced were becoming a single parent of 3 children, moving across the country away from friends and family, and working 2 jobs.


In 1996 I finally decided to obtain my BSN while living in California. I was working full-time and took 1 class each semester. I was down to 7 classes and then I moved to Texas. It was too expensive to finish due to the out-of-state rates. I enrolled in an online program at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2008. There was an academic partnership with my hospital system with discounted rates for tuition. I was not going to let my move stop me from achieving my goal. I used my tuition reimbursement and had 1 class left to earn my degree. It was algebra. I tried twice online to take that class and I had to drop it. I had not studied algebra in 40 years, and it was not happening. I was so discouraged. Years later I found an alternative to algebra at Austin Community College. Life events prevented me from my dream, but 17 years later at age 59, I finally completed my BSN in 2012.


After I earned my BSN, I decided to pursue my MSN late in my career at the same university. I started and promptly dropped, as the rigorous 5-week class and 2000-word paper due in 3 weeks were too much for me working 40 hours a week. I was very discouraged and disappointed and in tears over my failure. Then a few months later I got a call from Grand Canyon University. The enrollment counselor invited me to fly down and meet the dean and check out the campus. I was impressed with the 8-week classes and building your papers a week at a time, so I enrolled. I finished in 2015. One phone call changed my life.


Returning for a BSN and MSN in nursing was challenging. I found support from coworkers who were enrolled in the same program and from my sister who had taught school for 35 years. Nurses I work with tell me I am an inspiration for them to go back to earn advanced degrees. You can be a leader wherever you work in any position. You do not have to be a manager.


Next, I looked for opportunities to apply my MSN in my hospital system. It was not my hard-earned degrees that propelled me to the next phase of my career-it was another nurse. One day I was talking with an ICU nurse who always helped me place PICCs when her patients needed them. Out of the blue she told me, "I think you would make a great nursing instructor at Austin Community College. I think you should apply." Her comment surprised me. I had never considered becoming an educator. Networking with colleagues may open new doors of opportunity.


In June of 2016, I applied to the college. During my interview with the department chair, she looked at my resume and stated, "You are exactly what I want in Level 2, where students learn IV skills and IV medications. I like the fact you are a CRNI(R)." I just wrapped up my sixth semester. The students love the fact that I am still a full-time vascular access nurse working bedside (Figure).

Figure. Lynn Deutsch... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Lynn Deutsch and her student team.

I want to encourage everyone in this room to be a lifelong learner. Returning for a BSN and MSN in nursing was a challenge. Commitment to lifelong learning enables us to be the best version of ourselves. Our patients deserve that. Do not let obstacles derail you from your dreams. I hope more nurses will think about returning for a BSN or MSN. I was 62 when I got my MSN.


Lifelong learning also happens outside the classroom. Membership in a nursing organization and obtaining a certification in a specialty is incredibly important. I have learned invaluable information for my practice by attending INS conferences, networking with nurses from around the country, and keeping up with the latest evidenced-based practices.


What is the future for infusion nurses? In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published the report "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health."1 Two recommendations that support the value of lifelong learning are still relevant today:


* Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.


* Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.1



The IOM was renamed the National Academies of Medicine in 2016. A committee has been formed to discuss plans for the next study, "The Future of Nursing 2020-2030." Two of the issues that are critical to our specialty:


* The use of nurses at all educational levels in settings across the care continuum, "including in collaborative practice models."


* The importance of well-being and resilience in nurses for the provision of high-quality care and community health improvement.2



The continuum of care is moving outside of the acute care setting. This had made it even more important to be identified as an infusion expert in the home or in ambulatory infusion centers. The CRNI(R) credential identifies you as the expert.


Lifelong learning has enabled me to make a difference for the future of the infusion specialty. One of the greatest rewards of my career has been educating future nurses. I am teaching my passion. The reward has been seeing students turn into colleagues. No matter where you work, mentor and share your knowledge. You are the experts. The future of infusion nursing is in your hands.




1. Institute of Medicine, Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Medicine. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2011. [Context Link]


2. Brown T. New study to explore issues, vision for the next decade of nursing. Published March 22, 2019. Accessed April 8, 2019. [Context Link]