1. Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN

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2020 marks the 40th anniversary of IV Nurse Day. It is greatly rewarding to reflect upon and acknowledge the tremendous growth and expansion of this specialty. This year's IV Nurse Day theme, "Committed to Care," is a precise representation of why we do what we do. Infusion therapy has evolved from an extreme measure administered only in the most critically ill to a highly specialized method of treatment used for most hospitalized patients. Originally, infusion nurses inserted only steel winged needles or short peripheral catheters (SPCs); now infusion nurses place many types of intravenous catheters including nontunneled, central vascular access devices (CVADs) in addition to managing all aspects of infusion therapy. No longer confined to the hospital setting, infusion nurses administer therapies in alternative care settings, such as skilled nursing facilities, physicians' offices, and patients' homes. Today's infusion nurse is responsible for integrating the holistic principles of medicine and nursing, management, marketing, education, and performance improvement into the patient's plan of care. Today's infusion nurse is and always has been committed to care.

Mary Alexander, MA, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowMary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN INS Chief Executive Officer Editor,

Committed to Learning

The ever-changing landscape of health care requires a collective commitment to lifelong learning and continued education for nurses at every level of the profession. As new procedures and technology are introduced, we must take the necessary steps to stay informed and cultivate practice. Once limited explicitly to CVAD placement, vascular visualization technology is now used routinely for SPC insertion. These technologies are often essential tools to improve insertion success rates on the first cannulation attempt. As our scope of practice is enhanced, so are the procedures we've learned to competently perform, such as confirming CVAD tip location via x-ray or during insertion in "real time," using electrocardiogram methods. Today's infusion nurse also plays a pivotal role in managing patient care in the burgeoning practice of immunotherapy. Knowledge of disease processes, emerging therapies, new treatment protocols and the associated implications for patient care command a commitment to learning. We are continually adding new content in our LEARNING CENTER to address these clinical advances and more.


Committed to Quality

Our new approach to educational conferences begins with INS 2020 this May. We're adding plenary sessions with key experts who will provide in-depth information specific to all infusion nurses. Breakout sessions will range from infusate challenges and properties, home care clinician safety, and bleeding disorders, to implanted port complications, and, one of my favorites, anatomy of writing for publication. You will also find new sessions inclusive of various patient populations and care settings. Our recent call for abstracts to you, our members, has significantly enhanced the depth and breadth of speakers and session topics. This renewed attention to detail is just one component of our efforts to offer more comprehensive, high-quality education. In between sessions, we invite you to explore the exhibit hall with dozens of exhibits from our industry partners, as well as expanded symposia, simulation labs, and exhibitor theaters. The Las Vegas venue will provide endless attractions to enjoy each night that include additional perks for all attendees. INS is committed to delivering a conference that leaves you invigorated, excited, and prepared to put what you've learned into practice.


Committed to the Nursing Profession

Participation in nursing organizations like INS reinforces a commitment to the profession in general and to the specialty, in particular. Our team of clinicians-made up of INS members-is fast at work on updating the Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice (the Standards). This important update to our clinical practice outlines the rationale based on the best available evidence for the infusion care we provide. Not only will INS membership provide you first access to the Standards, but it will also provide a network of colleagues ready to explain the science behind each Standard and ways to implement into practice. Conducting research or advocating for health policy issues that impact safe patient care demonstrates the importance of the nurse's perspective and the vital role we play in health care.


Committed to Our Patients

As health care professionals from all facets of care strive to provide the best possible patient care, INS strives to provide YOU the best possible tools to provide that care. From our Journal articles to our Policy and Procedure series, to our highly regarded Standards, our philosophy of incorporating principal scientific evidence and research into clinical settings ensures our patients that they are at the core of what we do. Our commitment to our patients now means customization. We consider patients' specific preferences with input from caregivers/family members and other health care team members to provide a coordinated, practical plan of care.


While January 25 is designated as IV Nurse Day, we needn't limit our recognition to one day, but celebrate the important contributions infusion nurses make to ensure patients receive safe care. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a recent graduate, infusion nurses are committed to care 365 days a year!


Mary Alexander