1. Weaver, Sue PhD, RN, CRNI(R), NEA-BC
  2. INS President 2021-2022

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During these unprecedented years in nursing, it is truly an honor to serve as the Infusion Nurses Society's (INS') President-Elect and President. I hope to inspire my INS colleagues with my presidential theme, "ReSEARCH Your Passion" and look forward to sharing my personal story, my passion for research, and my most recent interest in the healthy work environment.

Sue Weaver, PhD, RN,... - Click to enlarge in new windowSue Weaver, PhD, RN, CRNI(R), NEA-BC

When I was a nurse educator, I was asked to teach the intravenous (IV) course at my community hospital. Our hospital followed the Consortium of New Jersey Nurse Educators (CNJNE) IV course curriculum, yet I wondered what made me competent to teach this IV course. I was adept at inserting IVs, because at that time I was also an evening supervisor and was frequently asked to insert short peripheral catheters in patients who had difficult venous access. So, at a CNJNE meeting I talked with nurse educator colleagues about my conundrum with teaching the IV course, and they advised me to join INS.


My journey with INS officially began in 2007 when I traveled to my first Fall National Academy Conference and listened to presentations from infusion experts, networked with other members, learned about the Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice (the Standards), and was inspired to obtain my certification as an infusion nurse. After the conference, I worked with our nurse practice committee to update the hospital's vascular access policies and procedures based on the Standards. My next step was to verify my knowledge in infusion therapy by taking the certification examination. I studied the Standards and the Core Curriculum for Infusion Nursing and thoroughly reviewed the core areas of infusion nursing. As many of you may know, the examination was challenging, but I was delighted to pass and become a certified registered nurse infusion (CRNI(R)). This credential reinforced my confidence and competence to teach the IV course at my hospital.


In 2016, I submitted an application in response to INS' National Council on Education (NCOE) member recruitment. After receiving so much support from INS through their conferences, their Learning Center offerings, and the Standards, I wanted to do my part and give back to the organization.


I served as a member of NCOE from 2017 to 2020 and helped plan the INS conferences by researching infusion-related topics and coordinating appropriate speakers. I introduced the NCOE members to the American Nurses Association (ANA) "Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation" (HNHN) social movement and explained how infusion nurses would benefit from learning more about how to improve their health and wellness. For the closing presentation at INS 2019, NCOE chose to have Holly Carpenter, Senior Policy Advisor at ANA and HNHN leader, to inspire infusion nurses to take action to improve their health.


As we continue to deal with the effects on our health and well-being after caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to take time to care for ourselves. INS has partnered with HNHN and encourages infusion nurses to join HNHN (, which has an abundance of resources and is free for all nurses. Try to take some time for self-care.


ReSEARCH Your Passion

In my current role as a nurse scientist, I conduct and disseminate research on the nursing workforce because I am passionate about supporting the work of nurses. As Clare L. Watson, President of the National Intravenous Therapy Association (now known as INS) wrote in the first President's column in 1978, "We need to disseminate knowledge."1 I would like to follow her recommendation and discuss the nurse work environment, as this is an opportune time for infusion nurses to assess their work environment. I know many nurses shudder at the word research, but from the time I was a nursing student in a diploma school, I had always hoped to be involved in research in the future. I am currently working on disseminating the results of a study I conducted examining night shift clinical nurses' and administrative supervisors' perception of their work environment and job satisfaction. With this research, I hope to demonstrate the importance of fostering the healthy work environment standards on all shifts.


ANA defines the healthy work environment as a workplace that is "safe, empowering, and satisfying."2 An abundance of research has since been conducted linking features of a positive work environment to better nurse and patient outcomes.3-6 Research demonstrates that unhealthy work environments cause medical errors, ineffective delivery of care, conflict, stress among health workers, dissatisfied staff, low staff retention, increased staff burnout, and poor patient outcomes.7-10 In response to growing evidence of the outcomes of unhealthy work environments, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) first issued the "AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence" in 2005.7 The 6 standards for successful establishment of a healthy work environment (HWE) include:


* Skilled communication


* True collaboration


* Effective decision-making


* Appropriate staffing


* Meaningful recognition


* Authentic leadership



Think about your work environment as an infusion nurse. You can assess your work environment using the AACN HWE assessment tool.11 Although there is a paucity of literature on the work environment of infusion nurses, I found 2 articles that discuss the standards of skilled communication and true collaboration in greater detail. Skilled communication recognizes the importance of communication with patients and the interdisciplinary team. A recent quality improvement intervention revealed that infusion center professionals in a tertiary care setting had increased job satisfaction and decreased stress with the implementation of structured huddles to enhance communication and recognition of staff.12 As we have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, communication can be further enhanced by conducting nursing meetings virtually via Zoom. The true collaboration standard recognizes that nurses need to foster collaboration across the health care team. For more than 2 decades, infusion nurses have been charged with the responsibility to work collaboratively with physicians for the benefit of our patients and organization.13


With "ReSEARCH Your Passion" as my presidential year theme, my goal is to share the fun and exciting parts of research. My first recommendation is to read and critique research articles and conduct performance improvement projects on topics that excite you and are in your area of expertise. In 2015, I conducted my first research study. I interviewed 10 administrative or house supervisors to better understand their roles, which was a role I loved and held for many years. My findings were the first to empirically identify the responsibilities of administrative supervisors along with the need for nationwide research to better understand this role.14 Remember that the best innovation, performance improvement project, evidence-based practice project, and research is generated by YOU, those who provide direct infusion care. I look forward to hearing from you.




1. Watson C. A letter from our president. J Intraven Nurs. 1978;1(1):8. [Context Link]


2. American Nurses Association (ANA). Healthy work environment. Published 2021. Accessed April 15, 2021.[Context Link]


3. Aiken LH, Sermeus W, Van den Heede K, et al Patient safety, satisfaction, and quality of hospital care: cross sectional surveys of nurses and patients in 12 countries in Europe and the United States. BMJ. 2012;344:e1717. doi:10.1136/bmj.e1717 [Context Link]


4. Copanitsanou P, Fotos N, Brokalaki H. Effects of work environment on patient and nurse outcomes. Br J Nurs. 2017;26(3):172-176. doi:10.12968/bjon.2017.26.3.172 [Context Link]


5. Lake ET, Sanders J, Duan R, Riman KA, Schoenauer KM, Chen Y. A meta-analysis of the associations between the nurse work environment in hospitals and 4 sets of outcomes. Med Care. 2019;57(5):353-361. doi:10.1097/MLR.0000000000001109 [Context Link]


6. Wei H, Sewell KA, Woody G, Rose MA. The state of the science of nurse work environments in the United States: a systematic review. Int J Nurs Sci. 2018;5(3):287-300. doi:10.1016/j.ijnss.2018.04.010 [Context Link]


7. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environment: A Journey to Excellence. 2nd ed. AACN; 2016. Accessed April 15, 2021.[Context Link]


8. Nantsupawat A, Kunaviktikul W, Nantsupawat R, Wichaikhum OA, Thienthong H, Poghosyan L. Effects of nurse work environment on job dissatisfaction, burnout, intention to leave. Int Nurs Rev. 2017;64(1):91-98. doi:10.1111/inr.12342 [Context Link]


9. Olds DM, Aiken LH, Cimiotti JP, Lake ET. Association of nurse work environment and safety climate on patient mortality: a cross-sectional study. Int J Nurs Stud. 2017;74:155-161. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.06.004. [Context Link]


10. Ulrich B, Barden C, Cassidy L, Varn-Davis N. Critical care nurse work environments 2018: findings and implications. Crit Care Nurse. 2019;39(2):67-84. doi:10.4037/ccn2019605 [Context Link]


11. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). AACN Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool. Accessed April 15, 2021.[Context Link]


12. Green S, Markaki A, Baird J, Murray P, Edwards R. Addressing healthcare professional burnout: a quality improvement intervention. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2020;17(3):213-220. doi:10.1111/wvn.12450 [Context Link]


13. Blickensderfer L. Nurses and physicians: creating a collaborative work environment. J Intraven Nurs. 1996;19(3):127-131. [Context Link]


14. Weaver SH, Lindgren T. Administrative supervisors a qualitative exploration of their perceived role. Nurs Adm Q. 2016;40(2):164-172. doi:10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000126 [Context Link]