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Good afternoon and thank you for coming. First, I'd like to welcome all of you to Ft. Lauderdale and the 2005 INS Annual Meeting. As CEO of the Infusion Nurses Society, I am pleased to deliver my report on the activities and achievements of your organization. It has truly been a great year for INS, with the launch of several new products, successful educational meetings, a healthy increase in membership, and valuable partnerships; the list goes on. I hope to give you an overview of all that INS has accomplished, the new programs and opportunities that we hope to offer you, and how we have worked on your behalf to promote excellence in infusion care.

Figure. Mary Alexand... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Mary Alexander, BS, CRNI(R), CAE, INS Chief Executive Officer, Editor,


INS' membership increased by 200 new memberships in 2004, and we now stand at approximately 5,400 members. We were also fortunate to work with BD and Medex, who each purchased over 100 new memberships for professionals involved in infusion therapy. Through their generous support, those professionals will receive a 1-year membership to INS.


Even with our membership rolls up, INS is now in its 9th consecutive year without a membership dues increase. We continue to seek sources of non-dues revenue so that we can keep INS membership affordable.


For the third year in a row, INS has teamed up with Allegiance for Associations, a company that surveys our members to find out where they work, what products and services they want, why they remain members of INS. The surveys continue to show that our members are loyal because we provide them with high-quality information that they cannot get anywhere else.



INS' educational products continue to be an important part of our organizational mission. Not only are they a trusted source of infusion information, but the range of products that we can offer continues to grow. In September 2004, INS launched a new addition to its line of clinical resource books. Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing of the Older Adult is the first book of its kind, designed to assist nurses in delivering the highest quality infusion care to the special older adult patient population. Publication of this new book was made possible in part through support from the Nurse Competence in Aging initiative. This initiative is part of a wider collaborative effort between the ANA, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing in the Division of Nursing of New York University's Steinhardt School of Education. I am pleased to say that sales of the book have exceeded our budget expectations.


INS is also very pleased to present at this meeting, the Infusion Therapy Team Implementation Module, a 3-part system designed to help infusion nurses explore the need for, and establish, a dedicated infusion team within their organization. It is well known that the use of specialized infusion services can help to reduce the incidence of infusion-related infections and other complications. Now, infusion nurses can learn how to collect data, form a committee, and implement an infusion team that can save time and money, and can improve patient outcomes. I encourage you to view a sample of the module at the INS Book Store and the INS exhibit hall booth, or on the INS Web site.


INS continues to partner with Nursing Knowledge International, a subsidiary of Sigma Theta Tau International, a nonprofit global organization that helps market and distribute nursing knowledge. Nursing Knowledge International will assist INS in marketing and selling several of our publications, among them, the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice, Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing, and the CD-ROM Fundamentals of Infusion Therapy. INS plans to add to this list, in hopes of reaching a wider nursing audience.



INS' education programs are the cornerstone of the organization, and the quality of our educational meetings over the last year has helped keep us on the cutting edge of infusion care. The 2004 Fall National Academy of Infusion Therapy, held in Indian Wells, Calif, was well-attended. A one-day special program preceded the National Academy, thanks to generous support from B Braun, Bard, and Medi-Flex, and their support also helped us to produce a special Journal supplement this year.


We now look forward the 2005 Fall National Academy, which will be held November 12-13 at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. This year's National Academy will be preceded by a special one-day program on November 11, which is sponsored by ZLB Behring. We look forward to working with ZLB Behring to publish a Journal supplement this fall, which will be based on the presentations from the one-day meeting.


INS is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. As part of our providership, INS is subject to a periodic auditing process during which the content and quality of our programs is evaluated. We are pleased to report that our 2004 audit was successful and that our providership has been extended for another 6 years.



INS took part in some exciting and valuable collaborative endeavors in the past year. One on our most fruitful collaborations was our co-sponsorship of the "State of the Science on Safe Medication Administration" symposium, which was held in Philadelphia in July 2004. This special program was supported by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ 1 R13 HS14836-01), and was co-sponsored by the American Journal of Nursing and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.


The symposium's attendees represented multiple disciplines from across the care continuum, and we all shared a dedication to improving medication safety. Through a mix of presentations, panel discussions, and group breakout sessions, we worked to identify the greatest barriers to medication safety and offer policy and practice recommendations to overcome them. INS' participation included developing the symposium program, publishing a supplement to the Journal of Infusion Nursing and participation in a media teleconference. We are proud to have participated in this symposium because medication safety is a pressing concern for infusion nurses, and we hope that the results of this symposium will stimulate more research and inquiry into the root causes of medication errors.


In addition, we are pleased to share a poster presentation based on this symposium, which will be presented by INS Education Manager, Debbie Benvenuto. Be sure to visit the educational posters in the industrial exhibition hall on Tuesday to view the poster.


Some of INS' other collaborative efforts included lending our expertise to the review process of several infusion-related publications. We reviewed the intravenous therapy section of the Visiting Nurses of America Association's (VNAA) policy and procedure manual for its infusion content, as well as "Standards for Specialized Nutrition Support: Home Care Patients," which was produced by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). Finally, INS offered its perspective for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' "Standards for Medication Management." I'd like to thank all of these organizations for seeking our input, and for their efforts to disseminate standards-based infusion information.


In 2004, INS also offered guidance to the Infectious Diseases Society of America on its new Practice Guidelines for Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy. We published the new guideline as a reprint in the September/October 2004 issue of the Journal of Infusion Nursing. We have continued our collaboration by contributing 3 articles to the OPAT e-newsletter covering infusion nursing certification, clearance of occluded central vascular access devices, and types of vascular access devices.


For the 2nd consecutive year, INS presented a preconference workshop, "IV Therapy Boot Camp: Advancing Your Knowledge and Skills in Infusion Therapy," at the Nursing2005 Symposium. The preconference program was presented by infusion experts Lynn Hadaway, Roxanne Perucca, and INS Education Manager, Debbie Benvenuto. The presentation was not only well received, but our meeting exhibit booth generated lots of interest in the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice, Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing, and the CRNI(R) certification exam.


INS has also decided to support the National Home Infusion Association in its initiative against the Medicare Part D Drug Benefit. As you may know, many home infusion drugs are currently reimbursed through Medicare; however, this new policy will not cover the supplies used to administer home infusion therapies. This will leave home infusion patients in the lurch, without proper supplies or assistance, and will seriously endanger patient outcomes. NHIA is planning a large-scale conference call on the matter in early 2006, and INS plans to officially endorse their efforts to challenge this Medicare policy.


Since publishing our latest book, Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing of the Older Adult last September, INS has continued to work as an ANA-SNAPG (Specialty Nursing Association Partners in Geriatrics), which is a specialty work group established as part of the Nurse Competence in Aging Initiative. As a SNAPG, INS is responsible for disseminating information related to care of the older adult patient as it relates to infusion nursing. At a SNAPG meeting in October 2004, INS showcased Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing of the Older Adult, and Education Manager Debbie Benvenuto took part in a panel presentation that covered the book's contents.


Because the Nurse Competence in Aging Initiative is a 5-year project, INS will continue to serve as an ANA-SNAPG, and we will continue our efforts to spread information on effective infusion procedures for older adult patients.


INS also worked this year with Biogen Idec, a pharmaceutical corporation that recently launched Tysabri(R), an infusion medication intended to slow the progression of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. In its efforts to ensure proper administration of the drug in the ambulatory setting, Biogen Idec purchased 1,800 copies of the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice and Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing, along with selected competencies from the Clinical Competency Validation Program. Biogen also sponsored an issue of Newsline, which featured an article on the treatment of patients with MS. The company distributed the resources free to physician's offices and outpatient infusion centers where the drug would be administered. Although the FDA has suspended the marketing of Tysabri(R) for further study, INS is nonetheless pleased to know that Biogen Idec looked to us as the leader in infusion care, and has made the Standards and Policies and Procedures widely available to clinicians across the country.



The Journal of Infusion Nursing, INS' flagship publication, is still one of INS' most popular member benefits. We have continued to add value to the Journal with 2 supplements, 4 continuing education tests, and collaborations with other nursing journals.


We collaborated with Home Healthcare Nurse in 2004 when we co-published "Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters and Midline Catheters for the Homecare Nurse," by Lisa Gorski and INS President-Elect Lynn Czaplewski. This article was published jointly by our two journals and contained a special continuing education test. I'd like to thank not only the authors for their tireless work under strict deadlines, but also the editor of Home Healthcare Nurse, Carolyn Humphrey, for her attention to detail, her collegiality, and her commitment to publishing high-quality nursing literature.


The March/April 2005 issue of the Journal is another example of our collaborative efforts. The regular issue is accompanied by a supplement that contains proceedings from the "State of the Science on Safe Medication Administration" symposium. The supplement was a collaborative effort between the Journal of Infusion Nursing and the American Journal of Nursing, who served as a co-sponsor of the symposium. Many thanks to Diana Mason, Editor-in-Chief of AJN, for making the supplement come together, and for helping to bring greater attention to the issue of medication safety.


Our May/June 2005 issue also contains a special supplement. The issue focuses on advances in infusion care. Its contributors served as faculty at INS' special one-day educational offering, "Innovations and Technological Advances in Infusion Care," which was held in conjunction with the Fall National Academy in Indian Wells, Calif last November. INS would like to thank B Braun, Bard, and Medi-Flex for their generous co-sponsorship, which has made this supplement and one-day program possible. This supplement is on display in the exhibition hall and will be arriving in your mail soon.


The Journal of Infusion Nursing published several other special articles this year, namely those that were authored by participants of Journal's Writing Mentorship Program. Linda Dohse and Lisa Bass were the first to complete the pilot phase of this program and each published her article in the January/February 2005 issue of the Journal. Congratulations to both of our new authors-I hope that this program has inspired you to continue to publish professionally and share your infusion expertise. I should mention that our current mentee, Anne Lamondy, is currently in the final phases of her article and we hope to publish it in the first issue of 2006. I would also like to offer a heartfelt thanks to our nurse mentor, Christine Pierce, who has volunteered so much of her free time and expertise over the past year to help these nurse authors bring their articles to fruition.


Among INS' other publications, our member newsletter, Newsline, continues to provide our readers with shorter-length clinical articles and information. The Frequently Asked Questions remain a favorite, and we are pleased to announce that we will be expanding Newsline to include several new columns. Our column "Back to Basics" will soon offer at-a-glance information on infusion fundamentals such as catheter flushing and dressing changes; and we have already begun running "INS Salutes [horizontal ellipsis]," a column where INS members can publish their own infusion nursing achievements such as a job promotion, an advanced degree, or the successful establishment of an infusion team.



As one of INS' main representatives, I have had many great opportunities to travel outside the United States and speak to nurses about safe, standards-based infusion practices. In June 2004, with support from BD and 3M Healthcare, I traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I was invited to speak to a group of nurses about the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice, infection control measures, and other infusion-related issues. It was exciting to discover the great interest these nurses had in the Standards, and in improving their infusion practices.


This spring, I was met with the same enthusiasm for the Standards when I traveled to Mexico. With support from PiSA Pharmaceuticals, a manufacturer of infusion-related products and solutions, I presented a lecture entitled "Applying Standards and Guidelines to Clinical Practice: Preventing Infusion-related Complications," to approximately 1,000 Mexican nurses in 4 different regions of the country. I'm pleased to say that the presentations were well received and that I have been invited to return to Mexico in June to speak to a wider audience of nurses.



Although INS is a specialty nursing organization, we are also part of a larger nursing community. As the nursing profession struggles with an ongoing shortage, INS has joined with a nursing collective called ANSR (Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief), to endorse public policy changes that may help stem the shortage.


As one of 50 nursing organizations that make up ANSR, INS became a signatory to endorsement letters for the "Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development" and the "Teacher and Nurse Support Act." Also, letters were sent to congressional Representatives Jim Nussle and John Spratt, and Senators Judd Gregg and Kent Conrage, who are currently serving on federal budget committees and have the power to allocate money to nursing shortage relief. The letters urged them restore over $1 billion in cuts that will affect public health programs and activities.


Not only has INS supported ANSR's calls for nursing shortage legislation, we have also supported the ANSR's first Public Service Award, which was presented to Senators Barbara Mikulski and Susan Collins for their successful efforts to increase funding for nursing programs.


As a member of ANA's Nursing's Agenda for the Future (NAF) Steering Committee, INS participated on a recent conference call to discuss the draft report, The Economic Value of Professional Nursing, compiled by The Lewin Group. NAF, a coalition of nursing associations dedicated to improving the nursing profession, identified the paucity of information on the economic value of professional nursing as an impediment to maintaining and improving the quality of care in our nation's healthcare system. As healthcare facilities, patients, insurers, policy makers, and nurses gain a more complete understanding of the contribution made by professional nurses, they can make better informed decisions regarding appropriate levels and composition of nurse staffing and help to alleviate nurse shortages. Once the report is finalized, research and policy recommendations will be proposed and methods for dissemination of the report identified so that this important work can be adopted by the healthcare community at large.



INS has been successful in improving the efficiency of its day-to-day administrative operations. Beginning in 2005, INS began using an e-mail messaging system that allows us to notify our members of new products, send reminders about upcoming meetings, or other important information. Not only is this method more cost-effective than standard mail, but it has allowed us to communicate with a portion of our membership who prefer to participate in INS through e-mail correspondence. The current trends tell us that members like the immediacy and convenience of e-mail, so look for more INS messages in your inbox this summer.


INS' logo and tagline "Setting the Standard for Infusion Care" isn't just a catch-phrase anymore, it is now a federally registered trademark. INS will now be the only organization that is allowed to use this tagline in conjunction with the INS logo.


INS' online Career Center continues to grow in popularity, and we have seen a steady increase in interest from infusion nurses as well as employers. The Career Center's anonymous resume function allows employers to browse the resumes of potential hires while maintaining the privacy of the job-seeker. I encourage you to browse the Career Center and the rest of the INS Web site in the exhibition hall this week, or to stop by the Cyber Cafe here in the convention center, where free Web access is available.


Gardner Foundation

The Gardner Foundation has added a new award to its list of scholarship and grant awards for infusion nurses. In 2005, the Foundation began offering the Ireta Neumann Scholarship for International Nurses. With the support of BD Medical Systems, the Gardner Foundation will offer up to two $5,000 scholarships each year to non-US nurses who wish to further their infusion education through attendance at an INS meeting.


At this meeting, INS will hold an auction during the industrial exhibition on Wednesday. Proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Gardner Foundation for future awards and scholarships.


INS would like to encourage more members to apply for a Gardner Foundation award or scholarship. Little time is required to apply for the awards, and it could help to pay for attendance at a future INS meeting, continued nursing education, or a research project. The Gardner Foundation awards are a special benefit that is open only to INS members, so consider how an award might help you in your infusion practice.



The Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation, which administers the CRNI(R) certification exam, has reached an important milestone this year. Twenty years ago, the first class of CRNI(R)s sat for the exam at sites across the United States. Twenty years later, almost 80 nurses from the original class of 1985 still hold the designation, "CRNI(R)" (I'm proud to be one of them). A list of the original class is included in the Convention Journal Program, and is on display in the INS registration area. Congratulations to the Class of 1985 for 20 years of infusion excellence.


For anyone who has earned the CRNI(R) credential, you may be pleased to know that INCC trademarked the designation in June of 2004. Trademarking of the credential means that no other credentialing body may offer this designation.


INCC has continued its efforts to raise awareness of the CRNI(R) credential through broader marketing efforts. A free poster is now available through INCC which lists information about the 2005 exam, and INCC now offers the free "Market Yourself" brochure, which helps show CRNI(R)s how to use the credential for professional advancement and recognition.


With increased marketing and employer support, the number of nurses who sit for the CRNI(R) exam continues to grow. In 2004, 405 nurses took the CRNI(R) exam, and 279 passed. Of the new passers, 95% percent were newly certified, and 5% renewed their credential.


To help more nurses prepare for the 2005 CRNI(R) exam, INCC has obtained sponsorship from Bayer to revise the "Preparing for the CRNI(R) Exam" audio and videotapes. Be sure to keep an eye on the certification section of the INS Web site for news about the publication date of these study aids.


The 2005 CRNI(R) exam is scheduled for administration on September 10. At their March meeting, the RN Exam Council, chaired by Nancy Mortlock, in collaboration with Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), INCC's psychometric company, approved the 2005 exam and diligently worked on other exam-related activities. If you have thought about sitting for the CRNI(R) exam, I encourage you to visit the INCC booth in the exhibit hall and take a practice exam, or take part in the CRNI(R) Exam Review Program this week.


This June, Ann Corrigan will complete her 2-year term as Chair of the INCC Board of Directors, and Brenda Dugger will ascend the Chair for the next two years. Roxanne Perucca has been appointed as the new Chair-Elect. As INCC Director Beth Mancini concludes her term on the Board of Directors, Ann Corrigan will transition into that Director position.


INCC has continued to work with the American Board of Nursing Specialties to achieve accreditation of the CRNI(R) exam. ABNS is an organization composed of 24 specialty nursing certification organizations, and exists to promote the value of specialty nursing certification to all stakeholders. To achieve accreditation, INCC must meet the stringent criteria for the 19 ABNS standards. INCC's application for accreditation is currently under review.


As part of a joint research effort among ABNS member organizations, INCC began participating in an online survey regarding the Perceived Value of Specialty Nursing Certification. Participants were randomly selected to include current CRNI(R)s and non-certified nurses. Participants are asked to complete the survey on the ABNS Web site, and provide feedback about their experience or opinions of certification. The data that are collected from this survey will help us to better understand the impact of certification on patient outcomes, ongoing challenges to maintain interest and relevancy of certification, the impact of certification on the retention of nurses, and benefits and rewards to certified nurses. I encourage any of you who are asked to participate in this survey. Its results will give us valuable information about the value of nursing certification.


INS has played an active role in ABNS over the last 2 years. This year, I will conclude my term as ABNS President-Elect and will assume a 2-year ABNS Presidency on July 1. Ann Corrigan, who has served as ABNS Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee, will conclude her term in June as well. I would like to thank Ann for her enthusiasm for nursing certification, her hard work at ABNS, and her admirable representation of INCC.



Finally, I would like to say thank you to our hard-working Board of Directors. Each of you devotes a great deal of time away from your professional and personal life to give back to your organization. To you, our members, thank you for continuing your participation in INS, for the feedback that you offer, for your continued dedication to your specialty. We hope that you will take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities here at the Annual Meeting, and that you will leave here armed with new knowledge and a renewed sense of professional purpose. A famous writer once said, "The secret of joy in work is contained in one word-excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Enjoy the rest of the week here in Ft. Lauderdale.