1. Alexander, Mary BS, CRNI(R), CAE, INS Chief Executive Officer, Editor

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Most of us make New Year's resolutions every January. Many of them are broken by February; nevertheless we try, and sometimes succeed, in taking the action necessary to change our lives for the better. As another new year begins, think about how you could make improvements in your organization and in your career.

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

First of all, take some time to celebrate your colleagues' and your own professional accomplishments on IV Nurse Day, January 25. Infusion therapy specialists are vital to the healthcare delivery system. Our expertise is called for in all practice settings and all nursing specialties-from hospital to homecare, from oncology to pain management. Patients depend on our ability to assess their needs, identify appropriate nursing interventions, and treat complications related to their therapy. They count on us to educate them as well as advocate on their behalf. We can take well-deserved pride in our commitment to the infusion nursing specialty.


Then consider ways in which you can make a difference in the nursing profession. Mentor a young colleague. Share the education and experience you've gained over the years, and help a new nurse build confidence and expertise. Not only will your patients reap the benefits of a better-educated nurse, but you'll also undoubtedly find the experience to be personally enriching.


Think about what you could do to ease the nursing shortage. Of course you can't solve the entire problem alone, but you can encourage friends, family, and others to join you in your chosen field. Discuss with them the rewards and challenges of nursing, and share your personal experiences. On another level, you can contribute to nursing scholarships, including INS' Gardner Foundation, and you can educate yourself about legislation that supports the nursing profession.


If you aren't a CRNI(R), take the 2006 CRNI(R) Examination in September. This year, for the first time, the exam will be computer-based, which means that you'll have more flexibility in choosing the date of the test (every weekday in September, with the exception of Labor Day, September 4) and the site. The testing time will be reduced from 4 hours to 3, and you will even have time to take a practice test. Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI(R)) shows your patients and employer that you are keeping current with the latest in infusion therapy technology, demonstrating your commitment to the specialty.


Make a plan for furthering your professional education. As a reader of the Journal of Infusion Nursing, you're off to a good start. But take another step: attend the INS Annual Meeting and Industrial Exhibition in Reno, May 6-11. You'll have an opportunity to network with colleagues from all over the country while earning continuing nursing education credits and recertification units for your CRNI(R) credential. The Reno Annual Meeting will feature a special 5-hour focus track on "Infusion Nursing in the Long-term Care and Community Settings," as well as a CRNI(R) Preparatory Review Program and a wide variety of educational sessions.


Choose a research subject of particular interest to you. Collect articles and information for review and analysis. Then discuss your findings with your colleagues and determine how you can integrate the evidence into your practice. Share the results with a larger audience by presenting your research to the INS membership at a national meeting. Finally, consider writing up your research for publication in JIN, and know the satisfaction that comes from educating other health professionals as well as seeing your name in print.


With many opportunities available, choose the one(s) that will help you fulfill your resolution. Make the most of 2006 by promoting the infusion specialty, supporting new nurses, collaborating with colleagues, and learning more!!


Mary Alexander