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

Article Content

The theme for my presidential year was "ReSEARCH Your Passion," so I hope your spirit of inquiry has been ignited. Recently, my spirit of inquiry was sparked when I found an article on expanding the authority of nurses in Israel to insert peripheral intravenous (IV) catheters.1 The article made me wonder about when, and what, was the impetus for nurses in the United States to begin inserting peripheral IV catheters. This can be considered historical research, which is a systematic study "to discover facts and relationships about past events.2,p790 In the literature, I uncovered that the professional nursing role in the United States expanded in 1966 into IV therapy.3 Physicians relinquished this bedside procedure to nurses because they were needed to provide "better care for the increasing number of patients in our hospitals.3,p259 A team of specially trained registered nurses was responsible for venipuncture and administration of IV therapy in hospitals.3 Ada Plumer was identified as the first IV nurse, forming the first IV team at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.4 Then, in 1973, Plumer, along with Marguerite Knight from the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, organized the National Intravenous Therapy Association (NITA), which is now the Infusion Nurses Society (INS).4 Each year since 1978, the president reported the activities of the organization in the NITA Journal. Then, the first "State of the Society" message was written in 1998 by Corinne Wheeler, summarizing INS activities during her year as president.5 The more than 20 years of "State of the Society" record the history of INS and can be used in historical research.

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

Today, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which continued through most of 2021, with the leadership of Mary Alexander, the INS Board of Directors, and the INS staff, INS remains the global authority in infusion therapy. INS was able to support members in many ways such as with an increased number of virtual educational webinars, engaging podcasts, and an in-person INS 2021 conference in Las Vegas. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your 2021-2022 president. Thank you, members, for your support and leadership as we navigated some difficult times due to this hopefully once-in-our-careers pandemic.


My year as president started with the National Academy of Medicine release of the Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity Report, which identified that, in the next 10 years, nursing will demand a larger, more diversified workforce prepared to provide care in different settings, address the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, break down structural racism and the root causes of poor health, and respond to future public health emergencies.6 This report, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, asserts the importance of nurses' health and well-being and the impact that their well-being has on the patient care they provide. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 envisioned that "Nurses attend to their own self-care and help to ensure that nurse well-being is addressed in educational and employment settings through the implementation of evidence-based strategies" as one of the 10 desired outcomes from this report.6,p2


INS has taken actions based on the NASEM recommendations such as creating a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force. In the second year of the DEI Task Force, Crystal Miller and Felicia Schaps, both past INS presidents, led the Task Force, which consists of a diverse cross-section of INS members. After surveying INS members on racial prejudice as the first attempt to begin the sometimes-uncomfortable conversation on racism, the DEI Task Force members are now sharing their stories in the INSider. I hope you will take time to listen to the video stories in the INSider. Another action INS has taken regarding the NASEM recommendations was reminding INS members about the importance of self-care. It is so important that we take time for self-care because we know the emotional toll that the pandemic has had on nurses. The INSider has been a forum for nurses to share their stories and experiences from the pandemic.


As infusion therapy has been a critical component in patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was especially important to recognize infusion nurses this year. While caring for patients with COVID-19, nurses-especially infusion nurses-have been challenged as never before. INS's theme for National IV Nurse Day this year, celebrated every January 25th as a day to recognize infusion nurses, was "Strong I(nitiatives), N(urses), S(tandards)." This theme honors the characteristics that nurses exemplify and recognizes the importance of the 2021 Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice (the Standards) in infusion nurses' practice.



Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice (the Standards)

To remain current with the latest research and to foster more rapid translation of evidence into practice, INS will now revise the Standards every 3 years, with the next edition to be released in January 2024. On January 25, 2022 (IV Nurse Day), the Standards of Practice Committee met in person to begin revising the Standards. Led by Barb Nickel and cochair Lisa Gorski, the Standards of Practice Committee includes 12 clinicians from the United States, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, all with expertise in infusion therapy, vascular access, and research.


INS 2021

After the 2020 virtual annual meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, INS members were delighted to meet in-person at INS 2021 in Las Vegas. Approximately 500 attendees were empowered with the latest information on infusion therapy and able to network with vendors and other attendees, and some were even able to participate in or watch the recording of podcasts in the Exhibit Hall.



The Vesicant Task Force is updating the 2016-2017 work on noncytotoxic vesicant medications and solutions to align with the 2021 Standards. Led by Lisa Gorski, task force members include Lynn Hadaway, Kathy Kokotis, Barb Nickel, Jennie Ong, and Ruth Van Gerpen. Noncytotoxic vesicants will be identified by category rather than by individual medications or solutions. The vesicant list and extravasation checklist will be revised, as well as the article, "Development of an Evidence-Based List of Noncytotoxic Vesicant Medications and Solutions."



INS continues to partner with other organizations and welcomes the opportunity to provide input on infusion- and vascular access-related issues. INS is an Organizational Affiliate of the American Nurses Association (ANA), and a member of the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC), Nursing Community Coalition (NCC), and the Nursing Organizations Alliance (NOA). Our collaborative efforts continue with the Association of Vascular Access (AVA), Alliance for Vascular Access Teaching and Research (AVATAR), National Home Infusion Association (NHIA), National Student Nurses Association, and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN), to name a few.



INSider Member Spotlight

INS continues to send out a call for members to share their stories and experiences about how INS membership has been valuable to their clinical practice. You can read their stories in each issue of the INSider, and remember, it is never too late to share your story!



INS is proud to welcome the inaugural Journal of Infusion Nursing (JIN) Editorial Review Board consisting of members Lynn Brown, Gail Dammert, Theresa Gillespie, and Angie Malone. Their roles include performing manuscript reviews, supporting manuscript acquisition, and advising editors on the vision, direction, strategy, and evidence-based focus of JIN.


Global Presence

INS continues to promote the specialty practice of infusion therapy and our resources that influence patient care worldwide. Virtual programs have allowed INS to reach clinicians around the globe and address topics of interest, such as the Standards, evidence-based infusion care, and CRNI(R) certification. We have connected with clinicians in China, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, and in numerous countries in Latin America.



Despite the continued unprecedented pandemic, INS persevered and unwaveringly led the specialty practice of infusion therapy worldwide during this past year. As INS members, we can be proud of our specialty professional organization, which, under the leadership of Mary Alexander, is financially stable and provides us with many benefits to our specialty practice such as numerous education programs, a scholarly journal and newsletter, informative podcasts, networking opportunities with INS members, and even opportunities to collaborate and conduct ReSEARCH.




1. Ben Natan M, Mahameed S, Mordechayev M, Saban A, Hanukashvili A, Dudkiewicz M. Medical staff attitudes towards expansion of nurse authority to perform peripheral intra venous cannulation. Int J Car Scis. 2015;8(1):69-76. [Context Link]


2. Polit DF, Beck CT. Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice. Ninth ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013. [Context Link]


3. Levenstein BP. Intravenous therapy: A nursing specialty. Nurs Clin North Am. 1966;1(2):259-267. [Context Link]


4. Alexander M. Ada Lawrence Plumer. J Infus Nurs. 2007;30(4):189-190. [Context Link]


5. Wheeler C. State of the society. J Intraven Nurs. 1998;21(4):185-189. [Context Link]


6. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2021. [Context Link]