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Thank you, members, for choosing me for this important leadership role for the coming year!! I also want to thank the Board of Directors, Mary Alexander, CEO of INS, and the national office staff, who have given me their direction and support. I am honored to serve in the role of president of this prestigious nursing organization.

Figure. Lynn M. Czap... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Lynn M. Czaplewski, RN, BC, BSN, CRNI(R), OCN(R)

The presidential theme I have chosen is "Pathways to Excellence." INS' vision is to exceed the public's expectations of excellence by setting the standard for infusion care. "Excellence" is the first of the 4 values that INS works to achieve. Excellence, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is "exceptionally high quality-faultless, valuable, important, and good." It is doing the right things right. Achieving excellence is a journey. As nurses we strive to improve our patients' experiences as they venture through the healthcare system. Yet we know in our daily nursing practice that as a profession, sometimes we are nowhere near achieving excellence. We may have seen a patient die from a catheter-related sepsis or suffer a setback because of an IV-related phlebitis. We hear story after story from our patients who have been stuck numerous times to have an IV started while nurses expect them to bear the pain in silence. We know that neonates sustain countless needlesticks as they fight to live because a physician would not order a central line. We have seen the elderly with arms full of bruises after even a brief hospitalization. These are the patients who depend on us to take the "Pathways to Excellence" to continually work to uphold professional standards of practice grounded in evidence.


What does excellence look like? To me, it is professional accountability to use the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice and other research-based evidence in developing infusion educational programs and competency assessment initiatives in schools of nursing and within healthcare organizations. It is collaborating with other professionals in setting policies and procedures and practice guidelines in congruence with the standards. It is taking the time to thoroughly assess the patient for the most appropriate vascular access device. It is a commitment to life-long learning. It is accepting leadership roles. It is evaluating outcomes for continuous improvement. It is patient-centered.


We cannot journey on these pathways alone if we want change. We have the professional responsibility to teach, mentor, and show by example what the "Pathways to Excellence" look like. With our leadership, we must take our colleagues, nursing students, administrators, and other healthcare professionals on this journey with us to demonstrate how evidence-based infusion nursing practice can lead to patient-centered excellence. We must continually raise the standards of excellence and never settle for the status quo.


In order to support each other on these pathways, we need to network with each other. The INS Spring National Academy, Annual Meeting and Industrial Exhibition, and the Fall National Academy are valuable venues for networking. We learn so much from each other. On a local level, the chapters must continually be instilled with new energy and increasing membership to be powerful entities dedicated to improvement in infusion quality. INS is currently working on initiatives to help chapters grow and progress.


Through certification, attendance at INS' educational programs, application of the standards of practice, and use of INS resources, we have the ability to reach excellence in providing patient care. But we must "walk the walk" and "talk the talk" to bring sustained change into nursing practice. Vince Lombardi, the late coach of the Green Bay Packers, said, "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence." Please join me as we journey on the "Pathways to Excellence."