1. Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN

Article Content

As we all do every year, we take stock on January 1 and resolve to improve ourselves in some way. As infusion nurses, that means we acquire new skills, learn new techniques, apply state-of-the-art technology to our practice, and share our knowledge with others in the healthcare community. Over the past year, in response to members' needs, INS has added a number of new opportunities that will help you to keep that resolution and advance in your profession and improve patient care.

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

INS has made it possible for you to attend an educational session without leaving your home or office. Recently featured on the INS Web site are online webinars-educational programs that are easily accessible on your computer. You can choose to attend in real time or go to the archives at and join the webinar at your convenience. Most webinars are available at no cost to INS members, and some offer continuing nursing education credits.


The new year and a new administration in Washington, DC, will likely usher in innovative ideas for changes to our healthcare system. Keep up with the latest in healthcare policy by visiting the public policy section of the INS Web site, which will be live later this year. You'll find the latest healthcare news from Capitol Hill and state capitals, as well as helpful tips for meeting with your representatives about the nursing issues you care about.


INS encourages our members to work with colleagues to conduct evidence-based research. You can enhance your nursing knowledge by collaborating in a research project designed to produce data that will advance the science of infusion therapy. INS took part in one such project in 2008: "Establishing Research Priorities in Infusion Nursing: Collaboration Between the Infusion Nurses Society and Wayne State University." The findings will be presented in the poster session at the Annual Meeting in Nashville.


As healthcare facilities grapple with the new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) regulations on healthcare-associated infections, administrators will be looking to infusion nurses to help the bottom line by reducing the number of infections and improving patient outcomes. You can be part of the solution by playing an active role in advocating for IV teams at your facility. INS has a number of resources that can help you make that case; visit the INS online store at


This year, validate your experience by earning the CRNI(R) credential. Employers know that certified infusion nurses are highly valued professionals because their expertise leads to better patient outcomes. The Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (INCC) offers the only nationally recognized and accredited infusion nursing certification. You'll find more new ways to earn CRNI(R) recertification units-by continuing education, by being an active member of the Journal of Infusion Nursing Editorial Review Board, by attending INCC-approved chapter education sessions, or by taking the CE tests in the Journal or INS' Counseling Points and Nursing Practice Management (NPM).


Resolve to attend an INS national meeting this year. The 2009 Annual Meeting and Industrial Exhibition will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, from May 16 to 21. CRNI(R)s can earn all 40 needed recertification units by attending the Annual Meeting. More advanced educational sessions are offered in the fall at the One-Day Program and National Academy of Infusion Therapy. This year's meeting will be in sunny Jacksonville, Florida, from November 13 to 15.


Further your education by taking advantage of free archive copies of the Journal of Infusion Nursing. Our publisher, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, has made it possible for members to have access to copies of the Journal (and its predecessor, the Journal of Intravenous Nursing) as far back as 1999. Visit the Membership Exclusive section of the INS Web site to search the archives. As a member, you also have access to free back issues of INS Newsline.


Perhaps this is the year you'll submit an article for the Journal of Infusion Nursing or review submissions for the Journal's Editorial Review Board. Writing for the Journal can be rewarding; it is a well-read vehicle for sharing new clinical research and perspectives on the ever-changing specialty of infusion nursing. You will gain visibility among your colleagues and lend credibility to your day-to-day work. If you choose to review articles submitted to the Journal, you will keep up to date with the latest in the infusion therapy world, and your contributions will keep the Journal vibrant and viable. The Journal can't continue without authors and reviewers!!


We know from experience that we face thinning ranks of nurses. It's up to us to help a new generation of nurses to succeed in their careers. So if you have the opportunity, mentor a young nurse. Use your insight to help a new nurse gain experience and confidence. Encourage her or him to follow you in the growing specialty of infusion nursing.


In the coming year, strive to set high standards for your patient care. Set a good example for your colleagues. Know that you are a vital member of the healthcare team. Celebrate your contributions to the profession of nursing. But most of all, enjoy knowing that your practice makes a difference. Here's to a new year of opportunities and professional growth!!


Mary Alexander