The American Nurses Association (ANA), a long-time partner with INS, has designated 2018 the Year of Advocacy. As part of this initiative, ANA is asking all nurses “to exercise their influence to shape and bring about change #BedsideandBeyond.”1 Nurses, who make up the largest group of health care professionals in the country, and whose profession was recently ranked the most “honest and ethical” for the 16th year in a row,2 are in a unique position to achieve that goal.
As infusion nurses, we are committed to the highest level of care for the public—our patients—from newborns to the elderly, in all practice settings. Advocating for patients has been a core component of INS' mission since its inception,3 just as INCC, our sister organization, has advocated for the importance of the CRNI® credential and the “role certified nurses play in promoting optimal health outcomes.”4
While advocating on behalf of our patients, INS is also committed to supporting infusion nurses by developing an array of resources that provide a framework for safe infusion practices. They include the Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice, the Policies and Procedures series, and the Clinical Competency Validation Program, which has been developed for clinicians who want to validate their infusion nursing skills in acute care and alternative settings. INS also offers a vast catalog of online educational resources in our LEARNING CENTER. Visit www.learningcenter.ins1.org and choose from webinars, position papers, podcasts, community discussions, virtual infusion education, and more.
Among the critical issues for the nursing profession is the fact that nurses are “historically underrepresented on hospital and other boards where major health care decisions are made.”5 ANA and INS are members of the Nurses on Boards Coalition, which was formed when national organizations came together to launch a nationwide effort to help ensure that at least 10 000 nurses are on boards by 2020.6 Their efforts seek to increase awareness that “all boards would benefit from the unique perspectives of nurses to achieve the goals of improved health, and efficient and heath care systems at the local, state, and national level.”6
Just as we advocate for the care of our patients, nurses must also show support for our colleagues. In this issue, authors Linda A. Treiber, PhD, MSN, RN, and Jackie H. Jones, EdD, MSN, RN, look at how adverse events during patient treatment can result in distress and professional suffering for the nurse involved. Their article, Making an Infusion Error: The Second Victims of Infusion Therapy-Related Medication Errors, focuses on recent nursing graduates who are coping with the effects of “second victim syndrome.” While the opportunity for errors exists throughout the health care system, organization leaders, as well as peers, must be vigilant in providing relevant training and support for colleagues who have been involved in an adverse event, especially one that has resulted in patient harm.
National Nurses Week will be observed May 6-12, 2018. Let's all take time to recognize and celebrate the daily contributions all nurses make to improve the health of their patients and the communities in which they provide care. Their advocacy efforts do make a difference.
1. American Nurses Association. National Nurses Week 2018. Published February 1, 2018. Accessed February 9, 2018.