Presidential Address

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Excerpt

I hope you have enjoyed these past few days learning, networking, socializing, and making new friends at this year's annual meeting. I am extremely honored and blessed to begin my role as your INS president. I extend my sincere thanks to Mary Alexander and the INS staff, the INS board of directors, and all INS past presidents who have set the precedent for leadership. I thank my family, work colleagues, church family, and last but not least, my dear friend Vicci Hyde, who many years ago said to me, “Let's build an IV team, put in PICCs, give chemotherapy, and take the CRNI® exam!” And we did.
Each year, the president is given the opportunity to choose a theme. I had a lot of ideas, but one kept coming back to me because I'm a big believer in things that can be. So, I chose “Believe in the Possible—A Vision of Tomorrow's Health Care” as my presidential theme. I reflected on believers and visionaries who have lived before us. Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, and Florence Nightingale did not listen when others said, “Your dreams are impossible.” And I thought about today's leaders, like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Marc Zuckerberg, whose innovations in technology reinvented how millions communicate around the globe.
Muhammad Ali, a man who referred to himself as the “greatest,” was from my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. One of his most memorable quotes is: “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”1 Ali was a man who overcame what looked impossible and changed it.
Infusion nurses are living in the most opportune time to envision the possibilities in our profession. Our specialized skills and knowledge have prepared us to be leaders in infusion care. Infusion nurses have an impact on the care of patients with initial device selection, infusion medication administration, and access device removal. We set the standard for infusion care and provide guidance to all nurses. Infusion nurses understand that having a vision is the first step toward achieving the possible.
Infusion nurses have influence. We know how to set priorities, exemplify integrity, and initiate change. As nursing leaders, we have the right attitude, and above all, we genuinely care about the success of others. John C. Maxwell, a well-known minister, leadership coach, and author, describes how leadership influence is not about position, status, or authority. In his book Developing the Leader Within You, he says leadership is about having followers. Influential infusion nurses guide others with respect, teaching, mentoring, role modeling, and offering encouragement. Leaders with vision are on a mission and their spirit is contagious.2
Infusion nurse leaders respond and embrace change no matter how difficult. I enjoyed being on an IV team and doing what had become comfortable to me. When the team was dissolved, I first resisted change, but then quickly realized I needed to start believing in the possible and a vision for my own future. I knew I would have to trust my knowledge, skills, experience, and talents. Looking back, it is amazing how believing in myself helped me find my way into an exciting, new adventure in my career. Infusion nurses have experienced many changes and will continue to face many more in the future.
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