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IntNSA: Entering a New Era

Stephen Strobbe
Stephen Strobbe, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC, CARN-AP, FIAAN, FAAN
IntNSA President (2016-2018)
Substance use and addiction has emerged as a national crisis, and a global health risk. In response, the International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA, www.intnsa.org) has taken bold steps toward creating a community of addictions nurses, locally, nationally, and internationally.
As part of a strategic plan set forth by the IntNSA Board of Directors, recent activities have focused on several key areas: increased global visibility, a new website, accreditation of addictions nursing certification exams, and changes to the by-laws.
Let’s take a quick look at each of these, in turn. Increased Global Visibility: IntNSA entered the global stage as a sponsor and exhibitor, and by conducting an integrated symposium on addictions nursing at the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in May 2017.
There we met with hundreds of nurses from all over the world, talked about substance use in their communities and countries, and introduced them to IntNSA.
In October of that same year, I was invited to Reykjavik, Iceland, as part of their 40th anniversary of the Society on Alcoholism and other Addictions (SAA), to talk about addictions nursing and IntNSA.
In June of 2018, IntNSA leaders attended and presented at the conference of the Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA) in Melbourne, Australia.
Most recently, in August, we marked the launching of the Dutch Chapter of IntNSA in Europe, in conjunction with the ICN Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurses (NP/APN) conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
IntNSA is now in the process of joining ESNO, the European Specialist Nurses Organisations, similar to our current involvement with the American Nurses Association (ANA) as an Organizational Affiliate (OA) member.
New website and refreshed branding: In order to create a better connected and more interactive presence, IntNSA has made major investments in its website, and members at the 2018 Annual Educational Conference in Denver, Colorado, will see an exclusive preview of the brand new website on October 3-6 ahead of its official launch.
Accreditation of CARN and CARN-AP Exams: After countless hours of preparation, the Addiction Nurses Certification Board (ANCB) recently submitted its application for accreditation of the CARN and CARN-AP examinations, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.
Certification as an addictions nurse currently applies to registered and advanced practice nurses in the United States and Canada. Future areas for exploration include certification for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and the global community of nurses.
By-Laws: Changes to IntNSA by-laws have been proposed to better address addictions nursing from a global perspective, to increase leadership opportunities among our members, and to streamline voting and other decision-making processes.
A New Era: These are the final weeks of my term as President of IntNSA. This has been a remarkable journey. I am grateful to our members for placing your faith in me, and to our Board of Directors, and affiliates—ANCB, the Foundation for Addictions Nursing (FAN), and the Journal of Addictions Nursing (JAN)—for your extraordinary support of these high-risk, high-reward initiatives.
Parents naturally want their children to surpass them in their achievements. In the same way, I want the next team of IntNSA leaders to catapult our organization to new heights, as we realize our stated Vision, “To be a global leader in addictions nursing.” I have worked closely with our incoming President, Dr. Katherine Fornili, and President-Elect, Dr. Carmel Clancy, to assure a smooth and effective transition, while simultaneously maintaining our momentum.
As is often heard in mutual help groups, “Addiction never sleeps.” With a growing global presence and capacity, neither does IntNSA.
I have never met a more passionate, committed, energetic, and inspiring group of professionals than addictions nurses.
If you work with patients, families, and communities that are affected by substance use (and we all do), then join us (www.intnsa.org/join). There has never been a better or more important time to be an addictions nurse.
Great challenges, and accomplishments lie ahead!
Enthusiastically yours,
Stephen

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