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Wireless multimedia sensor networks (WMSNs) are expected to support multimedia services such as delivery of video and audio streams. However, due to the relatively stringent quality-of-service (QoS) requirements of multimedia services (e.g., high transmission rates and timely delivery) and the limited wireless resources, it is possible that not all the potential sensor nodes can be admitted into the network. Thus, node admission is essential for WMSNs, which is the target of this paper. Specifically, we aim at the node admission and its interaction with power allocation and link scheduling. A cross-layer design is presented as a two-stage optimization problem, where at the first stage the number of admitted sensor nodes is maximized, and at the second stage the network lifetime is maximized. Interestingly, it is proved that the two-stage optimization problem can be converted to a one-stage optimization problem with a more compact and concise mathematical form. Numerical results demonstrate the effectiveness of the two-stage and one-stage optimization frameworks.