Read the News You Can Use - May is National Nurses Month

Iowa Board of Nursing - News You Can Use

May 4, 2020 - Volume 1, Issue 7


News & Updates

Year of the Nurse - National Nurses Month

When the World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, the intent was to highlight the ability of nurses and midwives to transform healthcare around the world. Additionally, the celebrations were set to honor the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth on May 12th. (WHO, n.d.) Early in the year - everything changed. 

Little did the modern world know how very critical nurses and all healthcare workers are until experiencing the impact of the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus and the disease called COVID-19. Never before has the knowledge, commitment and sacrifice of healthcare heroes been so evident. Inside hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and homes around the world, nurses and the healthcare teams are learning more about the new disease every day, testing and tracing patients, collecting data, observing trends, trying to flatten the disease curve, educating the public and providing the care for people fighting for their lives.  

When Florence Nightingale (born May 12, 1820; died August 13, 1910) was sent to care for British soldiers during the Crimean War in 1854, she and her trained nursing team found the mayhem of war which included the wounded soldiers: More importantly, they observed the lack of sanitary sewers, ventilation and other needed medicine and equipment. Nightingale immediately set into place the foundation of hospital hygiene and sanitation. She began the use of statistical data to justify those actions she suggested. Infection rates declined. Hospital designs changed. The field of nursing changed. (

The more things change - the more they stay the same.   

Wash your hands often.

Cover your cough and sneezes.

Avoid close contact.   

Stay home if you're sick. 

Clean and disinfect. 

Those statements have been ingrained into the public's thinking over and over in the last eight weeks. It brings back Nightingale's findings from 1854. Crowded conditions can add to the infection rates. The lack of sanitation and poor hygiene will spread the disease. "Fresh air" is critical for the healing of all. Today, we are back to basics to fight the dreaded COVID-19 disease.  

Florence Nightingale was hailed as a hero. For centuries, nurses have impacted lives in meaningful and important ways. Nurses are leaders. Nurses are critical to the success of interprofessional healthcare teams. Nurses are collaborators. Nurses are innovators. Nurses are the caregivers. 

Today - more than ever - nurses are heroes.

picture of Florence Nightingale

New Board Members/Positions Announced

The Iowa Board of Nursing consists of a seven-member board of individuals appointed by the governor. For the term May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021, the board members are as follows:

Mark G. Odden, BSN, MBA, CRNA, ARNP
Representing Nursing Practice
Term ends 2022

Kathryn Dolter, RN, PhD
Vice Chairperson
Representing Nursing Education
Term ends 2021

Nancy Kramer, EdD, ARNP, CPNP, CNE
Representing Nursing Education 
Term ends 2022

Stephanie Carr, RN
Representing Nursing Practice
Term ends 2023

Amy Belz, LPN
Representing Nursing Practice
Term ends 2023

BJ Hoffman
Representing the Public
Term ends 2023

Gordon Goettsch, DDS
Representing the Public
Term ends 2022

To learn more about the board appointment process, see the Governor's website at this LINK

What's the Difference?

Many calls come to the Iowa Board of Nursing (IBON) that are intended for the professional nurses associations. What? Aren't they the same thing? The answer is "No, they are not the same thing."

The following information tells you what the IBON is: 

  • Legally constituted body (state agency) which regulates nursing practice (LPN, RN, ARNPs) within Iowa;
  • 7 Members appointed by Governor (5 registered nurses, 2 Public)
  • Created in 1917
  • One of 59 state or territorial jurisdictions of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)

Mission Statement:

The mission of the board is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by regulating the licensure of nurses, the practice of nurses, nursing education and continuing education.


  • License & maintain records for RNs, LPNs, and Advanced Practice Nurses;
  • Interpret Nurse Practice Act;
  • Approve nursing education programs conducted in Iowa;
  • Approve continuing education (CE) providers and audit CE requirements of licensees;
  • Introduce and monitor legislation impacting nursing regulation; promulgate administrative rules;
  • Collaborate with other nursing organizations, governmental agencies, and public regarding nursing regulation;
  • Investigate complaints against nurses and carry out appropriate disciplinary actions;
  • Provide nursing workforce supply information gathered through the licensure process.

Although they sound very similar the IBON regulates nurses, nursing practice and nursing education. The professional associations that nurses choose to join are the advocacy agencies who can connect, support and represent the nursing profession. IBON encourages nurses to join their professional associations. 

Interesting News

Click on the links below for more information. 

The Iowa CareGivers independent nonprofit organization continues their campaign to spotlight the important work of direct care workers (DCWs). DCWs are critical to the work of registered nurses. See their response to COVID-19 in this statement.


State of Iowa Coronavirus Website

Daily testing statistics, regional assessments and hospitalizations may be found on the State's website. 


Iowa Board of Nursing COVID-19 Webpage

The Board's memorandums and information impacting nurse licensees may be found on the IBON Covid-19 page. Emergency license information was posted on April 29th to assist new graduates with expedited licensing during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes


Johnson & Johnson Live Video Series "The Road to a Vaccine" 


Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes (HERO) Research


The 100 Great Iowa Nurses, Class of 2020 has been announced. See their

Congratulations to the honorees! 


Check out the Nurses Month Facebook profile picture frames provided by the ANA. See the full instructions at this LINK.


Iowa Nurse Assistance Program seeks committee members

Deadline is May 31, 2020. 


Upcoming Board Meetings are listed on the Board's website. 


Agendas and Minutes for the Board Meetings are posted per the law. See the Board's website for the records. 

News You Can Use is the official means of communication from the IBON to Iowa Nurses.

Nursing Newsletter and News You Can Use archives may be found at this LINK

person at a computer