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Iowa Board of Nursing - News You Can Use

December 30, 2020 - Volume 1, Issue 15


News & Updates

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A New Year Greeting - Welcome 2021

Hello all,

It has been several months since I have written a message for News You Can Use. It now seems appropriate since the New Year is just around the corner. I believe everyone would agree that 2020 has been quite the year. Iowans have had to fight the challenges of a Pandemic, a Derecho and simply the everyday challenges that life brings with it.

In the beginning there was not a manual to follow with step-by- step directions on how to navigate our way through a Pandemic. Trial and error and research has given us all a better understanding of best practices, guidelines and protocols; but we also know there is so much more to learn about this virus.

As we approach 2021, I want to continue to commend all the essential workers who have played such an important role in doing their part to combat COVID-19 – and of course, especially nurses. Nurses have been referred to as heroes during this year. A hero is described as a person who is, “admired for achievements, noble qualities and a person who shows great courage” (Merriam – Webster Dictionary).  How true this description is and has always been in describing nurses!

I want to challenge all nurses, no matter what role you are in, where you work or what your job duties are that you continue to be a hero to yourself, your patients, your students, your fellow nurses, all healthcare workers and all the essential workers you work with. On a regulatory note, continue these important practices:

  • Regularly refer to the BON website and the Board’s COVID – 19 webpage.
  • Keep updated on the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation and the licensing relief measures.
  • If possible, renew your license on time during the pandemic to avoid forgetting at a later date.
  • At the time of renewal, keep your log in ID and password in a safe location. Keep it with your continuing education certificates and then you will have everything you need when it is time for your next renewal.
  • Continue to learn, keep up to date on your continuing education even during the pandemic if resources allow you to.
  • At the time of initial licensure or renewal answer all questions honestly, specifically relating to your continuing education and criminal history.
  • Keep your current address and any name changes updated with the Board office.
  • Review the Board of Nursing Administrative Rules and know your licensing requirements and scope of practice. The rules can be found on the Board of Nursing website,
  • Ask questions if you do not know the answers when carrying out your job duties and refer to agency policies and procedures.
  • Refer back to your basic nursing education in providing care and making decisions and then build on the basics through continued education and experience.

On a professional note:

  • Consider joining a professional nursing organization.
  • Know who your legislators are and what possible legislation is impacting your profession and have a voice.
  • Consider applying to be on a Board. Nurses need to be at the table as decisions concerning healthcare are being made.

On a personal note:

  • Take care of yourselves: Use self-help methods to keep healthy mentally and physically.
  • Take care of your fellow nurses. If you see a co-worker who appears to be having difficulties personally or professionally reach out to them and encourage them to seek help.
  • Refer to resources on the Board of Nursing website and in this issue of News You Can Use, if you or your peers are in need of assistance.

I wish you all peace, happiness and health in the coming New Year. There will continue to be challenges, but we as nurses have the knowledge and experience to help lead the way in eliminating those challenges.

Stay safe,

Kathy Weinberg, MSN, RN

Executive Director, BON

IHERF Scholarship Program

The Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) is proud to support the Health Care Careers Scholarship program through its subsidiary, the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF). In 2021, they will award 60 scholarships of up to $7,000 ($3,500 per year for up to two years) and $1,000 to the Emergency Medical Technology/Technician Certification Program. IHERF has supported higher education for more than 500 Iowa college students since 2004.

The goal of the Health Care Careers Scholarship program is to fill Iowa health care positions that have a notable number of openings by offering significant financial support to students seeking health care education or training. IHA does not and shall not discriminate against applicants because of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, military status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  Members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. 

In exchange, each $3,500 award recipient must commit to working one year in an Iowa hospital for each year of the scholarship award. The $1,000 award recipients must commit to working one year with a hospital-based or hospital-contracted emergency medical service. IHERF will identify placement opportunities in each IHA geographic district (a district map is included with the application).

Scholarship applicants must be enrolled in an accredited program and be within two-years of completing their professional education. For a list of qualifying programs, please visit the IHERF website.

IHERF will score scholarship applications and make awards based on applicant qualifications. The 2021 IHERF scholarship application process launched December 1, 2020. All portions of the application must be submitted by March 30, 2021. Recipients will be announced after May 1, 2021. 

IHA would appreciate your support and promotion of this scholarship. You may know:

  • A family member or friend of an employee interested in a health care career.
  • A hospital employee looking for advancement.
  • A student enrolled in a qualified health care program.
  • Someone in your community interested in a health care career.

Applications must be submitted on IHERF’s scholarship website: The site will confirm students’ scholarship eligibility before beginning the application process. Students also will submit their college program verifications and references on this site.

For more information, please contact Clara Stults at or 515-288-1955.

Nurses On Boards Coalition

The Nurses on Boards Coalition is currently working to ensure that at least 10,000 nurses are on boards by 2020. All boards benefit from the unique perspective of nurses to achieve the goals of improved health and efficient and effective health care systems at the local, state and national levels.

To have your efforts in board leadership be recognized and counted please fill out the registration form on their website. See this link for more information:

nurses on boards graphic

Interesting News

Click on the heading links below for more information.

Upcoming Board Meetings are listed on the Board's website

The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is January 20-22, 2021. Agendas (posted no later than 24 hours before a meeting) and approved minutes can be found at Board Meeting Records

Emergency Proclamations Continue

The license relief
emergency proclamation,
among other extensions,
set forth by Governor Kim Reynolds was continued on December 10, 2020, and runs through January 8, 2021. Click on the above emergency proclamation link to see the Board's COVID19 webpage. The Board strongly encourages licensees to renew on time. 

Resources Available for Nurses Dealing with
Substance Use and/or Mental Health Concerns
during the Pandemic
The Iowa Board of Nursing recognizes that during this time of crisis and world-wide COVID-19 pandemic, licensed professionals may be struggling to live and work each day, particularly those
professionals dealing with substance use or mental health concerns. 

Consistency is a part of recovery and we understand that may be difficult right now. Your health and safety is important to us. We encourage those who are already a part of the Board’s  monitoring program to continue down the path of recovery.

For those who are not part of a program but find yourself struggling, we encourage you to reach out. If you would like to self-report and need assistance with substance use and or mental health concerns, please contact the Iowa Nurse Assistance Program

(INAP) staff: 

Rhonda Ruby, MS, RN
INAP Program Coordinator
(515) 725 4008

Michele Royer, LBSW
INAP Case Manager
(515) 725 3389

"You Didn't HaveTo" by Brown & Gray
The Connecticut Center for Nursing Workforce, Inc. and the Connecticut League for Nursing, Inc. were the catalyst for engaging the Country Duo, Brown & Gray, to write and perform a song entitled, “You Didn’t Have To” in honor of Connecticut nurses, and nurses around our nation and the globe! We are pleased to help them with promotion of this great song. 

See the YouTube video of the song at this LINK

Do You Need Help Coping with COVID-19?

The Iowa Department of Public Health has a program to support healthcare professionals who have been impacted by COVID-19 and are struggling with their behavioral health.

Please contact Your Life Iowa by either calling 1-855-581-8111 or texting 1-855-895-8398. The program provides telehealth and recovery support services for adults with behavioral health needs impacted by COVID-19.

For more information specific to the program, please contact

Sponsored by the Iowa Department of Public Health and funded by Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Emergency COVID-19 Project (CFDA 93.665).

Source: Do You Need Help Coping with COVID-19? October 2020, A Matter of Substance Newsletter. A publication of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Division of Behavioral Health Bureau of Substance Abuse. 

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

News archives may be found at this LINK

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