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Iowa Board of Nursing - News You Can Use

January 28, 2021 - Vol. 2, Issue 1


News & Updates

655 Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) Chapter 6 -Scope of Practice Rules Adopted

Chapter 6 governs the minimum standards of practice for RNs and LPNs and had not been reviewed in its totality for many years. Accordingly, the chapter was reviewed as a whole and was proposed to be rescinded and adopted new in order to make changes in phrasing and organization and to bring the chapter in line with modern practices and terminology. 

The Board of Nursing voted to file 655 IAC Chapter 6, under notice of intended action on July 15, 2020. The rules were published on September 9, 2020, in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin. A public hearing was held September 29, 2020. Public comment ended September 29, 2020, with several comments received. 

During the board meeting held January 20, 2021, Board members reviewed and discussed the public comments and made amendments to the Administrative Rules Reviews Committee ARC-5172C filing. Board members voted to adopt ARC-5172C, with amendments. 

The adopted rules will be published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin. To track the rules, see this link: Iowa Administrative Bulletin and IAC supplement. As of this writing, the date of publication and effective date for 655 IAC Chapter 6, Scope of Practice rules is unknown. 

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 participants in the Board’s monitoring program to continue down the path of recovery. For those who are not part of a program and are 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


The Iowa Board of Nursing has compiled a list of resources available for nurses needing assistance with recovery
and wellness. The resources include online self-help meetings,
self-care resources, and/or sessions with providers using
telehealth methods. None of the individual resources listed are endorsed over any others and are meant to be examples only. 

International Council of Nurses Survey Results

Nurses Facing Mass Psychological Trauma Due to COVID-19

Reprinted from NCSBN Good Morning Members Announcement (January 15, 2021)

Preliminary findings from a new ICN survey of more than 130 National Nurses Associations (NNA), along with studies from the NNAs and other sources, suggest that the COVID-19 Effect, “is a unique and complex form of trauma with potentially devastating consequences in both the short- and long-term for individual nurses and healthcare systems they work in.” Specifically, “with high levels of infections in the nursing workforce continuing, overstretched staff are experiencing increasing psychological distress in the face of ever-increasing workloads, continued abuse and protests by anti-vaccinators.” Since the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of nurses reporting mental health distress has risen from 60% to 80% in many countries, according to ICN data. Additionally, studies from every region of the world confirm rising trauma, anxiety and burnout in the nursing profession.

ICN states, “The pandemic risks damaging the nursing profession for generations to come unless governments take action now to address the COVID-19 Effect, which our survey suggests could trigger an exodus from the profession. The world is already short of 6 million nurses, with another four million due to reach retirement age in the next 10 years. With the COVID-19 Effect potentially leading to even more nurses leaving the profession, governments must act now to protect the nursing profession and our already fragile healthcare systems or jeopardize the health of their nations and the World Health Organization’s goal of Universal Health Care.”

Specifically, “Policymakers need to act on growing signs of the negative influence of the pandemic on the retention of the healthcare workforce and the potential threat to global health. ICN calls on governments to take urgent action to ensure the physical and mental health of nurses and other health workers, to build resilience and provide support for the health workforce and to develop policy responses to address the global nursing shortage.”

News to Know

Upcoming Board Meetings are listed on the Board's website

The next regularly
scheduled Board
conference call is
February 17, 2021.
Agendas (posted no later
than 24 hours before a
meeting) and approved
minutes can be found at
Board Meeting Records

Emergency Proclamations Continue - COVID-19 Page

The license relief
emergency proclamation,
among other extensions,
set forth by Governor Kim Reynolds was continued
on January 7, 2021
and runs through
February 6th. Click on
the above emergency
proclamation link to see
the Board's COVID19
webpage. The Board
strongly encourages
nurses to renew their licenses on time. 

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program Application Cycle

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has opened the 2021 Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) application cycle. Click on the title to access more information. Submission Deadline is February 25, 2021.

Pulse on the Nation's Nurses

The American Nurses Foundation seeks participants for their COVID-19 Impact Assessment Survey. They request that all nurses take the survey and to share this link with your colleagues! 

The Iowa Nurse Assistance Program (INAP) is offered by the Iowa Board of Nursing (IBON).  INAP is a resource for individual nurses who are impaired as a result of substance use or by any mental or physical condition. It is a voluntary, confidential program and provides an opportunity for licensed professionals to receive proper treatment and maintain their professional status, while protecting the safety of the public.

Self Report forms can now be filled out online. Check out the INAP site about this important program that helps Iowa nurses. 

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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