UPDATED - Read the News You Can Use Today! Important Scope of Practice Rules

Iowa Board of Nursing - News You Can Use

March 25, 2021 - Vol. 2, Issue 3



News & Updates

A word of sympathy:

On behalf of the Iowa Board of Nursing, I would like to extend sincere sympathy to the family of Registered Nurse, Lorena Schulte, who lost her life while practicing nursing and caring for others. Her death is a loss to the entire nursing profession.

Our thoughts are also with the family of correctional officer, Robert McFarland. 

With kind regards, Kathy Weinberg, Executive Director 

Nursing Practice for Registered Nurses/

Licensed Practical Nurses Rule Changes

Effective March 31, 2021

The Iowa Board of Nursing has adopted new rules regarding Nursing Practice for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses, which are applicable to all Iowa licensed nurses. Changes to Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) 655 Chapter 6, Nursing Practice for Registered Nurses and Licensed Nurses will become effective March 31, 2021. The new rules may be found at this link: 655 IAC Chapter 6. The history of this rulemaking process may be found in News You Can Use, Vol. 2, Issue 1.

Licensees are strongly encouraged to review the new Chapter 6 in its entirety to ensure compliance. The following table summarizes the changes and pertinent details of the new rules:



Definitions section

Removed terms that no longer appeared in the chapter and updated several definitions for clarity.


Proximate area

Previously, an LPN was required to have an RN or physician present in the “proximate area” if the care provided by the LPN required the “knowledge and skill level” of an RN. However, the rules also stated that if a task required the knowledge and skill level of an RN, the LPN was prohibited from performing that task. Thus, the “proximate area” standard needed revision. In the new chapter, the task-based proximity standard is replaced by a settings-based standard. Now, if an LPN is working in any acute care setting, or a specified non-acute care setting, an RN, ARNP, or physician must be in the proximate area.


Unimplemented interventions

Previously, if an RN or LPN did not implement an ordered intervention, the RN or LPN was required to document the reason for not performing the task, as well as inform the prescriber why it wasn’t implemented. In the new chapter, RNs and LPNs must also, if appropriate, inform “other persons who, based on the patient’s circumstances, should be notified of any orders which were not implemented.” This change allows for the nurse to exercise discretion when deciding who, in addition to health care staff, should be informed of unimplemented interventions based on the patient’s needs and other applicable law.


Professionalism, accountability, and advocacy

NCSBN Model Rules contain provisions instructing nurses to demonstrate professionalism and accountability through their actions and interactions with patients and other facility staff. The Model Rules also contain provisions instructing nurses to act as patient advocates by respecting their needs, boundaries, and environment. The new chapter incorporates many of these model rules, which aim to promote safe and respectful environments for patients and health care professionals.


Chapter organization

The rules were re-organized to help licensees more easily navigate the chapter. Previously, rules relating to RNs and LPNs were intermingled, and spread across the entire chapter. In the new chapter, all the rules relating to RNs are in rule 6.2, and all the rules relating to LPNs are in 6.3. As well, multiple rules that were related have been combined to allow a licensee to easily determine whether a rule or exception applies, without having to read the entire chapter.



The Iowa Board of Nursing and staff recognize the 655 IAC Chapter 6 changes will require a period of transition and education. We are committed to working with all parties to assure the new rules are followed and met. If you have questions, please email Jimmy Reyes, Associate Director of Practice and Education: Jimmy.reyes@iowa.gov


Posted on behalf of IDPH, Office of Medical Cannabidiol

Accredited Medical Cannabidiol CMEs Available for Iowa's Healthcare Practitioners

March 22, 2021 - This email is a notification of the availability of accredited CMEs on medical cannabidiol for Iowa's healthcare practitioners. These courses introduce healthcare practitioners to the endocannabinoid system and its interaction with the components of the cannabis plant, therapeutic use, drug metabolism, physiologic and cognitive effects, potential risks, and drug interactions. Legal and medical considerations associated with certifying a patient for the use of medical cannabidiol products in Iowa are discussed as well.

Please visit the links below for additional information:

These CMEs, and other information for healthcare practitioners, are also hosted on the Office of Medical Cannabidiol's website within the "For Healthcare Practitioners" tab.

(515) 725-2076  | 321 E. 12th St | Des Moines, IA 50319
medical.cannabidiol@idph.iowa.gov | idph.iowa.gov/omc

Iowa Center for Nursing Workforce - New Advisory Committee Members Named

The Iowa Board of Nursing has named four additional members to the Iowa Center for Nursing Workforce Advisory Committee. The committee members serve for three year terms. 

Laura Coyle, DNP, RN, CNL - Representing Nursing Practice
Carol Fridal, MSN, RN, CEN - Representing Nursing Practice
Brenda Krogh-Duree, PhD, RN - Representing a Higher Education Institution that offers Nursing Degrees
Nancy Conzett Muecke, PhD - Public Member

The Iowa Center for Nursing Workforce exists to support a dynamic, well-prepared and diverse nurse workforce to meet the health and wellness needs of Iowans.

News to Know

Click on the underlined headings for more information. 

Upcoming Board Meetings are listed on the Board's website

The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is April 7, 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 March 5, 2021, and now runs through April 4, 2021. Click on the emergency proclamation link to see the Board's COVID-19 webpage.

The Board strongly encourages nurses to renew their licenses on time. 

Iowa Nurse Assistance Program

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.

Contact Rhonda Ruby, Program Director by email:  rhonda.ruby@iowa.gov  or Michele Royer, INAP Case Manager at michele.royer@iowa.gov for assistance. 

Future Ready Iowa - Last Dollar Scholarship Information

Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses - Take a look at these scholarship opportunities: 


The Iowa Healthcare Association (IHCA) Foundation has posted scholarship opportunities, as well. Click on the following link:


2021 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program - Apply through May 6th

See the webinar announcement and technical assistance calls at this link: https://bhw.hrsa.gov/funding/apply-scholarship/nurse-corps

2021 NHSC Scholarship Program Application Cycle

Accepting applications through May 11, 2021 at 7:30 PM ET

The 2021 National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program (NHSC SP) awards scholarships to students pursuing an education in eligible primary care health professions (nurse practitioners). 

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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