Iowa Board of Nursing
Kathleen R. Weinberg, MSN, RN, Executive Director

File A Complaint

Filing an Online Complaint

The following forms are available to file complaints. Click on the links below for directions and online access: 
Nurse Self Report Form
Patient/Law Enforcement/Other Report Form
Nurse Employer Report Form
Authorization for Release of Medical Information

Iowa law allows the Board of Nursing to investigate licensed nurses (RN, LPN, or ARNP) for alleged wrongful behavior and grants authority to invoke appropriate disciplinary action. Violations of ethical or professional standards may include:

  • Abusive behavior; physical or verbal
  • Breach of confidentiality issues
  • Criminal convictions; misdemeanor or felony
  • Misrepresentation
  • Negligence
  • Scope of practice
  • Boundary issues including sexual misconduct
  • Substance abuse
  • Theft
  • Audit Failure
  • Nurse licensure compact violation
  • Practicing without valid license

If your complaint contains allegations that are not a violation of the Board rules, the Board cannot act. If the allegations appear to violate the rules, your complaint will be processed according to the Board's procedures. Disciplinary Process Flowchart

Who May Make a Complaint to the Iowa Board of Nursing?

If the nursing care you, or someone you know was unacceptable you may report your concerns to the Board's Enforcement Unit.  If you have concerns about a nurse's practice or potential substance abuse you should report this.  Your complaint will be investigated to determine if any of the laws that govern nursing have been violated.  Complaints typically come from employers, co-worker, patients, or family of patients.

We request that all complaints come in writing. If you do not have access to a computer to file the complaint online, contact the Enforcement Unit, Iowa Board of Nursing, at 515.281.6472 to request a paper complaint form. 

Nurses may self-report concerns about their own practice by completing the form at the following link: Nurse Self Report Form. To release medical information about yourself to the Board, fill out the Authorization for Release of Medical Information

Reporting a Complaint- Helpful Tips for Patients, Consumers and the Public

If you are a patient, law enforcement, or other entity and want to file a complaint against a nurse, please click the following link: Patient/Law Enforcement/Other Report Form. Patients: Please also fill out the Authorization for Release of Medical Information

The information you provide is helpful in making certain we are able to investigate the matter without any unnecessary delay. Please provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • Your name, address and telephone number
  • The name of the patient(s) involved if different from your name, including address and telephone number
  • The nurse's name
  • The nurse’s current address and telephone number and email address, if known
  • The nurse’s license number, if known
  • Where does the nurse work? Including address and telephone number
  • What happened?
  • When did this occur (date/time)?
  • Who witnessed this?
  • If you are the patient involved in the complaint, or are filing this complaint on behalf of a patient, often it is helpful to our investigation to have your authorization to obtain medical records.

Reporting a Complaint- Helpful Tips for Employers

If you are an employer and want to file a complaint on a nurse employee, click the following link for the online form: Nurse Employer Report Form

Delays may be minimized when employers submit the supporting documentation along with a complaint. If you are a Nurse Administrator with a concern, retaining the appropriate documentation and having it available to the Board will facilitate the investigation process. A subpoena may be issued for specific records related to the complaint. Please provide with your complaint, or retain for request by the investigator, as much of the following information as possible:

  • Your name, address and telephone number
  • The name and address of your facility or place of employment
  • The nurse's name
  • The nurse’s current address and telephone number
  • The nurse’s license number
  • The nurse’s personnel record (application, recent performance evaluations, counseling and discipline)
  • Where the nurse was working at the time of the incident
  • When did the incident occur (date/time)
  • Who witnessed the incident
  • Relevant patient records: nurse’s notes; physician’s orders; MAR; narcotic sign-out records Note: Do not redact patient names from records. H.I.P.A.A. allows covered entities to provide protected health information to health oversight agencies such as the Board of Nursing. (45 CFR 164.512)
  • Incident reports
  • Internal facility investigative reports and findings
  • Managerial anecdotal notes
  • Statements from the nurse, licensee, or other witnesses
  • Applicable policies and procedures
  • In case of positive drug screens- the lab report, and whether the drug screen was random or for cause, and if for cause, the basis of the drug screen

Disciplinary Process - Click this LINK

Complaint Forms - PDF versions


Updated 8/17/2022

Printed from the Iowa Board of Nursing website on October 05, 2022 at 1:56pm.