Filing a Complaint
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 (misdemeanors or felonies)
- Scope of practice
- Boundary issues, including sexual misconduct
- Substance abuse
- 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.
Who May Make a Complaint to the Iowa Board of Nursing?
Complaints can come from employers, co-worker, patients, or a patient's loved ones. If you have concerns about a nurse's practice, standard of care, or potential substance abuse, report it. Your complaint will be investigated to determine if there has been a violation.
Nurses may report concerns about their own practice by completing the Nurse Self Report Form.
How Can I Make a 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 (Patients only)
We request that all complaints come in writing. If you don't have access to a computer to file the complaint online, contact us at 515.281.6472 to request a paper complaint form.
Complaint Forms - PDF versions
- Employer Complaint Form
- Patient/Law Enforcement/Other Complaint Form
- Nurse Self-Report Form
- Release of Medical Information
All information you provide is helpful in investigating the matter without unnecessary delays. Please provide as much of the following information as possible:
- Your name, address, and telephone number
- The name of the patient(s) involved, including address and telephone number, if known
- The nurse's name
- The nurse’s current address, telephone number, and email address, if known
- The nurse’s license number, if known
- Where does the nurse work? (Include the address and telephone number)
- What happened?
- When did this occur (date/time)?
- Who witnessed this?
Tips for Patients, Law Enforcement, and the Public
If you are a patient, law enforcement, or other entity and want to file a complaint against a nurse, use the Patient/Law Enforcement/Other Report Form.
If you or a loved one are the patient involved in the complaint, it helps to our investigation to have authorization to access medical records. To release medical information about yourself to the Board, 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:
Tips for Employers
If you are an employer and want to file a complaint on a nurse employee, use the Nurse Employer Report Form.
Submitting supporting documentation along with a complaint helps to speed up the investigation. A subpoena may be issued for specific records related to the complaint. Please provide with your complaint, or by request to the investigator, as much of the following information as possible:
- The nurse’s personnel record (application, recent performance evaluations, counseling, and discipline)
- Where the nurse was working at the time of the incident
- Relevant patient records, including 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 the 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
For more information, visit our Disciplinary Process page.