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Mandatory Reporters of Child and Adult Abuse - Required Course

Since passage of a law in 2001, licensing boards require a person who regularly examines, attends, counsels, or treats dependent adults or children in Iowa to accurately document compliance with training requirements on abuse education and/or dependent adult abuse, upon renewal of licensure.
This law includes the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN) and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) who regularly examines, attends, counsels or treats dependent adults or children in Iowa. The Mandatory Abuse Course taken to meet this requirement MUST be a course that has been approved by the Iowa Department of Public Health. 
Any LPN, RN or ARNP who has contact with children and/or dependent adults in the course of their work are considered to be mandatory reporters. 

It is important to note that frequent contact does not necessarily mean “hands on nursing care,” but may simply mean observation of a child or dependent adult.

At the time of license renewal, the board of nursing requires that licensees have completed the abuse training. The abuse training must be completed every five (5) years.

Licensees selected for an audit of their continuing education must submit the course completion certificate or provide written documentation from their employer or supervisor attesting to the fact that the licensee does not attend, counsel or treat children or dependent adults in Iowa.

More Information can be found at the Iowa Department of Public Health website:

A list of approved courses is available by contacting Karin Ford at (515)242-6336. 

The following questions and answers are concerning child and dependent adult abuse and the course:

The abuse reporting law is to provide protection to children and dependent adults by encouraging the reporting of suspected abuse.

The Department of Human Services.

Professionals who have frequent contact with children or dependent adults in the course of their work are considered to be mandatory reporters.

Mandatory reporters are required by law to complete two hours of training during their first six months of employment or self employment and two hours every five years thereafter.

Any person under the age of 18 years.

People who are aged 18 or over and are incapable of adequate self- care due to physical or mental conditions and require assistance from other people. Dependent adults may be elderly or may have diminished physical or mental capacities that prevent them from meeting their own needs adequately. Iowa has a sizable population of adults who are dependent but are not elderly.