The Iowa Board of Nursing (Board) receives many telephone calls from individual nurses as well as employers requesting clarification of the abandonment issue. The Board rules do not define the term “abandonment,” the Board has investigated and disciplined nurses in the past for issues surrounding the concept of abandonment as it relates to the nurse’s duty to the patient. The Iowa Board of Nursing rule that relates to this issue, Iowa Administrative Code 4.6(4)”h”, states that it is unethical conduct if you fail to report to, or leave, a nursing assignment without properly notifying appropriate supervisory personnel and ensure the safety and welfare of the patient or client.
Callers also inquire whether resignation without proper notice is considered abandonment. Proper notice is a professional standard and the boards' mission is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. As long as the licensee notifies appropriate supervisory personnel and ensures the safety and welfare of the patient or client the board will not consider it abandonment.