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Iowa Nurse Reporter - June 2022

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IOWA

NURSE

REPORTER

Quarterly publication distributed to approximately 36,000 RNs, LPNs and

ARNPs licensed in Iowa

Volume 5 • Number 4

June, July, August 2022

INSIDE

2022 INA Conference

& Annual Meeting

Page 4

INA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

I always look forward to the

month of May and the beginning

of summer. May in Iowa is busy

as the farmers are wrapping

up spring planting, school age

children are counting the days

until summer break, seniors

are preparing for graduation

and their next chapters in life.

Families are planning summer

vacations, there is a sense of

excitement in the air as we are

enjoying the warmer weather

and opening our windows.

Christina Peterson,

BSN, RN

May is also a busy month in healthcare. May is

recognized as National Nurses Month by the ANA and

the theme for 2022 was “Nurses Make a Difference.”

In addition to the various events offered by ANA

recognizing the impact that nurses have, May 6-12 was

recognized as Nurses Week. Organizations across the

country take this time to recognize and celebrate the

impact that nurses have in healthcare. The organization

that I am part of is no different. During the week of

May 6th we also celebrated our DAISY Award winner.

The DAISY Foundation honors nurses internationally

in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Out of all the events

and recognition that comes with Nurses Week and

Nurses Month, this is the one that I enjoy the most. It

is an honor to be part of a profession that can make

such an impact and I love hearing the stories of how

colleagues I work with make a difference. Each of the

nurses nominated have a different story and different

background/role in our organization, but the common

theme is the compassion that they provide every day.

Many other healthcare teams are honored in May

including informatics & technology, HIM/Medical

Records and EMS/ First Responders. We also celebrated

in May National Hospital Week, National Long-

Term Care/Skilled Nursing Care Week, and National

Mental Health Month. It truly takes a team to work in

healthcare and each profession is vital to successful

patient care. My current role in nursing is based in the

Emergency Department and I could not imagine doing it

without the team that I get to work with daily including

our EMS team & local first responders. Nursing and

working in healthcare is hard, but extremely rewarding.

As we move into the Iowa summer, I encourage

each of us to take some time for self-care, but also to

thank those that we work with every day in a different

capacity in healthcare. It really does take a team to make

a difference.

A great opportunity to connect with your colleges in

healthcare is by attending the INA Annual Conference.

Please save the date for our 2022 INA Annual

Conference, to be held on Tuesday, October 18th, in

Johnston, Iowa.

The Case of Nurse

RaDonda Vaught

Page 12

current resident or

Presort Standard

US Postage

PAID

Permit #14

Princeton, MN

55371


Page 2 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

IOWA NURSES FOUNDATION

Nurses are extraordinary!

Let’s say that again, Nurses are

extraordinary! The Iowa Nurses

Foundation (INF) is asking all to

recognize and support nurses.

The INF’s mission is to promote

and support the professional

and educational development of

registered nurses in Iowa. INF’s

vision is to be recognized as the

entity for the advancement of the

nursing profession in Iowa.

Your gift to the Iowa Nurses

Foundation can help enrich the

lives of scores of Iowa residents

by giving one individual the

Linda Opheim,

BSN, RN,

MHCA, CIC

INF Chair

chance to become a nurse, to continue study, or do

research. Scholarships available include: Iowa Nurses

Foundation Scholarship and Mike Anderson Memorial Fund

Scholarship.

Money contributed to INF is used to provide loans

and scholarships for students participating in all levels of

registered nurse academic programs. INF also provides

awards to support nursing research endeavors and

attendance at continuing education programs.

INF SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

To be used with hardcopy submission only!

Personal Information

Name:

Address:

Email:

How may I help? There are several ways to financially

support the INF’s mission by contributions. At this time,

we invite anyone to recognize a nurse. Please share this

opportunity with others who might be interested. The INF

board realizes nearly everyone knows an extraordinary

nurse. They likely have a nurse in their family, in your

neighborhood, or in your school or workplace. Would you

like to be able to recognize that nurse and provide support

for future nurses in the name of that extraordinary nurse?

The Iowa Nurses Foundation (INF) invites you to

recognize a nurse who has helped you, your family, or your

community through their extraordinary care. The INF is

a 501 (3) c subsidiary of the Iowa Nurses Association and

offers several scholarships to nurses and nursing students

annually. To recognize a nurse(s) and support the education

of nurses in Iowa you are asked to submit the name of an

extraordinary nurse(s) and donate $25.00 or more to the

INF. The nurse will receive a certificate of recognition, will

be identified in the state publication of nurses, The Iowa

Nurse Reporter, and they will be named at the annual

meeting of the Iowa Nurses Association.

Please send nominations to https://iowanurses.

nursingnetwork.com/page/79571-donate Nominations are

due by August 1, 2022.

Thank you for recognizing extraordinary nurses.

Phone Number:

The “Iowa Nurse Reporter” is the

official publication of the Iowa Nurses

Foundation and the Iowa Nurses Association,

a constituent member of the American Nurses

Association, published quarterly every March,

June, September and December.

Executive Director

Tobi Lyon

Phone: 515-225-0495

Email: tmoore@iowanurses.org

For advertising rates and information, please

contact Arthur L. Davis Publishing Agency, Inc.,

PO Box 216, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613, (800) 626-

4081, sales@aldpub.com. INF, INA and the Arthur

L. Davis Publishing Agency, Inc. reserve the right

to reject any advertisement. Responsibility for

errors in advertising is limited to corrections

in the next issue or refund of the price of

advertisement.

Acceptance of advertising does not

imply endorsement or approval by the

Iowa Nurses Foundation or Iowa Nurses

Association of products advertised, the

advertisers, or the claims made. Rejection of

an advertisement does not imply a product

offered for advertising is without merit, or

that the manufacturer lacks integrity, or that

this association disapproves of the product

or its use. INF, INA and the Arthur L. Davis

Publishing Agency, Inc. shall not be held

liable for any consequences resulting from

purchase or use of an advertiser’s product.

Articles appearing in this publication express

the opinions of the authors; they do not

necessarily reflect views of the staff, board,

or membership of INF, INA or those of the

national or local associations.

Please include the following with your application:

• Professional Promise Essay

• Resume or Curriculum Vitae

• Academic Transcripts

• Minimum two (2) letters of reference for RN-BSN

• Minimum three (3) letters of reference for MSN, DNP or PhD level degrees

• Headshot Photo

Scholarship applicant is seeking:

RN-BSN (not available to pre-licensure nursing students)

MSN

DNP

PhD

How To Apply:

Application cover page and required documents must be mailed to:

Iowa Nurses Foundation

2501 Jolly Road, Suite 110

Okemos, MI 48864

To apply online, please click here. This cover page is not needed for online

submissions.

Important Deadlines and Information:

• The scholarship application deadline is July 1, 2022.

• Scholarships will be awarded in August 2022.

• Please note that all scholarship checks will be made out to the recipient, as

well as the nursing school they are attending. Checks will then be mailed to

the address the recipient provided in their application for them to deliver to the

nursing school.

5

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June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 3

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to

see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

Amanda Gorman

As we deal with the

ongoing ramifications of the

pandemic, and considering

unspeakable current events,

it is difficult to know where

to begin. I cannot write-in

a moment of silence for the

lives lost, nor would it ever be

enough. The traumatic events

in Uvalde reverberated across

the country and nurses, who

extend their hearts to the

victims as they simultaneously

are called upon to endure,

Tobi Lyon,

MBA, CAE

know firsthand the unnatural horror of such carnage.

When we think about how we carry on, we must

think about our why. I believe it is because we have

hope – and not just a glimmer of it. There is hope in

the initiatives and action we are taking; hope in the

future; hope for change and reform; hope in each

of you. As we work to drive change and advocate

policy for a better, safer world, let us call on that

hope to advance our goals and goodness.

Now more than ever, it is vital that nurses’

voices be heard, and their perspective be seen. We

began the year with very successful and informative

Annual Legislative Day where our nurses had the

opportunity to drive this policy initiative. With the

same goal in mind (to strengthen the voices and

visibility of Iowa nurses), we will soon be hosting

town halls so that members can participate in an

open-forum discussion intended to provide support

and develop goals and initiatives around the needs

and issues currently impacting the profession. Town

Hall topics will include, DEI initiatives, culture in

nursing, and improving recruitment and retention –

among others.

Whether through membership, programs,

educational resources, or the Foundation, our

collective participation is what allows us to

continue to turn INA’s vision into a reality. Through

intentional listening, research and data, the INA

will be taking deep strides to determine “what’s

wrong” and seeking nurses’ input and expertise

to provide the solutions nurses want. For too

long, nursing was a subsidiary of the healthcare

system; nurses were taken for granted, and their

voices were underutilized. While the circumstance

is regrettable (to say the least) it did allow us

to demand we be heard, and the work of INA

members and leadership exhibits our desire to be

listened to.

We have been fortunate to have such staunch

leadership to guide INA and to have someone like

President Christina Peterson and the INA Board of

Directors who continue to lead the association with

thoughtful insight and resolve. By working together

and prioritizing our needs, we can actualize INA’s

vision to promote the growth of this profession,

engage our members in enriching ways, and

influence policy.

While the resiliency of our nurses is

commendable, the only way to preserve nurses’

well-being is by prioritizing the care and support of

ourselves and each other. We talk about not being

able to fill an empty cup, and I continue to urge

each of you to prioritize yourself. Not just so you

can take care of others, but so you might continue

to better the conditions for yourself and future

generations. Our world needs you.

Additionally, I want to recognize the enormous

feat of what we are doing, no longer merely

surviving but building a sustainable, viable future.

Historically, nurses are lionhearted and committed

to the care they provide. Part of that history now

includes a global pandemic – as well as ongoing

acts of gun violence – of which nurses experience

the devastating aftermath firsthand. While we

should be proud of our achievements, it should not

go unsaid that they are made more remarkable by

the environment and odds defied. As we continue

to call upon your superhumanity, let’s continue

with purpose as we define our terms. INA is here

for you, the way you are always there for everyone

else. Thank you!

RNs & LPNs

Full-Time, Part-Time & PRN

If you're looking to join a passionate team with

opportunities to learn and grow, we encourage

you to apply at one of our Iowa locations.

Cedar Rapids (319) 364-5151 • Waterloo (319) 234-7777

Dubuque (563) 556-1161

Here are a few ways we stay committed to

our employees:

Flexible Schedules

Comprehensive Benefits

Education-Student Loan Assistance

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Competitive Wages

401k

Sign-on bonus

available at all

locations

Stop in, call or

apply online at:

careers.promedicaseniorcare.org

today.

EOE


Page 4 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

2022 INA CONFERENCE & ANNUAL MEETING

CALL FOR POSTER ABSTRACTS

DEADLINE: AUGUST 26, 2022

Submit at www.iowanurses.org

AGENDA

Monday, October 17th

5:00pm

5:30 – 6:30pm

6:30pm

7:30-8:30p

Tuesday, October 18th

Registration Open

7:00 – 8:00am Exhibitor Set-up

Honoring our Iowa Nurses Reception

• Check-in and Fun Photo Opportunities

• Social Hour & Entertainment

Iowa Nurses Foundation Fundraiser

Honoring our Iowa Nurses Reception

• Dinner

• Master of Ceremonies

• Keynote Speaker

Honoring our Iowa Nurses After Party

• Networking & Social Hour with Entertainment

• Photo Booth and Give Away’s

8:00 – 8:45am Registration Open & Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:30-8:45am

8:45am

9:00-10:00am

Buddy Up (1st timer participants meet an experienced attendee)

Welcome & Opening Remarks

• Presentation of Awards

Virtual Keynote Presentation

Ernest Grant PhD, RN, FAAN (invited)

President, American Nurses Association

10:00 - 10:30am Networking Break with Exhibitor & Poster Presentations

10:30 – 11:30am

11:30am – 12:30pm

12:30 – 1:30pm

1:30 – 2:30pm

Plenary Keynote Speaker

Need to Know: Inspirational Advice

Jeff Atwood

Healthcare Expert & Author

Gratitude Symposium

General Session

Restorative Nursing

Teresa Lindfors

VP of Growth and Development

Stoughton Hospital

INA Annual Meeting & Membership Assembly

Iowa Nurses Association Board of Directors

General Session

Be Good to Yourself: Transforming Compassion Fatigue into Compassion

Satisfaction

Dawn Schwartz

Director of Nursing & Pediatric Palliative Care Consultant

ChildServe

2:30 – 3:00pm Networking Break with Exhibitor & Poster Presentations

3:00-4:00pm

4:00-5:00pm

5:00pm

Attendee Registration – Early bird deadline: September 9, 2022

Join INA October 17-18, 2022, for reflection and recognition as we build the future together.

For more information, visit www.iowanurses.org.

*Subject to change. Please visit the INA website for the most up to date agenda.

General Session

Violence Against Nurses

Speaker TBA

Panel Discussion

The Faces of Iowa Nurse Leaders and the Future of Nursing

Speakers TBA

Closing Remarks and Evaluations

Have a great Research and Evidence-Based,

Information or Quality Improvement Project? Present

it in a poster during the Iowa Nurses Association (INA)

Annual Conference on Tuesday, October 18, 2022,

Stoney Creek Hotel in Johnston, Iowa.

Posters are open to nursing professionals and

students. The following types can be submitted:

• Research

• Quality Improvement—pilot projects, clinical

innovation, and change projects.

• Informational

One $250 cash prize will be awarded to the top

presenter(s)! All applications need to be submitted

electronically by Friday, August 26, 2022.

Each poster presenter must register for the

conference and be available to present on Tuesday,

October 18, 2022. Posters must be displayed on a

trifold, free-standing poster board no larger than 3’X4’.

For more information and to submit, visit:

www.iowanurses.org.

EXHIBITING AND SPONSORING

OPPORTUNITIES

INA is pleased to welcome our attendees back to

meeting in person for our 2022 INA Annual Conference

& Membership Assembly. Don’t miss this valuable

opportunity to showcase your company’s products and

services to Iowa nurses from all areas of practice!

Act now to secure limited exhibitor and sponsorship

opportunities! They are available on a first-come, firstserved

basis!

All sponsorships over $500 include a FREE exhibit

booth (a $300 value)! As an exhibitor, you can showcase

your company’s products and services for one day in

a high-traffic area where attendees gather between

sessions and enjoy their meals.

We look forward to hearing back from you before

the application deadline of October 7, 2022. For

more information, visit www.iowanurses.org. If you

have any questions, please contact the INA office at

events@iowanurses.org.

Exhibitor Scavenger Hunt

Exhibitors/Sponsors are asked to donate a prize

item that will be given away during each break with

exhibitors. Conference attendees will be encouraged

to attend and must be present to win. Participants will

be tracked via our conference platform, and those will

be used to draw names for the prizes. To participate,

please note your prize item in addition to indicating

your exhibitor level on the online registration form.

EXHIBITORS

Exhibit Hall open on Tuesday, October 18, 2022.

Exhibitor Table – $300

• Company name on mobile app with clickable link

• Two company representatives at exhibitor table

• 8-foot linen-draped exhibitor table with two

chairs

• Exhibit space centrally located in meeting area

where food will be served

• Booth placement will be determined by INA staff

with priority given in order of sponsorship levels


June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 5

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Honoring our Iowa Nurses

OCTOBER 17TH, 2022

• 5:30pm: Check-in, Networking & Social Hour with

Fun Photo Opportunities

• 6:30pm: Dinner

o Master of Ceremonies

o Keynote Speaker

• 7:30pm-8:30pm: Networking & Social Hour with Fun

Photo Opportunities

Honoring our Iowa Nurses Evening Sponsorship

– $5000

This special evening to honor Iowa nurses will be

held the night before the conference as a welcome

back celebration and reception to nurses around the

state. We are extending the celebration of the Year of

the Nurse as we are back in person for the first time

since the start of the pandemic. Nurses are showcased

and appreciated during this special celebration. As

one of many sponsors during the Honoring Our

Iowa Nurses evening, you will have the opportunity

to create a memorable experience for all nurses. The

benefits include:

• Opportunity to address attendee’s during the

Honoring our Iowa Nurses event for a short fiveminute

presentation prior to awards ceremonies

• Ability to attend the celebration event as a sponsor

(up to four participants)

• Signage at event

• Social media recognition

• One custom push notification during the celebration

and during the event to attendees through mobile

app

• Recognition from podium and in scrolling

presentations

• Donate a gift to attendee’s

• Complementary exhibit booth

• Distribute sponsored attendee gift bag or basket

items to all attendee’s during the celebration

• Table tents on all tables during the celebration

Honoring our Iowa Nurses Dinner Sponsorship

– $3000

Two Available

• Signage at the reception’s menu station thanking

your company for the sponsorship

• Depending on the venue, create a signature Hor

D’oeuvres with the chef

• Distribute sponsored attendee gift bag or basket

items to all attendee’s during the celebration

Honoring our Iowa Nurses Beverage

Sponsorship (Reception & Social Hour Sponsor)

– $2000

Two Available

• Signage at the reception’s bar and beverage station

thanking your company for the sponsorship.

• Opportunity to work with the event planner to select

the drink menu for the night. Depending on the

venue, create a signature drink with the bartender

• Including one drink ticket per person with company

logo on them

REGISTRATION FEES

Honoring our Iowa Nurses Photo Booth

Sponsorship – $1500

• Signage at the photo booth

• Signage within the photo booth for sponsoring

company

Honoring our Iowa Nurses Gift Box Sponsor

–$1,000

• Single sponsorship where the company provides

one gift box per attendee.

CONFERENCE SPONSORSHIP

OPPORTUNITIES

OCTOBER 18TH, 2022

Virtual Platform/Mobile App Sponsor – $2,000

One available

• Clickable logo/banner ad prominently displayed in

virtual platform

• Social media recognition

• One custom push notification/message to

attendees through mobile app

• Recognition from podium and in scrolling

presentations

• Exhibit table (and all associated benefits)

Keynote Session Sponsor – $1,500

One Available

• Exhibit level benefits

• Exclusive signage at front of general session room

during the keynote session

• Company name on mobile app and INA website

with clickable link and mobile app

• Social media recognition

• Podium shout outs

• One push notification

• One complimentary conference registration

Attendee Gift Sponsor – $1,250

One Available

• Company logo on attendee conference gift

• Exhibit level benefits

• Company name on mobile app

• Social media recognition

• Podium shout out

• Two push notifications and one banner ad

Refreshment Break or

Energy On-the-go Sponsor – $750

Two Available

• Exhibit level benefits

• Exclusive signage at breaks

• Company name on mobile app

• Social media recognition

• Podium shout outs and one push notification.

Poster Sponsor – $500

One Available

• Exhibit level benefits

• Exclusive signage in poster area

• Company name on mobile app and INA website

with clickable link and mobile app

• Social media recognition

Lanyard Sponsor – $500

One Available

• Exhibit level benefits

• Exclusive signage in poster area

• Company name on mobile app and INA website

with clickable link and mobile app

• Social media recognition

Audio/Visual & Wi-Fi Sponsor – $500

One Available

• Exhibit level benefits

• Exclusive signage in poster area

• Company name on mobile app and INA website

with clickable link and mobile app

• Social media recognition

Education Session Sponsor – $500

Two Available

• Exhibit level benefits

• Exclusive signage at front of general session room

• Company name on mobile app and INA website

with clickable link and mobile app

• Social media recognition

• Podium shout outs

• One push notification

• One complimentary conference registration

Add on:

Banner Ads-must be at least exhibit level – $250

Five Available

• Clickable banner app on mobile app.

To learn more and to register,

WWW.IOWANURSES.ORG

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS

This activity has been submitted to the Ohio Nurses

Association for approval to award contact hours. The

Ohio Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of

continuing nursing education by the American Nurses

Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

(OBN-001-91) Pending approval, participants can receive a

maximum of 6.0 contact hours for attending this activity.

HOTEL INFORMATION

Stoney Creek Hotel

5291 Stoney Creek Ct

Johnston, IA 50131

INA has reserved a block of rooms at $109 per

night plus taxes and fees. Reservations may be made

by calling 515-334-9000 using our unique group code:

2010IOWANU_001.

Located between Des Moines burgeoning

downtown and the ever-expanding West Des Moines,

the hotel features complimentary breakfast and WiFi,

an expansive indoor/outdoor pool, a gift shop, fitness

center, and Bearly’s Bar (featuring a full selection of

local beers, wines, and spirits).

To access electronic copies of the

Iowa Nurse Reporter, please visit

http://www.NursingALD.com/publications

Registration Rates

• Honoring Iowa Nurses Reception & Tuesday Conference: INA Member $245

• Honoring Iowa Nurses Reception & Tuesday Conference: Non-Member $295

• Honoring Iowa Nurses Reception & Tuesday Conference: Student** $175

• Honoring Iowa Nurses Reception Only $75

• Tuesday Conference Only: INA Member $210

• Tuesday Conference Only: Non-Member $250

• Tuesday Conference Only: Student $120

Watch for early registration discount code when registration opens in June!

Registration fees include materials, meals, and contact hours.

$25 Administrative fee will be assessed for personal cancellations prior to October 1. No refunds will be provided for

cancellations after October 1. Please call the office if you would like to discuss transferring your paid registration.

**Student rate only applies to students working on pre-licensure.


Page 6 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

INA 2022 Nurse Recognition Awards

HONOR AN IOWA NURSE

Do you know someone who promotes professionalism

in nursing? Here is your chance to recognize their

contributions to nursing. Iowa Nurses Association (INA) has

established several awards to recognize excellence in Iowa

nursing. Plan to nominate a nursing colleague. There is no

easier way to bring the honor that they deserve. Award

nominations are due to the INA office by Friday, August 19,

2022. Award winners will be notified in early September.

The celebration and presenting of awards will be

held during the INA Conference and Annual Meeting

on Tuesday, October 18, at the Stoney Creek Hotel &

Conference Center in Johnston, Iowa. More details on the

timing of the awards ceremony will be released soon.

NOMINATION PROCEDURES

Nominations may be made of an individual, group,

or an organization. Nominations may be made via the

website at www.iowanurses.org and clicking on About

Us in the blue navigation bar and then click on INA 2022

Nurse Recognition Awards.

Each nomination must include the following:

• Completed electronic nomination form.

• A narrative statement by the nominator outlining

the accomplishments of the nominee and how

these meet the established criteria for the award.

The statements should describe the nominee’s

compliance with the established criteria for the

award as explicitly and concisely as possible.

• At least one letter, but no more than three letters,

supporting the nomination.

• All nominations become the property of the INA.

• INA reserves the right to request further information

related to a nomination. Incomplete nominations

will not be considered.

Awardees will be notified of the Nomination

Committee’s decision in early September.

AWARD CATEGORIES

HALL OF FAME AWARD

The Hall of Fame Award will be given annually to

an individual who has displayed visionary leadership,

dedication to the mission of INA, and a passion for the

profession of nursing in an ongoing basis.

Criteria:

1. Registered nurse (may be retired), who has

demonstrated outstanding contributions as a

member of the Iowa Nurses Association at the

regional, state, and/or national level.

2. Act as a role model of leadership that

supports the Iowa Nurses Association’s

mission statement: To connect, advocate, and

support for nurses and healthcare in Iowa.

3. Demonstrate behavior that reflects nursing’s

concern for issues that affect Iowa nurses’

ability to provide safe and effective care.

4. Demonstrate professional achievement that

has enduring significance in the individual’s

lifetime and beyond.

NURSING LEADERSHIP IN THE WORKPLACE

This award is conferred on a Registered Nurse who

has developed an innovative and unique approach to

nursing theory and knowledge in any practice setting.

They will be recognized as a role model of consistent

high-quality nursing practices. This nurse will have

created an environment of professional autonomy and

control over their nursing practice. The nomination

can come from a peer, patient, or supervisor. A letter

of one page or less describing the attributes and

examples of quality, professionalism, or a description

of a specific event in which the nurse was exceptional

will nominate the nurse for this award.

NURSING LEADERSHIP IN ADVANCED PRACTICE

NURSING

This award is conferred on an Advanced Practice Nurse

(APRN) who has developed an innovative and unique

approach to the provision of nursing in their practice

setting. The APRN can be nominated for providing a

positive impact to patients or peers in the work setting, or

for the provision of autonomous practices. This nurse will

have served as a role model for other APRNs. A letter of

one page or less describing the attributes of the nurse will

be required to nominate the Advanced Practice Nurse.

EXCELLENCE IN LEADERSHIP—LIGHTING THE WAY

This award is conferred on an INA member who,

during their career, has provided support to the values

of the Iowa Nurses Association and the profession of

nursing in the state of Iowa. A letter of nomination

should include examples of the activities of the

nominee which would show lifetime achievement in

quality, caring, service and/or dedication to innovation

or provision of patient care.

FACES OF OUR FUTURE NURSES

This award is given to one nurse from each Iowa

Region who has been licensed as a Registered

Nurse for five years or less. The nominee will have

become known in that time of practice (since

graduation) for innovative practice, service in the

community, or a specific program that will serve

the public in the area where they practice. At least

one nominee will be suggested by the leaders of

the INA Region and other nominees can be solicited

from peers, nursing supervisors, or patients of the

nominee. A letter of one page or less describing the

attributes of the nurse will be required to nominate

a new nurse for this important award. The Faces

of our Future recipients will receive a one-year

membership.

INSPIRING OUR FUTURE NURSES

This award is given to an INA member who is

a nursing instructor and who has been a positive

influence on the future nurses of Iowa. A letter

of nomination should include information about

innovative teaching practices, instructional materials

developed, new courses developed, major course

improvement projects, grants or awards relating

to teaching, and assessments of teaching by

both students and peers. Instructional activities

outside the classroom will also be considered. Such

activities may include but are not limited to advisory

activities, instructional activities in the community,

and/or presentations related to teaching made at

professional meetings.

COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE AWARD

The award will identify a health system or

individual hospital for a collaborative project

which shows an interdisciplinary approach to

best practices that resulted in improved patient

outcomes or cost savings. The nomination letter

should include the names of the project champions,

and examples of how the project improved patient

incomes or resulted in cost savings.

Visit nursingALD.com today!

Search job listings

in all 50 states, and filter by location and

credentials.

Browse our online database

of articles and content.

Find events

for nursing professionals in your area.

Your always-on resource for nursing jobs,

research, and events.


Page 8 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

STATE of IOWA

Independence Mental Health Institute

The Independence Mental Health Institute is

seeking candidates for Registered Nurse

positions. Information regarding current vacancies

can be found online at the State of Iowa’s

employment website at www.governmentjobs.com/

careers/iowa, filter location to “Independence.”

Questions may be directed to the

MHI Personnel Department at 319-334-5223.

WE’D LIKE YOU TO JOIN OUR TEAM

The State of Iowa is hiring:

Registered Nurses &

Licensed Practical Nurses

Hiring Bonus Offered!

The Iowa Department of Corrections, an Equal Opportunity

Organization, is accepting applications for RNs and LPNs

caring for those individuals that are incarcerated who may have

medical and mental health concerns.

Competitive starting salaries and State of Iowa benefits.

To see current RN and LPN openings,

access this link regularly:

https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/

iowa?keywords=corrections

Questions can be emailed to Pam Shepherd at

pamela.shepherd@iowa.gov

If you’re committed to 5 star consumer

experiences, there’s a spot for you!

We are looking for kind, patient-focused individuals

to join the FGH support circle.

Franklin General Hospital could be perfect for you!

Go to www.franklingeneral.com under Careers.

Franklin General Hospital offers excellent benefits

including IPERS, health, dental and life insurance,

flexible spending accounts, paid time off, and a free

single membership to the Franklin Wellness Center.

FGH is offering a sign on bonus. Ask us for details!

FGH is an equal opportunity employer with

great benefits and a positive work environment.

1720 Central Ave. E. | Hampton, IA 50441

641.456.5000 • FranklinGeneral.com

EOE

MIKE ANDERSON MEMORIAL FUND

SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

To be used with hardcopy submission only!

Personal Information

Name:

Address:

Email:

Phone Number:

Please include the following with your application:

• Professional Promise Essay

• Resume or Curriculum Vitae

• Extenuating Financial Circumstances

• Academic Transcripts

• Minimum two (2) letters of reference for RN-BSN

• Headshot Photo – INF will only use if applicant is awarded a scholarship

Scholarship applicant is seeking:

ADN

BSN

Only applications from students enrolled in the ADN or BSN programs at DMACC,

Grandview or the University of Iowa College of Nursing are eligible to apply. At time

of application submission, student must also be a resident of the State of Iowa.

How To Apply:

Application cover page and required documents must be mailed to:

Iowa Nurses Foundation

2501 Jolly Road, Suite 110

Okemos, MI 48864

To apply online, please go to iowanurses.nursingnetwork.com/

Important Deadlines and Information:

• The scholarship application deadline is July 1, 2022.

• Scholarships will be awarded in August 2022.

• Please note that all scholarship checks will be made out to the recipient, as

well as the nursing school they are attending. Checks will then be mailed to

the address the recipient provided in their application for them to deliver to the

nursing school.

9


June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 9

How Stress Affects the Physical Body

Nicole Cerrini BSN, RN

Ascension Macomb – Nurse Supervisor

Operating Room

We are often consumed with how stress can

cause us to experience mood changes, sleep pattern

disruptions and overall anxiety. But what about the

physical symptoms that appear and become chronic?

Gastrointestinal (GI) distress, headaches, back pain,

TMJ, hormonal imbalances and extreme fatigue (to

name a few) can all be the result of stress.

So how do we know if our physical ailments

are the result of stress, and how do we treat it?

Learning to listen to your body is the first step in

understanding if what you’re experiencing is directly

related to stress. Do you find that your stomach gets

upset when you have a lot going on, or you tend

to lose your appetite (or eat more) when you feel

overwhelmed? These are both signs that your body

is battling an internal imbalance, not a stomach bug.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that any and all

physical symptoms must be attributed to a true

medical condition, instead of looking at it from a

holistic perspective.

There are definitely circumstances where you

may in fact have a medical condition and may need

specific treatment, but it should become a habit to

analyze outside factors that may be contributing to

your symptoms. The dreaded culprit of back pain

is another good example. There are millions of

people suffering from back pain in our country, and

a lot of times physicians are quick to recommend

invasive procedures or prescription medication to

help alleviate their symptoms. Chemical and physical

reactions take place in your body when you are

under stress, causing an involuntary tightening of

your muscles due to an increase in cortisol and

adrenaline levels. This can display as back pain in

certain individuals and may branch out to include

other physical symptoms.

Becoming aware that physical symptoms may be

related to stress is the first step in treating these

ailments at the root cause instead of masking them.

Once you’re able to reflect and listen to your body,

the next step is to make it a priority to listen to

your needs! Holistic therapies are often neglected

as a primary means of treatment. Analyzing the

body through this perspective allows for a unique

approach that focuses on physical, emotional, and

spiritual health that develops a plan to align and

balance the body.

Specific treatment therapies that are ideal for

treating physical symptoms caused by stress include

nutrition plans, mindset exercises, meditation,

breathwork, hypnosis, reiki and many other

modalities. Nutrition is one of the most important

variables in your health, especially as it relates

to stress and overall wellness. The term “food is

medicine” was coined for a reason; how you fuel

your body can have a direct impact on preventing

and treating physical ailments. Try to keep an open

mind when it comes to your health, and don’t

disregard alternative therapies in your quest for relief

of physical symptoms!

Nurses are the heart of our mission.

When you join Avera, your career opportunities are endless:

• Leadership opportunities

• Award-winning facilities

• Innovative technology

• Continuing education

To help recruit and retain talented people,

Avera is investing in its workforce.

Nursing opportunities

in a variety of settings, including:

Competitive pay and benefits:

• One week of paid time off front-loaded

for new hires

• Free individual health insurance and

competitive rates on other plans

• Student loan repayment program for

select positions

• Employee discount program

Apply at AveraJobs.org

Avera is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity


Page 10 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

Have You Considered Running for an Iowa Nurses

Association Board Position?

Serving on the INA Board is a great way to get involved,

network, and make a difference in Iowa nursing. Bring

your skills to influence nursing and healthcare in the state

and your region.

The deadline to submit your consent to serve is

Friday, August 19, 2022.

Open INA Board of Director Positions

• Secretary

• Treasurer

• Director of Resolutions • Director of Public Policy

• Nominations Committee (3)

Iowa Nurses Foundation Directors (2)

Duties of Each INA Office

Secretary

2 Year Term

The Secretary is accountable for record keeping and

reporting of meetings of INA and serves as a member of

the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. In the

case of a simultaneous vacancy in the offices of President

and President-Elect, the Secretary shall act as President, and

vacant offices shall be filled by a quorum of the remaining

Board of Directors, at a special meeting of the Board. The

following responsibilities are in addition to those of a board

member:

1. Accountable for record keeping and reporting of

meetings of INA Board and Executive Committee.

2. Maintenance of the minutes of all meetings of the

Association, Executive Committee, and the Board of

Directors.

3. Attend Annual Meeting and maintain accurate

minutes for the meeting.

4. Provide recognition and inspiration to motivate

volunteer participation in all INA activities.

5. Serves as a member of the Executive Committee and

Board of Directors.

Treasurer

2 Year Term

The Treasurer shall be accountable for the

fiscal affairs of INA and shall provide reports and

interpretation of INA financial condition, as may

be requested to the Board of Directors, and the

membership. The Treasurer shall serve as a member

of the Board of Directors and the Executive

Committee. The following responsibilities are in

addition to those of a board member.

1. Be accountable for the fiscal affairs of INA.

2. Chair the Committee on Finance

3. Along with the Executive Director, assure

receipt and documentation of all funds of

the Association, monitor the deposit of such

funds in a bank designated by the Board of

Directors, monitor for expenditures of such

funds, and review of the accounts payable.

4. Along with the President and Executive

Director sign the bank resolution for

electronic review of the Association

accounts.

5. Give a report to the Board of Directors

regarding the financial standing of the

Association whenever requested to do so and

provide a written report to the Association at

each Annual Meeting.

6. Assure a periodic external review of

accounting functions is completed.

7. Assure that business liability insurance

coverage is included in the budget and

remains in effect for the Association.

8. Serves as a member of the Executive

Committee and Board of Directors.

9. Provide recognition and inspiration to

motivate volunteer participation in all INA

activities.

Resolutions Director

2 Year Term

The Resolutions Director provides leadership for

the association. Participates in developing objectives

against which to review program progress and measure

the effectiveness of the association in accomplishing

its mission. Has legal and fiscal responsibilities to the

members of the association. The following responsibilities

are in addition to those of a board member outlined in

INA Bylaws:

1. Ensures that the association assesses the needs of

its members and of the profession.

2. Represents the members at large and considers

the needs of the membership.

3. May serve as a representative for the association

upon request by the President.

4. Convenes and chair the Committee on

Resolutions.

5. Receives, reviews, edits and reports on proposals

submitted for the consideration of the business

meetings of the membership.

6. Conducts hearings on proposals at the business

meetings of the membership.

7. Recommends action on proposals to be considered

by the business meeting of the membership.

8. Develops procedures for presentation of proposals

to business meeting of the membership.

9. Summarizes and reports to the business meeting

of the membership action taken on the previous

year’s proposals.

10. Reviews, updates and recommends withdrawal or

reaffirmation of proposals which were adopted

five years previously.

11. Submit articles for Iowa Nurse Reporter and yearly

report for the annual book of reports.

12. Serves as a member of the Executive Committee

and Board of Directors.

13. Provide recognition and inspiration to motivate

volunteer participation in all INA activities.

Public Policy Director

2 Year Term

The Public Policy Director provides leadership for

the association. Participates in developing objectives

against which to review program progress and measure

the effectiveness of the association in accomplishing

its mission. Has legal and fiscal responsibilities to the

members of the association. The following responsibilities

are in addition to those of a board member outlined in

INA Bylaws:

1. Ensures that the association assesses the needs of

its members and of the profession.

2. Represents the members at large and considers

the needs of the membership.

3. May serve as a representative for the association

upon request by the President.

4. Convene and chair the Committee on Public Policy.

5. Develops and leads INA local advocacy activities.

6. Works with INA lobbyist and other contracted

employees to structure and develop statewide

efforts to ensure a consistent message sent to

state policy makers using effective strategies.

7. Recruit other INA members for the Public Policy

Committee to form a broad advocacy network.

8. Assists in the assessment of INA’s advocacy needs.

9. Identifies issues to be considered by the Public

Policy Committee.

10. Develop relationships with public officials to

educate them about health needs and practice

issues.

11. Regular communication with Public Policy

Committee providing updates.

12. Represent INA in local and state advocacy

coalitions and networks as appropriate or identify

a designee.

13. Attend, American Nurses Association Advocacy

Institute, a minimum of one time.

14. Work closely with INA Staff in planning,

coordinating, and participating in annual

Legislative Days.

15. Attendance at scheduled Public Policy Committee

conference calls (usually every other week during

the legislative session).

16. Submit articles for Iowa Nurse Reporter and yearly

report for the annual book of reports.

17. Serves as a member of the Executive Committee

and Board of Directors.

18. Provide recognition and inspiration to motivate

volunteer participation in all INA activities.


June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 11

Nominations Committee (3)

Six members serve a 2 Year Term, three of whom

shall be elected annually. No member of the Board of

Directors shall serve on the committee. No more than

two members of the committee are to be a member of

any one region.

Members of the nominations committee will identify

candidates for positions on the Board of Directors and

other elected committees. Monitor the composition

and qualifications of the board and committees to

ensure they are representative and responsive to the

membership. The following responsibilities are in

addition to those outlined in INA Bylaws related to the

nominations committee:

1. Promote the development of potential future

leaders.

2. Ability to assess background and talents

of potential candidates in relation to job

responsibility to be fulfilled.

3. On or before February 1, the committee shall

send to the members and the regional subunits

the names of officers then serving, indicating

those whose terms of office will expire at the next

annual meeting and those eligible for re-election,

with a request for the names of members for

consideration for placement on the ballot.

4. In the odd numbered years, the committee shall

also request a list of names of members qualified

and willing to serve as representatives or as

alternates to the ANA Membership Assembly.

5. In preparing the ballot, the committee shall

consider names submitted by the regional

subunits and to other qualified members. Any

INA member may nominate herself/himself for

office. The committee shall prepare a ballot for

each office to be filled. This ballot shall include

representatives of various areas of nursing

practice and various geographic areas of the

state.

6. The ballot shall be reported to the Board of

Directors and shall be appended to the notice of

time and place of the meeting.

Iowa Nurses Foundation Directors (2)

3 Year Term

The INF Directors will provide leadership for

conducting the business of the Iowa Nurses

Foundation and contribute direction for volunteer

recruitment, recognition, and participation in

activities. INF Directors participate in INF activities

and events: Legislative Day, Retreat and Annual

Meeting and support INF financially with personal

contributions, sponsorships, and participation in major

fundraising events.

ANA Representative

INA is entitled to representation at regular and

special meetings of the ANA Membership Assembly

in accordance with ANA Bylaws and policy. The

President and President-Elect of INA will serve, by

virtue of their positions, for the two years of their

terms of office as Representatives to the ANA

Membership Assembly. The third, or any other

additional ANA Representative will be an INA/ANA

member and will be elected in odd number years. To

ensure that INA will be fully represented at the ANA

Membership Assembly, an Alternate Representative

list of candidates not elected, in descending order, will

be maintained for the Secretary to contact if alternate

representation is needed if the elected representative

cannot attend. Should either ANA representative not

be able to attend the ANA membership assembly the

secretary will contact the alternate representatives

in descending vote order to assure adequate

representation.

Full position descriptions may be viewed at our

website at iowanurses.org.

All candidates for office must submit a Consent to

Serve form by Friday, August 19, 2022. The Consent to

Serve can be found on our website at iowanurses.org.

Elections will occur in early September, and the

winners will be announced on Tuesday, October 18,

2022, in conjunction with INA 2022 Conference and

Annual Meeting, at Stoney Creek Hotel-Des Moines,

Johnston, Iowa.

Why Should You Consider Running for a Board or

Committee Position?

• Personal and Professional Development –

If you are interested in advancing your career

or taking on more leadership responsibilities,

serving on INA’s Board offers personal and

professional growth opportunities. There are

committees to serve on as well as social and

political causes to support that need volunteers.

You will gain visibility, increase your confidence,

and can sharpen your communication and

leadership skills.

• Influence – Are you comfortable with having

others make decisions for you, how you will

work, and where the profession is going? It’s

not always easy to not speak up and express

your views on issues important to you, be

assured others will speak for you and the

nursing profession. You can influence how

our profession practices, whether in hospitals,

schools, clinics, or the many diverse areas

nursing can practice based on your experiences.

It’s time to get out and join the INA

professional board by opening the door to

the bigger picture of nursing, issues affecting

nursing, and where nursing fits into healthcare

overall.

• Networking – Serving on the INA Board is a

great way to meet people who share common

interests with you, stay in touch with what’s

going on at other facilities around the state,

and participate in the legislative process,

allowing you to get to know your legislators.

INA is well respected and one of the highest

connected professional nurses’ organizations

with legislation. It is also an opportunity to get

a lead on new employment opportunities if you

are looking.

• Education: Serving on the INA Board allows

you to stay on top of the latest issues and

continuing education through meetings and

workshops.


Page 12 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

The Case of Nurse RaDonda Vaught: How Administering the

Wrong Medication Resulted in a Criminal Conviction

Nurses across the country have followed and are now

responding to the criminal prosecution and conviction of a

Tennessee nurse who mistakenly injected a patient with a

paralytic medication, resulting in her death. There have been

strong reactions to the guilty verdicts handed down against Ms.

Vaught. Since not all material facts in this case were covered by

the media, a more thorough discussion is provided below.

Timeline of Events –

12/26/2017 – Nurse Vaught mistakenly administered

vecuronium (brand name Norcuron) instead of the prescribed

Versed to a 75-year-old patient, Charlene Murphey, prior to a

PET scan. In the PET scanning room, the patient arrested and

was placed on a ventilator.

12/27/2017 – The patient was declared brain dead and removed from the ventilator.

12/27/2017 – Vanderbilt University Medical Center (“Vanderbilt”) reported the

patient’s death to the county medical examiner. Vanderbilt’s report did not mention the

medication error.

12/27/2017 – The medical examiner determined the cause of death as “natural.”

1/2018 – Vanderbilt did not report the patient’s death to state or federal officials, as

required by law. Ms. Vaught’s employment at Vanderbilt was terminated.

Here for

your patients.

And you.

For many people, life has been more stressful than ever

lately. If you or your patients are turning to alcohol, drugs

or gambling to cope or are struggling with mental health

or suicidal thoughts, Your Life Iowa is here for you. Our

caring professionals are trained to connect individuals

to the free resources they need to get through the most

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We encourage you and your patients to reach out to us

anytime, 24/7. We’ll walk beside you so you’re never alone.

CALL:

(855) 581-8111

TEXT:

(855) 895-8398

CHAT:

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Donna J. Craig

RN, JD

Early 2018 – Vanderbilt negotiated an out-of-court confidential settlement with the

patient’s family.

10/3/2018 – An anonymous tipster advised state and federal officials of the medication

error which resulted in the patient’s death.

10/23/2018 – The Tennessee Department of Health which oversees health professional

licensing determined there was no violation by Ms. Vaught and issued her a letter

indicating “this matter did not meet further action.”

10/31/2018 – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) conducted an

unannounced inspection of Vanderbilt.

11/8/2018 – CMS confirmed the patient’s death was due to an accidental dose of

vecuronium and that Vanderbilt did not report the medication error to the medical

examiner and state officials.

11/16/2018 – In response to CMS’s inspection Vanderbilt developed a plan of

correction. No other action was taken against Vanderbilt or it’s Medicare provider status.

2/4/2019 – Ms. Vaught is arrested and criminally charged with reckless homicide and

impaired adult abuse.

2/5/2019 – The CEO for Vanderbilt appeared before the Tennessee Board of Licensing

for Health Care Facilities and admitted the death of Ms. Murphey was not reported and

admitted the hospital’s response was “too limited.” The Tennessee Board of Licensing for

Health Care Facilities took no action against Vanderbilt.

2/20/2019 – Ms. Vaught entered not guilty pleas to the criminal charges brought

against her.

8/20/2019 – Law enforcement requested the medical examiner re-examine the

circumstances of Ms. Murphey’s death. The medical examiner now with knowledge of

the medication error, changed the official manner of death to “accidental.”

9/27/2019 – The Tennessee Health Department overseeing the Board of Nursing

re-opened Nurse Vaught’s licensing case.

3/22/2022 – Criminal trial of Ms. Vaught began

3/25/2022 – After a three-day trial and 4 hours of deliberations the jury returns

guilty verdicts against Ms. Vaught.

5/13/2022 – Sentencing of Ms. Vaught is scheduled to be held on May 13, 2022.

Facts – Nurse RaDonda Vaught became employed by Vanderbilt in October

2015. On December 26, 2017 she was working as a “help all nurse” for the Neuro

ICU, step down and the 6th floor nursing units. At that time Charlene Murphey,

a 75 year woman with a subdural hematoma was a patient in the Neuro ICU. The

patient was scheduled to undergo a full body PET scan at 2:00 pm. It is not clear

when the patient arrived in radiology since there was no documentation of her

arrival time. She was noted to be alert and oriented when she arrived in radiology.

Prior to undergoing the PET scan the patient requested something to reduce her

anxiety as she suffered from claustrophobia.

The physician ordered 2 mg of Versed IV. The AcuDose report showed the order

was entered at 2:47 pm and verified by pharmacy at 2:49 pm. The report also shows

at 2:59 pm Nurse Vaught removed 10 mg of vecuronium from the AcuDose cabinet,

using an override. There was no order for vecuronium for this patient. There was no

override verified by pharmacy and there was no documentation by Nurse Vaught that

she administered vecuronium. At some time after the incident the family was told of a

possible medication error.

A physician’s note at 3:45 pm on 12/26/2017 indicates a code was called in the

PET scan area. Upon the physician’s arrival the patient was found to be pulseless and

unresponsive. The patient was intubated and regained circulation after 2 – 3 attempts

at chest compressions. The patient was readmitted to the Neuro ICU.

The next day, on December 27, 2017, a physician’s note (time not specified) stated

“I discussed the case with the neurology team and it is felt that these changes in exam

likely represent progression towards but not complete brain death…very low likelihood of

neurological recovery, we made the decision to pursue comfort care measures.”

Hospital’s Actions after the Patient’s Death – The patient’s death was reported

to the county medical examiner. The amended report from the county medical

examiner’s office contains conflicting statements as to the cause of death. The report

indicates that the physician “will attest to the death as natural causes of complications

of the intra-cerebral hemorrhage.” The cause of death is listed as “acute vecuronium

intoxication,” contributing factors of death “intracerebral hemorrhage” and the manner

of death as “accidental.” The medical examiner originally determined that the cause of

death to be “natural” then after more information was made available, changed the

cause of death to “acute vecuronium intoxication.”

Vanderbilt did not report the medication error to either state or federal officials, as

required by law. It appears that the only actions taken by Vanderbilt in January 2018 was

to terminate Nurse Vaught’s employment and to negotiate an out-of-court settlement

with Ms. Murphey’s family. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

Anonymous Tip to State and Federal Health Officials – On October 3, 2018 an

anonymous tipster advised state and federal health officials of the unreported medication

error that resulted in the patient’s death. The tipster reported Nurse Vaugh was orienting

a new registered nurse when the patient’s nurse asked Nurse Vaught to give Versed to the

patient. The report goes on to state that Nurse Vaught removed the incorrect drug, did

not read the label, and accidently administered vecuronium instead of Versed.

Tennessee’s Board of Nursing Initial Determination – The Tennessee

Department of Health (“Department”) is responsible for the licensing of healthcare

professionals. After receiving information from Vanderbilt the Department conducted

an investigation which was reviewed by the Department’s nursing consultant and staff

attorney. On October 23, 2018 the Department closed its files and issued letters to

Vanderbilt and Nurse Vaught.

A letter from the director of investigations to Vanderbilt stated in part, “the

complaint received about Nurse Vaught has been reviewed by the nurse consultant

and staff attorney for the Department and forwarded for investigation. As a result

of the investigation and the review by the nursing consultant and staff attorney their

determination was that the acts of the practitioner did not constitute a violation of statutes


June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 13

and/or rules governing the profession.” On the same

day Nurse Vaught was issued a similar letter indicating a

“review of the complaint by the Board’s nursing consultant

and staff attorney a decision was made that this matter did

not merit further action.”

Investigation by Centers for Medicare and

Medicaid Services and State Officials – Interview of

RaDonda Vaught – Investigators conducted a surprise

inspection at Vanderbilt. As part of this inspection

investigators interviewed Nurse Vaught by telephone.

According to the investigative report, Nurse Vaught stated,

“I was in a patient care role. I was the help-all nurse. As

explained in the report a help-all nurse is a resource nurse.

Nurse Vaught was also orienting a new nurse.

The patient’s primary care asked Nurse Vaught to go to

the Radiology PET scanning room and administer Versed

to the patient because she was not able to tolerate the

PET scan procedure. Nurse Vaught searched for the

Versed under the patient’s AcuDose profile which she

could not find. She then chose the override setting and

searched for Versed. At the time she indicated she was

talking to the orientee while she was searching for Versed

and typed in the first two letters of Versed which are

“VE” and chose the first medication on the list.

According to the investigative report, Nurse Vaught

could not remember the reason she gave for the override.

The investigation also revealed there was no scanner

in the radiology unit. When Nurse Vaught discussed

her medication error with the unit manager she was

instructed not to scan the medication after the fact as the

MAR would note it. Nurse Vaught also admitted that she

was distracted by talking to the orientee about a swallow

test they were going to do. She also admitted it struck

her “as a little odd” that she had to reconstitute the

medication and should have called the pharmacy.

Nurse Vaught told the investigator that she took out

the medication vial and looked at the back of the vial for

the directions on how to reconstitute it. She admitted

she did not re-check the medication’s name on the vial.

Nurse Vaught went on to say she grabbed a sticker from

the patient’s file, a handful of flushes, alcohol swabs, and

a blunt tip needle. She placed the medication vial in a

baggie and wrote on the baggie, “PET scan, Versed 1-2

mg” and went to the radiology department to administer

the medication to the patient. The medication was

given but there is no documentation as to when it was

administered.

Once in the radiology department Nurse Vaught

went to the patient, checked her identity and told her

she was there to help her relax. She then proceeded to

reconstitute the medication and measured what she

needed. When asked how much she gave the patient

she indicated “I can’t remember. I am pretty sure I gave

her 1 millimeter.” She put the left over medication in the

baggie and gave it to another nurse [not identified]. When

asked her next actions Nurse Vaught indicated she left the

radiology unit and did not monitor the patient after giving

the medication.

Nurse Vaught went on to tell the investigator that the

family was standing outside in the hallway…”we heard a

rapid response call for PET scan. That was a red flag since

that patient was ours.” The investigative report indicates

the rapid response team call occurred at 3:29 pm. Nurse

Vaught went back into the PET scan area and saw that

the patient was intubated and had regained a heartbeat.

She told the physician, “I had given Versed a few minutes

ago.” The nurse who was present when Nurse Vaught

administered the medication showed her the baggie

and asked if this is what was given to the patient, Nurse

Vaught responded “yes.” The other nurse in response

said, “This isn’t Versed. Its vecuronium” Other staff

interviewed indicated the patient was estimated to be

alone in the room for about 30 minutes once she was put

in the scanning room.

The investigation also revealed that in the days

after the incident Nurse Vaught spoke with her nurse

manager and risk management at Vanderbilt. Nurse

Vaught indicated immediately after the events she spoke

to several people in management and also completed a

Veritas report around 4:00 pm on December 26th.

Interview of the Vanderbilt Pharmacist – The

pharmacist reported the following events:

On December 26th a PET scan was ordered at

2:00 pm, the Versed was ordered at 2:47 pm, and the

vecuronium was removed from the AcuDose at 2:59

pm. The pharmacist confirmed that the letters “VE”

were entered in AcuDose which defaults to generic

medications. That is why Versed did not show up. When

vecuronium popped up a warning in the red box was

visible for an override stating that is should be for STAT

orders. The time of administration of the vecuronium was

not documented.

What the Baggie Contained – Nurse Vaught

told the investigator that she labeled and placed the

administration set up in a baggie bag before going to

the Radiology department. The baggie contained the

following:

• Clear zip lock baggie with an orange biohazard label

had “Versed 1 mg – 2 mg PET 1251 handwritten in

pink colored marker on it.

• Inside the baggie was a vial with a few drops

of clear liquid remaining in the vial. The vial was

labeled as “Vecuronium Bromide 10 mg. 1mg/

ml when reconstituted to 10 ml. reconstitute with

bacteriostatic water.”

• The vial had a red top that said “WARNING:

PARALYZING AGENT.”

• There was a 10 ml syringe labeled “Normal Saline”

with a capped needle attached, with 1.5 ml of a

clear liquid remaining in it and caped with a white

cap with no needle.

• There was also a 2-inch alcohol prep pad in the

baggie.

Vanderbilt Issues a Correct Action Plan – Following

CMS’s investigation, Vanderbilt issued a corrective action

plan in November 2018. The corrective action plan

included, among other actions:

• Revising its medication administration policy;

• Updating the transportation of critical care patient

policy to require appropriate staff to accompany,

monitor, and support patients’ needs, and

document the handover of patients between

nursing staff. If a no handover can be accomplished

the transporting staff is to remain with the patient;

• Revising high alert medication policy;

• Establishing a work group to review paralyzing

agents; and

• Chief nursing officers conducting weekly chart

reviews (5 patient/unit) for a total of 3 months

Nurse RaDonda Vaught continued on page 14


Page 14 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

Nurse RaDonda Vaught continued from page 13

Criminal Charges Filed Against RaDonda Vaught –

On February 4, 2019 Nurse Vaught is arrested on a criminal

indictment for her role in Ms. Murphey’s death, and

charged with reckless homicide and abuse of an impaired

adult. This is the first time Ms. Vaught is publicly identified.

On February 20, 2019 Ms. Vaught enters not guilty pleas to

both charges.

Tennessee Board of Licensing Health Care Facilities

– On February 5, 2019 the CEO of Vanderbilt appeared

before the Tennessee Board of Licensing for Health Care

Facilities. The CEO admitted the patient’s death was not

reported to state regulators and admitted the hospital’s

response was “too limited.” Officials also confirmed that

they negotiated a confidential settlement with the family.

The Board of Licensing for Health Care Facilities took no

disciplinary action against Vanderbilt.

The Licensing Board Reexamines Prior Licensing

Decision Involving RaDonda Vaught – On September

27, 2019 the Tennessee Department of Health reopened

its prior decision not to pursue disciplinary action

against Ms. Vaught’s license. She is charged with three

violations, including unprofessional conduct, abandoning

or neglecting a patient that required care, and failing to

maintain an accurate patient record.

The licensing violations brought against Nurse Vaught

included:

• Failure to follow the five rights of medication

administration, right patient, right medication, right

dose, right route, and right time;

• After administrating the medication she failed to

monitor the patient; and

• Failed to document in the medical record that she

administered vecuronium

Licensing Hearing – The licensing hearing began

on July 22, 2021. At the hearing Ms. Vaught testified

that the medication error was “completely my fault”

because she did not double check the medicine she

administered. In addition to admitting to her error, Ms.

Vaught argues, through her attorney, that there were

flawed procedures at Vanderbilt. They argued that

there was a problem that prevented communication

between Vanderbilt’s electronic health records,

medication cabinets and the hospital pharmacy. This

flaw caused delays in accessing medications and the

hospital’s short term workaround was to override the

safeguards on the cabinets so they could remove drugs

quickly.

Ms. Vaught testified that “overriding was something

we did as a part of our practice every day. You

couldn’t get a bag of fluids for a patient without using

an override function.” Nurse Vaught testified that

she allowed herself to become “complacent” and

“distracted” while using the medication cabinet and

did not double-check which drug she had withdrawn

despite multiple opportunities. On July 23, 2021 the

Tennessee Board of Nursing unanimously revokes

Vaught’s nursing license.

Ms. Vaught testified that overrides were common

at Vanderbilt and that a 2017 upgrade to the hospital’s

electronic health record system was causing rampant delays

at medication cabinets. Because of that flaw Vanderbilt

instructed nurses to use overrides to circumvent delays and

get medicine as needed. A state investigator also told the

board of nursing to her knowledge that computer issues

caused problems with medication cabinets at Vanderbilt in

2017.

Criminal Proceedings – As part of discovery process

prosecutors reveal that Ms. Vaught made 10 separate

errors when giving the wrong medication to the patient,

including overlooking multiple warning signs. Court

records state that Vaught would have had to look directly

at a warning on the cap, saying “WARNING: PARALYZING

AGENT” before injecting the drug.

The State argued Ms. Vaught failed to scan the

medication against the patient’s medical identification

bracelet. She also pointed out that vecuronium is a powder

that needs to be reconstituted unlike Versed which is

already in liquid form.

The prosecution’s nursing expert testified that Ms.

Vaught failed to meet the standard of care by:

• Being distracted when administering the medication;

• Not looking up the generic name for Versed;

• Failing to read the name of the drug, not noticing a

red warning on the top of the vial, and not staying

with the patient after medication administration.

• Administering the medication when a patient scanner

was not available in the Radiology unit;

• Not double checking the medication with a

colleague; and

• Not monitoring the patient even if she thought she

was giving Versed.

A lead investigator in the criminal trial testified that

Vanderbilt had a “heavy burden of responsibility” for a

grievous drug error…but pursued penalties and criminal

charges only against the nurse and not the hospital itself.

Vanderbilt received no punishment for the fatal drug error.

After three days of trial followed by four hours of

deliberations the jury rendered its verdict. The jury was

made up of six men and six women, with one juror being a

practicing registered nurse and another a former respiratory

therapist.

The Verdict – The jury found Ms. Vaught guilty of

criminal negligent homicide (a lesser charge under reckless

homicide) and gross neglect of an impaired adult. She

was acquitted of reckless homicide. The neglect charge

stemmed from the allegation that Ms. Vaught did not

properly monitor Ms. Murphey after she was injected with

the wrong drug.

Stay Tuned – RaDonda Vaught, a convicted felon, is

scheduled to be sentenced on May 13, 2022.

Other Source Documents –

• Kelman, Brett; The RaDonda Vaught case is

confusing. This timeline will help. (msn.com); Nashville

Tennessean; March 22, 2022; https://www.msn.

com/en-us/news/crime/the-radonda-vaught-case-isconfusing-this-timeline-will-help/ar-BB10EVFV

• Kelman, Brett; Ex-Vanderbilt nurse RaDonda

Vaught loses Nursing License for fatal drug error;

Nashville Tennessean; July 23, 2021; https://www.

tennessean.com/story/news/health/2021/07/23/exvanderbilt-nurse-radonda-vaught-loses-license-fatalerror/8069185002/

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June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 15

• Timms, Mariah; Prosecutors, defense lay out

framework in homicide trial of ex-Vanderbilt nurse

RaDonda Vaught; March 22, 2022; https://news.

yahoo.com/prosecutors-defense-lay-frameworkhomicide-193942097.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

• Kelman, Brett; In nurse’s trial, witness says hospital

bears ‘heavy’ responsibility for patient death; Kaiser

Health News; March 24, 2022; https://health.wusf.

usf.edu/npr-health/2022-03-24/in-nurses-trialwitness-says-hospital-bears-heavy-responsibilityfor-patient-death.

• Fruen, Lauren; Inside the trial of ex-nurse

RaDonda Vaught who ‘killed a patient by giving

her the wrong drug; March 24, 2022; https://

www.thesun.co.uk/news/18055626/nurseradonda-vaught-trial-killed-patient/

• Sutton, Caroline, West, Emily, Davis, Chris; Trial

of RaDonda Vaught: Jury to deliberate case

starting Friday; March 25, 2022; https://www.

newschannel5.com/news/trial-of-radondavaught-former-vanderbilt-medical-center-nursecontinues-into-third-day

• Kelman, Brett; Nurse Convicted of Neglect and

Negligent Homicide for Fatal Drug Error; Nashville

Tennessean; March 25, 2022; https://khn.org/

news/article/radonda-vaught-nurse-drug-errorvanderbilt-guilty-verdict/

• Levine, Zachary, McClendon, Shannon; Statement

in Response to the Conviction of Nurse RaDonda

Vaught; American Nurses Association, March

25, 2022; https://www.nursingworld.org/news/

news-releases/2022-news-releases/statement-inresponse-to-the-conviction-of-nurse-radondavaught/

• Timms, Mariah; Former Vanderbilt nurse RaDonda

Vaught found guilty on 2 charges in 2017 death

of patient; Nashville Tennessean; March 25, 2022;

https://www.yahoo.com/now/former-vanderbiltnurse-radonda-vaught-184322536.html

• Loller, Travis; Former nurse guilty of homicide in

medication error death; Associated Press; March

25, 2022; https://kstp.com/associated-press/apus-international/former-nurse-guilty-of-homicidein-medication-error-death/

• Timms, Mariah; Ex-Nurse RaDonda Vaught

found guilty on two charges in death of patient;

Nashville Tennessean; March 29, 2022; https://

currently.att.yahoo.com/att/ex-nurse-radondavaught-found-175845609.html

• Kelman, Brett, Norman, Hannah; Why Nurses Are

Raging and Quitting after the RaDonda Vaught

Verdict; Kaiser Health; April 5, 2022; https://

health.wusf.usf.edu/npr-health/2022-04-05/

why-nurses-are-raging-and-quitting-after-theradonda-vaught-verdict

Donna J. Craig, RN, JD is legal counsel to the ANA-

Michigan Chapter and the Michigan Council of Nurse

Practitioners. She practiced as a cardiac care nurse for

several years before a chance opportunity to audit a

graduate course in health care law and ethics changed

her career path. That course propelled her to earn her

law degree. After law school Ms. Craig joined a medical

malpractice defense law firm before transitioning her

focus to health care corporate and administrative law

matters. For over 20 years she has maintained her private

health law practice, representing health care providers

and facilities in business, licensure and compliance

matters. For her expertise and accomplishments, Detroit’s

dbusiness Magazine awarded Ms. Craig its Top Lawyer in

Health Care Law award on three occasions. Ms. Craig has

the distinction and is proud of being a bar member of the

Supreme Court of the United States of America. For more

information about The Health Law Center, go to www.

healthlawcenterplc.com.

1. Anonymous Complaint, page 1 of 3 pages at: https://

www.documentcloud.org/documents/6542003-CMS-

Complaint-Intake.html

2. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 7 of

105 pages at: https://www.documentcloud.org/

documents/6535181-Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html.

3. Id.

4. Id.

5. Id.

6. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 33 of

105 pages at: https://www.documentcloud.org/

documents/6535181-Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

7. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 8 of

105 pages at: https://www.documentcloud.org/

documents/6535181-Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

8. Id.

9. Amended County Medical Examiner Investigator’s

Report, at: https://www.documentcloud.org/

documents/6540657-Charlene-Murphey-ME-

Investigation.html

10. Report From the Anonymous Tipster at: https://www.

documentcloud.org/documents/6542003-CMS-

Complaint-Intake.html

11. Closing Letters From Tennessee Department of

Health at: https://www.documentcloud.org/

documents/6785898-RaDonda-Vaught-Letters.html

12. Id.

13. Id.

14. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 9 of

105 pages at: https://www.documentcloud.org/

documents/6535181-Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

15. Id.

Nurse RaDonda Vaught continued on page 16

Lombardi Law Firm

The Nurse’s Attorney

515-222-1110

sdlombardi@aol.com

http://www.lombardilaw.com/


Page 16 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

Nurse RaDonda Vaught continued from page 15

16. Prosecutorial Discovery Documents, page 5 of 51 pages at:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6785652-

RaDonda-Vaught-DA-Discovery.html

17. Prosecutorial Discovery Documents, page 6 of 51 at: https://

www.documentcloud.org/documents/6785652-RaDonda-

Vaught-DA-Discovery.html

18. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 9 of 105 pages

at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

19. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 10 of 105 pages

at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

20. Id.

21. Id.

22. Id.

23. Id.

24. Id.

25. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 11 of 105 pages

at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

26. Id.

27. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 12 of 105 pages

at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

28. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 11 of 105 pages

at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

29. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 25 of 105 pages

at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

30. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 33 of 105 pages

at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

31. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, page 35 of 105 pages

at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

32. Corrective Action Plan by Vanderbilt, pages 1 – 105 at:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6535181-

Vanderbilt-Corrective-Plan.html

33. Licensing Charges Filed by the Board of Nursing at: https://

www.documentcloud.org/documents/6483588-Vaught-

RaDonda-NOC-9-27-19.html

34. xxxiv Id.

35. Kelman, Brett; Ex-Vanderbilt nurse RaDonda Vaught loses

Nursing License for fatal drug error; Nashville Tennessean;

July 23, 2021; https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/

health/2021/07/23/ex-vanderbilt-nurse-radonda-vaughtloses-license-fatal-error/8069185002/

36. Id.

37. Id.

38. Fruen, Lauren; Inside the trial of ex-nurse RaDonda Vaught

who ‘killed a patient by giving her the wrong drug; March

24, 2022; https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18055626/nurseradonda-vaught-trial-killed-patient/

39. Id.

40. Sutton, Caroline, West, Emily, Davis, Chris; Trial of RaDonda

Vaught: Jury to deliberate case starting Friday; March 25,

2022; https://www.newschannel5.com/news/trial-ofradonda-vaught-former-vanderbilt-medical-center-nursecontinues-into-third-day

41. Kelman, Brett; In nurse’s trial, witness says hospital bears

‘heavy’ responsibility for patient death; Kaiser Health

News; March 24, 2022; https://health.wusf.usf.edu/nprhealth/2022-03-24/in-nurses-trial-witness-says-hospitalbears-heavy-responsibility-for-patient-death.

Now for The Rest of the Story:

The Sentencing of RaDonda Vaught

On May 13th RaDonda Vaught, a former ICU nurse

at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, was sentenced

after being convicted of criminally negligent homicide

and gross neglect of an impaired adult. Ms. Vaught

lost her nursing license and was criminally prosecuted

after she mistakenly administered the wrong medication

to 75-year-old patient Charlene Murphey, resulting in

her death. Ms. Vaught mistakenly gave Ms. Murphey

vecuronium, a paralytic agent, instead of the ordered

Versed, a sedative. Since the Vaught case has been the

subject of discussion by nurses and nursing associations

it is important that her sentencing be reported now.

Hundreds of nurses from around the country were

present in the courtroom, along with an overflow

crowd outside the courthouse where they listened to

the sentencing hearing over a public address system.

Nurses came to Tennessee and gathered in support of

Ms. Vaught and wore “Nurse Strong,” #IAmRaDonda,”

and “Seeking Justice for Nurses and Patients in a

BROKEN system” T-shirts to show their support.

Before Judge Jennifer Smith handed down the

sentence the prosecution and defense made sentencing

arguments to the Judge. Ms. Vaught and the relatives

of Charlene Murphey also addressed the court. The

prosecution sought a prison term of three to six years,

which was less than the eight years Ms. Vaught was

facing. Ms. Vaught’s attorney argued that probation,

not jail time, was called for.

Ms. Charlene Murphey’s son spoke of the toll his

mother’s death has had on the family. He and his wife

also said Charlene Murphey was a forgiving person and

she wouldn’t have wanted jail time for Ms. Vaught.

They told the judge that they personally “didn’t want

jail time, we just wanted to make sure she didn’t do

this to anyone else.” It is reported that Ms. Murphey’s

husband wanted the maximum sentence possible.

When Ms. Vaught was given an opportunity to

speak before being sentenced, she spoke directly to the

family. She told them “Saying I’m sorry doesn’t seem

like enough but you deserve to hear that and know

that I am very sorry for what happened.” “When Ms.

Murphey died, a part of me died with her.”

Before announcing the sentence, Judge Smith

addressed the family, telling them, “My hope that

changes in the practices and protocols in the medical

setting that have arisen since this event may at least be

some positive aspect that has arisen. I recognize however,

that will never be enough to heal your wounds.”

In announcing the sentence Judge Smith

acknowledged that the criminal charges warranted

three years of prison, but then went on to say RaDonda

Vaught wouldn’t face jail time. Judge Smith sentenced

Vaught to three years supervised probation and

then diverted that sentence which would allow her

record to be expunged after successfully completing

the terms of her probation. Prosecutors had argued

against diversion, although they were not opposed

to probation. In weighing whether to grant Vaught

judicial diversion, Judge Smith cited Vaught’s remorse,

this being her first criminal offense, as well as her

honesty about her medication error.

Donna J. Craig, RN, JD is legal counsel to the ANA-

Michigan Chapter and the Michigan Council of Nurse

Practitioners. She practiced as a cardiac care nurse

for several years before a chance opportunity to

audit a graduate course in health care law and ethics

changed her career path. That course propelled her

to earn her law degree. After law school Ms. Craig

joined a medical malpractice defense law firm before

transitioning her focus to health care corporate

and administrative law matters. For over 20 years

she has maintained her private health law practice,

representing health care providers and facilities in

business, licensure and compliance matters. For her

expertise and accomplishments, Detroit’s dbusiness

Magazine awarded Ms. Craig its Top Lawyer in Health

Care Law award on three occasions. Ms. Craig has the

distinction and is proud of being a bar member of the

Supreme Court of the United States of America. For

more information about The Health Law Center, go to

www.healthlawcenterplc.com.

1. Timms, Mariah, et al; RaDonda Vaught Sentenced to

Three Years’ Probation on a Diverted Sentence, Could

See Record Wiped; Nashville Tennessean; May 13,

2022; https://finance.yahoo.com/news/radonda-vaughtsentenced-three-years-194115731.html?fr=sycsrp_

catchall

2. Loller, Travis; Ex-Nurse Sentenced to Probation in Patient

Medication Death; Associated Press; May 13, 2022;

https://apnews.com/article/health-homicide-tennesseenashville-1e196d4e4358a20141385494426cdbe7

3. Timms, Mariah, et al; RaDonda Vaught Sentenced to

Three Years’ Probation on a Diverted Sentence, Could

See Record Wiped; Nashville Tennessean; May 13,

2022; https://finance.yahoo.com/news/radonda-vaughtsentenced-three-years-194115731.html?fr=sycsrp_

catchall

4. RaDonda Vaught Receives Three Years’ Probation on

Diverted Sentence; USA Today, May 13, 2022; https://

www.usatoday.com/story/news/crime/2022/05/13/

radonda-vaught-vanderbilt-nurse-sentencing-liveupdates/9717397002/

5. Former Nurse RaDonda Vaught, Whose Medical Error

Killed a Patient, Sentenced to Probation in Controversial

Case; CBS News, May 13, 2022; https://www.cbsnews.

com/news/radonda-vaught-sentencing-nurse-whosemedical-error-killed-a-patient-sentenced-to-probationin-controversial-case/

6. Id.

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June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 17

The 2022 Session of the

89th Iowa General Assembly

officially ended shortly after

midnight on Wednesday, May

25. It was Session Day 135 of

the scheduled 100-day session,

after a month-long stalemate

over taxpayer-funded private

school educational scholarships

(aka vouchers). Adjournment

followed two very long debate

days where all ten budgets, a

second tax bill, the first revision

of the state’s bottle bill since

its passage 44 years ago, and

several major policy bills flew

through the process. The

Successful End to 2022 Legislative Session

Amy Campbell,

Lobbyist and

Partner with

The Advocacy

Cooperative

complicated Health & Human Services Budget took

less than 15 minutes in the Iowa Senate, surely a new

record.

While your elected legislators are now back on the

campaign trail, the very last phase of the 2022 session

has started. The Governor now has 30 days to review

and act on legislation. During that time, she can either

sign or veto the bills sent to her during the mad dash

at the end of the session. On budget bills, she has the

added option of using her line-item veto authority

to take out specific sections of those bills while still

signing the rest of its contents into law.

It was not an easy year for the Iowa Nurses

Association; the anti-public health challenges

continued throughout session, first with the “Medical

Freedom” bill that would have made barred any

vaccine requirements and next with the “Right to

Try” legislation to allow people to ask for unproven

treatments requiring COVID-19 vaccinations (HF 2298)

and required written parental permission prior to a

school doing any invasive physical exams or screenings

not required by law (SF 2080). Book banning,

criminalizing teaching, parent’s rights, and anti-LGBTQ+

legislation generated a lot of activity including packed

subcommittee meetings in the first half of session,

before all fell apart with nothing passing.

The Iowa Nurses Association had some great wins in

2022:

Nurses will no longer be required to get

additional certification (pharmacy tech) in order

to administer vaccines under the order of a

pharmacist; it’s already within their scope of

practice (HF 2169).

• The Health Care Professional Recruitment

Program, which currently is limited to physician

assistants, physical therapists, occupational

therapists, podiatrists, athletic trainers, and

physicians, was expanded to include nurses and

ARNPs and allows loan repayment to community

colleges (SF 2383). The program continues to be

level funded at $500,973 (HF 2575).

• The primary loan repayment program for nurses

and ARNPs was renamed the “Health Care Award

Program,” converting it from a loan repayment

program to a direct financial award that is

available to nurses, ARNPs, nurse-educators,

and physician assistants (SF 2383). The bill also

allows part-time nurse educators to receive an

award if they are also practicing as a nurse or

ARNP. In addition, the program was doubled from

$250,000 to $500,000 (HF 2575).

• Access to mental health services will be improved

with the passage of bills that:

o Create a new $520,000 loan repayment

program for non-prescribing mental health

professionals, including social workers, mental

health counselors, psychologists, and marriage

and family therapists (HF 2549, HF 2575).

o Increase school-based mental health services

by $200,000 and therapeutic classrooms by

$$725,000 (HF 2575).

o Add two new rural psychiatric residencies

($200,000) and twelve psychiatric residencies

in state-owned institutions ($1.2 million) (HF

2578).

o Increase behavioral health intervention service

rates at Psychiatric Medical Institutions for

Children by $3 million and applied behavior

analysis rates by $385,000 (HF 2578).

o Requires the development of psychiatric tiered

rates, increasing reimbursement for more

complex conditions (HF 2546, HF 2578).

This session also saw passage of bills to require

schools test for and mitigate radon, regulate heath

care employment agencies and bar the use of noncompete

clauses, allows inhalers to be stocked

and self-administered in schools, allows only the

Legislature to appropriate funds generated from

the opioid settlement (not the Attorney General),

restricted the actions of pharmacy benefits managers

(PBMs), made fertility fraud a crime, cut income taxes

significantly, made diapers (both adult and child)

and feminine hygiene products exempt from sales

tax, created a new program to support pregnant

and new moms (“MOMS” – “More Opportunities

for Maternal Support”) while studying how other

states have expanded their Medicaid program to

include 12-months postpartum coverage, and made

sweeping changes to the state’s unemployment law.

Unfortunately, efforts to protect operative nurses from

surgical smoke fell short in the Iowa Senate (HF 783).

You can see more about what passed, and what

didn’t make the cut this year, in our Bill Tracker. It’s

important to note that summer and fall are the

absolute best times to advocate on behalf of Iowa

nurses. Legislators are running in new districts

this year, thanks to the decennial redrawing of the

legislative lines after the US Census. You may very

well be in new districts, with new legislators running.

It’s a great time to get to know the people running

for office and talking to them about the nursing

profession.

Thanks to the INA Public Policy Committee and all

who helped with INA’s advocacy efforts this year; it

takes a village.


Page 18 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

The Importance of Caring for Those Who Care

In May, nurses celebrated Florence Nightingale’s birthday,

National Nurses week, and hosted the time-honored

tradition of a pinning ceremony for hundreds of nursing

graduates who anxiously prepare for NCLEX and eager to

begin their professional nursing practice. This is a generation

of nurses whose education faced unique challenges due to

COVID 19. While educators were forced to find innovative

ways to teach critical content; students found creative

ways to apply skills and become proficient in their clinical

judgement. Melding the experience and knowledge of

expert nurses and the energy and vision of novice nurses will

strengthen our profession. Successful transition into practice

includes finding (or being assigned) a mentor who can

actively listen, provide feedback, encourage and generate

enthusiasm for nursing practice. However, finding time to

be an effective mentor for nurses entering practice can be

difficult to add to an already demanding workload.

Dawn M. Bowker,

Ph.D., RN, ARNP-

BC, SANE

INA Director of

Public Policy

Latoya Stewart shared an early conversation she had with her mentor when she

became a nurse manager, her mentor asked, “what would you prefer in a garden,

orchids, or weeds?” Stewart quickly responded orchids. The mentor explained that

there are two types of nurses, orchids and weeds. Orchids demand more care and

attention, and are more sensitive. Adversely, the weeds are resilient, and can grow

even in difficult situations. Stewart expressed that she has learned over the years

that even weeds need attention.

Nurse mentor and mentees need to be tended to and these relationships need

to be fostered. Employers need to care for nurses as much as nurses care for

their patients. This includes addressing staffing ratios, looking at illness levels and

the complexity of patients, and making sure they are not putting nurses in unsafe

working conditions by having to care for too many sick patients at one time

(Hernandez 2022).

In addition to staffing ratios, Larkin, a public policy nurse for the Robert Wood

Johnson Foundation articulated three trends in nursing:

1. More young nurses who have just entered the profession leave the

profession and leave bedside nursing.

According to Larkin, 100,000 nurses left the profession last year. This

is alarming and disturbing, because a large percentage of the nurses

leaving were under the age of 35. Nurses listed burnout and fatigue as

the most common reason for leaving their job. Nurses also cited violence

at the bedside both physically and mentally by patients and their families

(Hernandez 2022; Scripps National, 2022).

Approximately 25% of registered nurses reported being physically assaulted

by a patient or family member, while over 50% reported exposure to verbal

abuse or bullying (Al-Qadi, 2021). The adverse effect of horizontal violence

and interprofessional conflict is a significant issue amongst nurses. The

consequences of workplace violence are manifested through increased sick

leave, decreased job satisfaction, a high turnover rate, very low productivity,

and an increase in error frequency by staff (Al-Qadi, 2021). An alarming

17.2% of nurses leave their position every year due to workplace violence (Al-

Qadi, 2021).

2. Nursing is experiencing its sharpest exit in decades; more people are

applying to nursing schools than they have room for and the future

of nursing is changing.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

student enrollment in baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs

increased in 2020 despite concerns that the pandemic might diminish interest

in nursing careers. In programs designed to prepare new registered nurses at

the baccalaureate level, enrollment increased by 5.6% with 251,145 students

now studying in these programs nationwide (AACN, 2021). Compounding

the critical need for nurses, there is a nursing faculty shortage. Over 80,000

eligible nursing applicants were denied admission in undergraduate and

graduate nursing programs, most often due to a shortage of nursing faculty.

The National League for Nursing predicts there will be 34,200 new nursing

faculty needed by the end of 2022 (AACN, 2020).

3. Build self-care modalities in nursing curricula.

Nursing programs need to make sure they are building in self-care into

curriculum to help nurses recognize what they need to do for their own

well-being and learn to be resilient, yet recognize the signs of when they

need help (Scripps National, 2022). Neglecting self-care responsibilities can

contribute to a cascade of adverse outcomes including musculoskeletal pain

and depression. Nurses who are not present and caring for themselves have

higher patient falls, medication errors, and lower quality of care scores. This

demonstrates how neglected self-care can be detrimental to both the nurse

and their patients. Additionally, stress contributes to chronic disease. The

stress hormone cortisol and the hormone adrenaline can build up in the

bloodstream and lead to hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, arteriosclerosis,

hypertension, and a decrease in the function of the immune system.

Ignoring stress can also lead to chronic fatigue and/or depression (Kelbach,

2022). Kelbach addresses eight areas of self-care including mental, physical,

emotional, spiritual, social, personal, professional, and medical aspects. If you

are not engaging in a self-care modality, this article provides ideas on how

you can begin a productive self-care routine.

The pandemic has shown us that nurses are very resilient, but also very

vulnerable. Recent exposure to nurse suicide is a scream for open dialogue

and need to break the culture of silence regarding suicide among nurses. A

recent study published by the CDC showed that more than 70 percent of

health care workers in the US suffer from anxiety and depression, 38 percent

have symptoms of PTSD and 15 percent have had recent thoughts of suicide

or self-harm.

Policy and Advocacy

Given their powerful role in influencing people, policies, and systems; nurses

are needed in government positions, on the boards of for-profits and not-for-profit

organizations and mentoring the next generation of nurses. Nurses are leaders,

and we need them to lead. Systems are only as good as the people in front of

them providing the guidance and support and that requires careful listening.

What we really need to be doing is making sure that the employers, policy makers

and schools of nursing are supporting nurses every day in the job they are doing

(Hernandez 2022).

References

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2021, April 1). Student Enrollment Surged

in U.S. Schools of Nursing in 2020 Despite Challenges Presented by the Pandemic.

Retrieved from https://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Press-Releases/View/

ArticleId/24802/2020-survey-data-student-enrollment

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2020). Nursing faculty shortage. Retrieved

from https://www.aacnnursing.org/news-information/fact-sheets/nursing-facultyshortage

Ahmad, Najaf (2022, May 2). Good things happen when nurses lead. Retrieved from https://

www.rwjf.org/en/blog/2022/05/good-things-happen-when-nurses-lead.html

Al-Qadi M. M. (2021). Workplace violence in nursing: A concept analysis. Journal of

occupational health, 63(1), e12226. https://doi.org/10.1002/1348-9585.12226

Kelbach J. (2022). The Ultimate Guide to Self-Care for Nurses. Registered Nurses.org

Retrieved from https://www.registerednursing.org/articles/ultimate-guide-self-carenurses/

Hernandez, S. (2022, May 13). This data is disturbing: Why over a 100K nurses left their

job last year. Retrieved from https://www.kxan.com/news/national-news/this-data-wasalarming-and-disturbing-why-over-a-100k-nurses-left-their-job-last-year/

Scripps National (2022, May 12). Nurses facing workplace challenges amid changing

landscape. Retrieved from https://www.wcpo.com/news/national/nurses-facingworkplace-challenges-amid-changing-landscape

Stewart, L.L. (2022, May 04). Nursing is not gardening, but you must still attend to the

weeds. Medscape. Retrieved from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/973271

NursingALD.com can point you

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June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 19

Meeting the Nurse Staffing Challenge, Part One: Recruitment Tips

Georgia Reiner, MS, CPHRM, Risk Specialist, NSO

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted nurses to

rethink their careers and reinforced the need for healthcare

and nursing leaders to shift their approach to nurse

recruitment and retention. A 2021 survey by the American

Nurses Foundation found that 18 percent of 22,316

respondents planned to leave their current position in

the next six months. When the data are sorted by nurses

working in hospitals (8,524), that percentage rises to 21

percent. These pandemic-related staffing problems are

intensified by factors that existed before COVID-19 and

that still plague leaders. For example, hospitals in rural areas

continue to struggle more with nurse staffing than those

in urban locations. Generational differences also exist,

with Generation Zers and Millennials more likely to leave

positions compared to Generation Xers and Baby Boomers.

The exodus of bedside nurses takes its toll on remaining

staff and, in some cases, quality of care.

Too often, organizations have viewed nurses primarily

as an expense, failing to understand that investing in this

workforce yields financial rewards. High-quality nursing

care helps to reduce the likelihood of patient safety

events and costly medical malpractice lawsuits related

to missed errors. Savvy leaders know that ensuring

appropriate staffing levels is key to the financial health

of the organization, which means engaging in effective

recruitment and retention strategies. This article, the first

in a two-part series on nursing recruitment and retention,

will address recruitment strategies that leaders can utilize to

help attract new nurses to their organization.

Recruitment

Nursing and other organizational leaders need to work

closely with human resources staff to ensure recruitment

processes are efficient and effective:

Craft ads that work. First impressions count. Everyone

is your competitor for a limited pool of nursing talent, so

do what you can to make your organization stand out as

an attractive place to work. Be sure images in recruitment

ads reflect the organization, particularly when it comes

to diversity. Many organizations feature their own nurses

in ads, which has the additional benefit of employee

recognition. Try to make your messaging as personalized

as possible, emphasizing your organization’s culture and

authentically communicating why nurses should want to be

a part of your organization.

Reach out early. Ask staff who work with students

completing clinical rotations to identify those who might

make good employees when they graduate. Then get to

know the students and encourage them to apply when the

time comes. If you lead a specialty unit, invite students to

attend meetings (onsite or virtual) of local chapters of the

national specialty nursing association so they can learn

more about the role. You also may want to partner with

local schools to teach a class or workshop so you can

connect with students.

Promote digital efforts. Organizations’ websites

often miss the opportunity to feature nurses. Your facility’s

website should have a special section highlighting nursing,

including stories that feature individual nurses. You can ask

staff to record video testimonials that highlight what they

enjoy about working for your organization. In addition,

your organization’s job portal and job application process

should not be so cumbersome that potential employees

give up in frustration.

Individualize benefits. Avoid a “one size fits all”

approach to benefits. Instead, offer a menu that nurses

can choose from. For example, a late-career nurse may be

more interested in retirement-matching funds, but a newerto-practice

nurse may be attracted to a flexible schedule,

tuition or student loan assistance, or child-care benefits.

Obtain Magnet® status. Becoming a Magnet®designated

facility can be expensive, but many nurses

prefer organizations with this designation, so it can be

well worth the investment. Magnet® status also may

help reduce turnover and decrease patient morbidity and

mortality.

Provide optimal onboarding. This is often discussed

as a retention tool, but it also falls under the recruitment

category, as potential employees want to know how

supported they will be in their new role. This is particularly

true of new graduate nurses, who have seen their recently

graduated colleagues rushed into practice as a result of the

pandemic. Many organizations are being shortsighted in

cutting back on nurse residency programs, which not only

attract staff, but also promote a smoother transition into

practice, thus increasing retention.

Preceptors should be chosen based not only on their

level of expertise, but their effectiveness as educators.

Orientees (and preceptors) should know that they can

speak up if the match isn’t working.

Be sure staff feel warmly welcomed. For example,

some organizations send a signed welcome card to the

employee’s home before their start date. Others post

the employee’s name and photo in a visible location on

the unit.

Check in regularly with new staff to see how they are

adjusting, such as weekly for a month, then every other

month or so, and then after 6 months.

Meeting the challenge

Finding creative solutions to recruit nurses is more

important than ever. However, it is only the first piece

of the puzzle to building a robust nursing team.

Creating a safe, supportive work environment that

recognizes nurses’ meaningful contributions is essential

to encourage nurses to want to keep working for your

organization. Part two will discuss retention strategies

that healthcare and nursing leaders can employ to help

increase the likelihood that they retain current nursing

staff.

References

American Nurses Credentialing Center. Magnet benefits. n.d.

https://www.nursingworld.org/organizational-programs/

magnet/about-magnet/why- become-magnet/benefits/

American Nurses Foundation. COVID-19 impact assessment

survey – the first year. 2021. https://www.nursingworld.

org/practice-policy/work- environment/health-safety/

disaster-preparedness/coronavirus/what-you-need-toknow/year-one-covid-19-impact-assessment-survey/

CNA & NSO. Nurse Professional Liability Exposure Claim

Report: 4th Edition: Minimizing Risk, Achieving Excellence.

2020. https://www.nso.com/Learning/Artifacts/Claim-

Reports/Minimizing-Risk-Achieving-Excellence

Malliaris AP, Phillips J, Bakerjian, D. Nursing and Patient Safety.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2021.

https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primer/nursing-and-patient-safety

Pink D. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

Riverhead Books; 2019.

Reitz O, Anderson M, Hill PD. Job embeddedness and nurse

retention. Nurs Admin Q. 2010;34(3):190-200.

Sherman RO. The Nuts and Bolts of Nursing Leadership: Your

Toolkit for Success. Rose. O. Sherman; 2021.

Wolters Kluwer. Ten recruiting strategies to attract nurses.

2019. https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/expert-insights/

ten-recruiting-strategies-to-attract- nurses

Disclaimer: The information offered within this article

reflects general principles only and does not constitute

legal advice by Nurses Service Organization (NSO)

or establish appropriate or acceptable standards of

professional conduct. Readers should consult with an

attorney if they have specific concerns. Neither Affinity

Insurance Services, Inc. nor NSO assumes any liability

for how this information is applied in practice or for the

accuracy of this information.

This risk management information was provided

by Nurses Service Organization (NSO), the nation’s

largest provider of nurses’ professional liability

insurance coverage for over 550,000 nurses since

1976. The individual professional liability insurance

policy administered through NSO is underwritten by

American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania,

a CNA company. Reproduction without permission

of the publisher is prohibited. For questions, send an

e-mail to service@nso.com or call 1-800-247-1500.

www.nso.com.

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Page 20 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

How Nurses Can Counter Health Misinformation

The wealth of health information available

online can be beneficial for patients, but only

if that information is accurate. Although recent

issues on misinformation have centered on the

COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation has been a

problem in many other areas related to wellness

and healthcare, such as dieting, exercise, and

vitamins and supplements. Although misinformation

isn’t new, the internet and social media have

supercharged the ability for it to spread.

Nurses and nurse practitioners have the power

to counteract misinformation, but first, they need

to understand the nature of the problem and why

people may be inclined to believe information that

is not grounded in science.

Misinformation overview

Two definitions help better understand this issue.

Misinformation refers to claims that conflict with

the best available scientific evidence. Disinformation

refers to a coordinated or deliberate effort to

spread misinformation for personal benefit,

such as to gain money, power, or influence. An

example of misinformation is the false claim

that sugar causes hyperactivity in children. An

example of disinformation is a company that makes

false scientific claims about the efficacy of their

product to boost sales. This article focuses on

misinformation.

People increasingly seek health information

online through sources such as search engines,

health-related websites, YouTube videos, and apps.

Unfortunately, misinformation can occur at all these

points, as well as via blogs, social media platforms,

and user comments on articles or posts. Even when

not actively seeking health information, people can

be exposed to it through media outlets such as

print, TV, and streaming networks.

Why do people believe misinformation?

Several factors can lead to people accepting

misinformation:

Health literacy. Health literacy refers not only

to the ability to read and understand health

information, but the appraisal and application of

knowledge. People with lower levels of health

literacy may be less able to critically assess the

quality of online information, leading to flawed

decision-making. One particular problem is that

content is frequently written at a level that is too

high for most consumers.

Distrust in institutions. Past experiences with

the healthcare system can influence a person’s

willingness to trust the information provided.

This includes not only experiences as an individual

but also experiences of those in groups people

affiliate with. Many people of color and those with

disabilities, for example, have had experiences with

healthcare providers where they did not feel heard

or received substandard care, eroding trust. In

some cases, healthcare providers have lied, as was

the case with the Tuskegee syphilis study of Black

men; the men were not told they had the disease

or offered treatment. In addition, some people have

an inherent distrust of government, leading them to

turn to alternative sources of information that state

government-provided facts are not correct.

Emotions. Emotions can play a role in both the

spread and acceptance of misinformation. For

example, false information tends to spread faster

than true information, possibly because of the

emotions it elicits. And Chou and colleagues

note that during a crisis when emotions are high,

people feel more secure and in control when they

have information—even when that information is

incorrect.

Cognitive bias. This refers to the tendency to seek

out evidence that supports a person’s own point

of view while ignoring evidence that does not. If

the misinformation supports their view, they might

accept it even when it’s incorrect.

How to combat misinformation

Recommending resources, teaching consumers

how to evaluate resources, and communicating

effectively can help reduce the negative effects of

misinformation.

Recommendations. In many cases, patients and

families feel they have a trusting relationship with

their healthcare providers. Nurses can leverage that

trust by recommending credible sources of health

information. Villarruel and James note that before

making a recommendation, nurses should consider

the appropriateness of the source. For example,

a source may be credible, but the vocabulary

used may be at too high a level for the patient

to understand. And someone who prefers visual

learning will not appreciate a website that is dense

with text. Kington and colleagues suggest using

these foundational principles when evaluating

sources:

• Science-based: The source provides

information consistent with the best scientific

evidence available and meets standards for

creation, review, and presentation of scientific

content.

• Objective: The source takes steps to reduce

the influence of financial and other forms

of conflict of interest or bias that could

compromise or be perceived to compromise

the quality of the information provided.

• Transparent and accountable: The source

discloses limitations of the provided

information, conflicts of interest, content

errors, or procedural missteps.

• Each principle has specific attributes, which

are listed in the article available for download

at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/

PMC8486420/.

Another tool for evaluating sources of health

information is the CRAAP test (Currency, Relevance,

Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose), which focuses

on evaluating the accuracy of research. It consists

of multiple questions in each category (see https://

researchguides.ben.edu/source-evaluation). For a

more concise tool, nurses can turn to the algorithm,

developed by Kington and colleagues, for assessing

the credibility of online health information.

Although the tendency is to recommend

government sources such as the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention and National

Institutes of Health, as noted earlier, some people

do not trust the government. In this case, sources

such as MedlinePlus, World Health Organization,

and condition-specific nonprofit organizations

(e.g., the American Heart Association, American

Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association) might be

preferred.

Education. The sheer scope of the information

found online can make it difficult for even the most

astute consumer to determine what is accurate.

Nurses can help patients by providing tools they

can use to evaluate what they read. The website

Stronger suggests a four-step process for checking

for misinformation (https://stronger.org/resources/

how-to- spot-misinformation).

• Check the source. Is the website or person

known for conflating facts and opinions?

• Check the date. Is it implied that the

information is recent even though it’s not?

Is there more current information available

elsewhere?

• Check the data and motive. What is the

original source of the information? Are they

just looking for anything that supports their

own worldview?

• If still unsure, use a reputable, fact-checking

site such as Snopes.com or FactCheck.org.

UCSF Health (https://www.ucsfhealth.org/

education/evaluating- health-information) provides

a useful short overview for patients on how to

evaluate the credibility (e.g., authors’ credentials)

and accuracy (e.g., whether other sources support

the information) of health information and red

flags to watch for (e.g., outdated information, no

evidence cites, poor grammar).

Communication. Communication is the

best way to correct misinformation and stop

its spread. This starts with the nurse clearly

explaining the evidence for recommended

interventions. From the start, the nurse should

establish the principle of shared decision-making,

which encourages open discussion.

A toolkit from the U.S. Surgeon General on

misinformation (https://www.hhs.gov/sites/

default/files/health-misinformation-toolkitenglish.pdf)

recommends that nurses take time


June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 21

to understand each person’s knowledge, beliefs,

and values and to listen with empathy. It’s best

to take a proactive approach and create an

environment that encourages patients and families

to share their thoughts and concerns (see “A

proactive approach”). Nurses should remain calm,

unemotional, and nonjudgmental.

Nurses also can prepare for conversations

where they know misinformation may occur such

as vaccination. For example, the CDC has a page

on its website that addresses infant vaccination

(https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/conversations/

conv-materials.html). It includes resources such as

responses to possible questions.

Listening and providing information may not be

enough. In some cases, a patient may not want

to hear what the nurse is saying. When patients

become angry or frustrated, the nurse should

remain calm. It can be helpful to acknowledge

the frustration (“I can see that you are upset.”)

Depending on the situation, it may be possible to

briefly summarize key points before reinforcing the

desire to provide information to support the patient

and then move on to another topic. The goal is

to maintain a positive nurse-patient relationship,

which leaves the door open to further conversation.

Documentation

As with any patient education, it’s important to

document discussions related to misinformation in

the patient’s health record. Nurses should objectively

record what occurred and include any education

material they provided. Should the patient experience

harm as a result of following misinformation

instead of the recommended treatment plan, this

documentation would demonstrate the nurse’s efforts

and could help avoid legal action.

A positive connection

Nurses can serve as a counterbalance to the

misinformation that is widely available online.

Providing useful resources, educating consumers,

and engaging in open dialogue will promote the

ability of patients to receive accurate information so

they can make informed decisions about their care.

By Georgia Reiner, MS, CPHRM, Risk Analyst,

Nurses Service Organization (NSO)

References

CDC. How to address COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

2021. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/healthdepartments/addressing-vaccine-

misinformation.

html

CDC. Talking with parents about vaccines for infants. 2021.

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/conversations/convmaterials.html

CDC. The U.S. public health service syphilis study at Tuskegee.

2021. https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/index.html

Chou W-YS, Gaysynsky A, Vanderpool RC. The COVID-19

misinfodemic: Moving beyond fact-checking. Health

Educ Behav. 2020;1090198120980675:1- 5.

Kington RS, Arnesen S, Chou W-YS, Curry SJ, Lazer D,

and Villarruel AM. Identifying credible sources of

health information in social media: Principles and

attributes. NAM Perspect. 2021:10.31478/202107a.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/

PMC8486420/

Kurpiel S. Evaluating Sources: The CRAAP Test.

Benedictine University. 2022. https://researchguides.

ben.edu/source-evaluation

Office of the Surgeon General. A Community Toolkit for

Addressing Health Misinformation. US Department

of Health and Human Services. 2021. https://www.

hhs.gov/sites/default/files/health-misinformationtoolkit-english.pdf

Stronger. How to spot misinformation. n.d. https://

stronger.org/resources/how-to-spot-misinformation

Schulz PJ, Nakamoto K. The perils of misinformation:

When health literacy goes awry. Nat Rev Nephrol.

2022. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41581-021-

00534-z

Swire-Thompson B, Lazer D. Public health and online

misinformation: Challenges and recommendations.

Annu Rev Public Health. 2020;41:433-451. UCSF

Health. Evaluating health information. n.d. https://

www.ucsfhealth.org/education/evaluating-healthinformation

Villarruel AM, James R. Preventing the spread of

misinformation. Am Nurs J. 2022;17(2):22-26. https://

www.myamericannurse.com/preventing-the-spreadof-misinformation/

Disclaimer: The information offered within this

article reflects general principles only and does

not constitute legal advice by Nurses Service

Organization (NSO) or establish appropriate or

acceptable standards of professional conduct.

Readers should consult with an attorney if they

have specific concerns. Neither Affinity Insurance

Services, Inc. nor NSO assumes any liability for

how this information is applied in practice or for

the accuracy of this information. Please note that

Internet hyperlinks cited herein are active as of the

date of publication but may be subject to change or

discontinuation.

This risk management information was provided

by Nurses Service Organization (NSO), the nation’s

largest provider of nurses’ professional liability

insurance coverage for over 550,000 nurses since

1976. The individual professional liability insurance

policy administered through NSO is underwritten

by American Casualty Company of Reading,

Pennsylvania, a CNA company. Reproduction

without permission of the publisher is prohibited.

For questions, send an e-mail to service@nso.com

or call 1-800-247-1500. www.nso.com.

A proactive

approach

Villarruel and James provide the following

suggestions for talking with patients about

misinformation:

• Acknowledge the barrage of health

information that is available online and

through other sources and the difficulty

of “knowing who and what to trust.” (“I

know there’s a great deal of information

about COVID-19 and not all of it is the

same. Sometimes, it’s hard to sort it out

and know what to trust.”)

• Assess where patients and families

obtain their health information and

what sources they trust. Keep in mind

that even when a source is credible, a

person may not trust it, and a person

may trust a site that is not credible.

(“Where do you get most of your

information about COVID-19? What

makes that a trusted source for you?”)

• Provide alternative and accurate

sources of information. (“I’m not

familiar with that website, but I’ll look

at it and let you know what I think.

In the meantime, here’s where I get

information and why I trust it.”)

• When correcting misinformation be

nonjudgmental. (“I’ve heard similar

information about not getting

vaccinated. Here’s what I’ve learned

from the science and why I believe

getting vaccinated is important and

safe.”)

Source: Villarruel AM, James R. Preventing

the spread of misinformation. Am Nurs J.

2022;17(2):22-26. https://www.myamericannurse.

com/preventing-the-spread-of-misinformation/


Page 22 • Iowa Nurse Reporter June, July, August 2022

Encouraging Nurses to Advocate for the LGBTQ+ Community

For the 20th year in a row, nurses were rated the

most trusted profession in the United States, so when we

advocate for something, people truly respect our opinions

(Gains, 2022). One aggregate population nurses can increase

advocacy efforts for, learn from, and more about is the

LGBTQ+ community. As a newly graduated BSN, I have a

unique insight from a professional perspective, as well as

a personal perspective, having lived through and continue

to navigate many issues as a member of the LGBTQ+

community myself.

The next few paragraphs explore different aspects in the

lives of the LGBTQ+ community, that would benefit from

greater advocacy from Iowa Nurses.

Healthcare Advocacy:

LGBTQ+ patients are more prone to discrimination

Brian Portillo

BSN, RN

Iowa State

Nursing Program

in healthcare, which can have poorer outcomes for their long-term health.

One out of every six LGBTQ+ patients have reported evading healthcare,

simply from prior experiences of personal discrimination (Casey, et. al., 2019).

An article published by the Journal of Health Services Research suggests that

pervasive discrimination in healthcare should be addressed at the “institutional

and (especially) interpersonal levels” (Casey, et. al. 2019, p. 1464). In order to

reduce discrimination and increase awareness of the unique needs of LGBTQ

patients, nurses need to become aware of policies that advocate for the

LGBTQ+ community and intentionally learn more about the unique needs of the

community. One way to increase awareness and understanding of the disparities

faced by the LGBTQ+ community could require training and education for the

care of LGBTQ+ patients into yearly competencies for nurses and other health

care providers.

Political Advocacy:

There are currently numerous articles being introduced in the 89th General

Assembly, that are looking to further minimize the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals in

Iowa. One potential bill introduced to the Iowa legislature, HF 340, looks to provide

a formal definition that a “Woman” is only to be considered someone who is born

with female genitalia, seeking to revise the current law, that accepts the gender

identity that a person has chosen for themselves (Iowa House of Representatives

(2022). These types of bills directly affect the level of acceptance and inclusivity

that the LGBTQ+ community (specifically transgender individuals) receive from

the general public. I encourage all nurses to write your state representatives and

implore them to vote against HF 340.

Mental Health Advocacy:

Iowan nurses need to advocate and make a call to increase resources

and health care access for LGBTQ+ oriented mental health care for at-risk

youth. I have personal experience with the struggles that LGBTQ+ youth dealt

with during the pandemic. I lost my niece just this past November after their

own battle with mental health issues, while also coming to terms with being

transgender. The difficulties that came with the social isolation produced

by the pandemic have only exacerbated the mental health disparities that are

experienced by the LGBTQ+ youth of our community (Green, Price-Feeney, &

Dorison, 2020). Now more than ever, access to LGBTQ+ oriented mental health

care greatly needs to be expanded for our youths, who are suffering through

a once-in-a-lifetime event. Nurses can make their voices heard by advocating

for increased public funding and expansion of essential mental health services

and ensuring that lawmakers are fully aware of the critical need during these

unprecedented times.

HIV Advocacy:

HIV is a topic that I have always been particularly passionate about. I was named

after my Uncle Brian, who contracted HIV in the mid-1980’s, and passed away from

complications of AIDS shortly after my birth in 1989. Since then, I’ve seen amazing

advances in prevention and treatment for HIV, and as a member of the LGBTQ+

community, I owe it to my predecessors to utilize the resources we have to minimize the

risk of HIV for ourselves and others. Iowa nurses can advocate for better access to HIV

education, testing, prevention, and treatment, while ensuring that we are providing the

appropriate resources for those patients who are at an increased risk of HIV, specifically

bisexual and gay men, who make up around 69% of new HIV infections each year (HIV.

gov, 2019).

I understand that nurses’ passions are wide-ranging and are invested in numerous

specialties. Regardless of our specialty, we will care for individuals from the LGBTQ+

community. Being aware of the unique challenges and needs, and the limited access

to LGBTQ+ sensitive healthcare and mental health services and addressing the

pervasive discrimination will decrease the disparities experienced in the LGBTQ+

community. Furthermore, increased advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community in Iowa, will

help realize the ideals set forth by The Future of Nursing 2020-2030, Specifically the

recommendation which notes that “Nurses reflect the people and communities served

throughout the nation, helping to ensure that individuals receive culturally competent,

equitable health care services” (Wakefield, Williams, Menestrel, & Flaubert, 2021, p. 2).

Through advocacy, nurses can lead the efforts to decrease the disparities and enhance

the lives of the LGBTQ+ community, right here in Iowa.

References

Casey, L. S., Reisner, S. L., Findling, M. G., Blendon, R. J., Benson, J. M., Sayde, J. M., & Miller,

C. (2019). Discrimination in the United States: Experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual,

transgender, and queer Americans. Health services research, 54 Suppl 2(Suppl 2), 1454–

1466. https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6773.13229

Gaines, K. (2022). Nurses ranked as the most trusted profession for 20th year in a row. Nurse.

org. Retrieved from https://nurse.org/articles/nursing-ranked-most-honest-profession/

Green, A., Price-Feeney, M., & Dorison, S. (2020). Implications of COVID-19 for LGBTQ Youth

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. The Trevor Project. Retrieved May 10, 2022, from

https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

HIV.gov. (2020, May 27). Who is at risk for HIV? Retrieved May 10, 2022, from https://www.

hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/about-hiv-and-aids/who-is-at-risk-for-hiv#:~:text=In%20the%20

United%20States%2C%20gay,69%25%20of%20new%20HIV%20diagnoses.

Iowa House of Representatives (2022). House File 340 introduced: An act relating to the

construction of the Iowa Civil rights. Retrieved from https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/

publications/LGI/89/HF340.pdf

Wakefield, M. K., Williams, D. R., Menestrel, S. L., & Flaubert, J. L. (2021). The Future of Nursing

2020-2030: Charting a path to achieve health equity. The National Academies Press.

WOLFE EYE CLINIC-

Better Vision, for a better life!

Registered Nurses

In medical practice since 1919, Wolfe Eye Clinic is a multi-specialty clinic providing

surgical services and vision care throughout Iowa.

At Wolfe Eye Clinic, we create Better Vision for a Better Life.

Due to growth, Wolfe Eye Clinic and Wolfe Surgery Center has immediate openings

for Registered Nurses in the Iowa Area. Some area travel required.

Employees receive great wages, paid travel time and mileage, along with a

competitive benefit package.

We are looking for motivated candidate that desire to learn in a fast-paced

environment and have the ability to positively interact with patients while providing

instruction and education. Candidates should be able to work both independently

and in a team environment, have excellent customer service skills, remain

organized, learn and adapt quickly, and maintain excellent communication skills.

Responsibilities include rooming patients, administering injections, assisting

physicians with exams, triaging phone calls and responding to tasks, scribing for

the physician, maintaining electronic medical records, performing insurance pre-

authorizations and other clinical duties as needed.

Current Iowa nursing license is required, and clinical nursing experience is preferred.

If you are interested in being a part of a quality driven organization while receiving

a competitive wage and daytime work hours, please apply at

www.wolfeeyeclinic.com/careers or send your resume to

Angie Carlson at acarlson@wolfeclinic.com. EOE


June, July, August 2022 Iowa Nurse Reporter • Page 23

VA Central Iowa

Health Care System

COME CARE FOR OUR

NATION’S HEROES!

Nursing opportunities available for all US citizens at the

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Recruitment Incentives Available For Many Positions!

Call 515-639-4583 for more information.

Submit applications: www.usajobs.gov (keywords: Nurse, Iowa)

EOE

Explore a Nursing Career at Avera Holy Family Hospital!

If you have a passion to enrich the lives and touch the hearts of your patients, consider

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You may be eligible for the following:

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Avera offers competitive compensation, benefits, and professional growth!

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To submit an application log onto our website at www.averajobs.org or call

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Avera is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minority/

Female/Disabled/Veteran/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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