Iowa Nurse Practitioner License Defense

Despite being located in America's heartland, Iowa has a growing demand for qualified nurse practitioners to serve its diverse communities. However, even Iowa's most dedicated and skilled nurse practitioners can face sanctions that jeopardize their ability to provide essential healthcare services to their patients in the state.

The Lento Law Firm Team recognizes the challenges nurse practitioners face and the crucial role they play in the healthcare system. Our team is committed to vigorously defending nurse practitioners like you, understanding that licensing boards may not always take the time to fully grasp the context of a case or the individual nurse practitioner's circumstances.

Nurse practitioners can face sanctions for various reasons, such as misunderstandings, false allegations of unprofessional conduct, or unintentional errors. Failing to fight these sanctions with the best available resources may result in the suspension or revocation of one's license or other unfavorable outcomes that could potentially be avoided with a skilled defense lawyer.

The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team will spearhead your license defense, negotiating with licensing agencies and working toward the most favorable resolution possible. Call us today at 888.535.3686 or through our online form to discuss your case.

Legal Powers Iowa Board of Nursing Has to Discipline You

The Iowa Board of Nursing has the legal authority to take punitive action against nurse practitioners, provided it has sufficient legal grounds to administer such punishment.

The Iowa Board of Nursing is comprised of nurse practitioners and public appointees. The Board has the legal authority to:

  • Warn a nurse practitioner that failing to cease specific behavior could result in sanctions
  • Censure a nurse practitioner, which is a formal expression of disapproval regarding their actions or failures
  • Reprimand a nurse practitioner
  • Impose a civil penalty, which may be a fine
  • Require education or retraining about professionalism, ethical behavior, medical expectations, or other areas where the board determines a nurse practitioner is lacking
  • Place a nurse practitioner on probation, including specific conditions for removal of the probationary status
  • Suspend the nurse practitioner's license
  • Revoke the nurse practitioner's license (with or without conditions for reinstatement)

These sanctions vary in severity, but even a warning or rebuke should be taken with complete seriousness. Any form of discipline may become part of your nursing record and, as a result, may:

  • Put you at risk of termination for any mistakes you make in the future errors or misunderstandings with your current employer
  • Restrict your pool of future job opportunities
  • Reduce your earning potential
  • Lower the ceiling for your goals in nursing
  • Contribute to your stress and mental health issues

Regardless of the sanctions you face, you should consider hiring an attorney from our team. Predicting precisely how sanctions (even a mere warning or reprimand) will negatively impact you is impossible. However, you can be sure your prospects for professional advancement will slip away if you accept discipline without a fight.

Do Not Expect the Truth Will Protect You from License-Related Sanctions in Iowa

Our experience defending nurse practitioners has led us to many cases in which a nurse practitioner did nothing wrong. In some instances, nurse practitioners accused of professional wrongdoing believed that the truth would be a sufficient defense. Fortunately, these healthcare professionals decided to hire our team of defense attorneys rather than assume their nursing boards would act reasonably and rationally.

The truth is that the facts and evidence do not always determine the outcome of nurse practitioner-specific disciplinary cases. Nursing boards make mistakes all the time and can issue unfair or inaccurate rulings because:

  • The board neglected to thoroughly investigate the case, overlooking crucial information, witness statements, and evidence that could significantly impact the outcome.
  • Board members may harbor prejudices, either favoring the individual filing the complaint or holding preconceived notions against the accused nurse practitioner.
  • The board might disregard or give insufficient weight to specific pieces of evidence or testimony, even when such evidence could exonerate the nurse practitioner.
  • Despite having access to all relevant facts, the board may draw inaccurate or unjust conclusions by failing to consider the information in its entirety.

The Iowa Board of Nursing has a long history of disciplining nurse practitioners. An unknown number of these healthcare providers may not have been guilty of the allegations against them or have deserved more lenient sanctions than they received.

Don't make assumptions about your disciplinary case. Allow an experienced attorney from our team to present all the facts and evidence in your case. We will exhaust every potential path to reach a positive outcome.

Grounds for Sanctions Against Nurse Practitioners Practicing in Iowa

Some reasons the Iowa Board of Nursing disciplines nurse practitioners include:

  • Lack of competency: Nurse practitioners may find themselves in a challenging situation, as the interpretation of competency can differ among employers and supervisors. Despite the ambiguity surrounding this term, "lack of competency" can lead to severe disciplinary actions that may have far-reaching consequences for your career.
  • Misconduct in a professional setting: Similar to competency, the concept of "unprofessional behavior" is subjective and open to interpretation by the disciplinary board. Examples of such misconduct may include inadequate patient interactions, persistent lateness, and failing to keep a tidy and sanitary work area.
  • Improper use of controlled substances: Allegations of working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or engaging in substance abuse, even when not on duty, can result in disciplinary measures.
  • Deceptive or fraudulent practices: Nurse practitioners accused of engaging in deceptive, fraudulent, or misrepresentative behavior when securing a license, obtaining employment, or providing patient care may encounter significant license-related penalties.
  • Improper medication management: Nurse practitioners in Iowa can face repercussions for improperly prescribing or administering excessive amounts of medication. Disciplinary actions may also result from administering insufficient medication, committing other medication-related mistakes, or removing medicines from medical facility premises without authorization.
  • Convictions for criminal offenses: Some criminal convictions may jeopardize your nurse practitioner license. Enlisting the services of a skilled lawyer can help protect your license in such circumstances.
  • Noncompliance with professional standards: Failing to adhere to nurse practitioner industry standards or workplace regulations can lead to complaints and subsequent disciplinary actions.

Nurse practitioners must be careful to walk a fine line. The slightest error or perceived lack of professionalism could jeopardize your license, reputation, and career.

The Adjudication Process for Nurse Practitioner Licensing Issues in Iowa

Sanctions against nurse practitioners in Iowa generally begin with a complaint. The complaint may arise from:

  • The manner in which you submitted your nurse practitioner license application, including the way you portrayed your credentials and qualifications
  • Your interactions and behavior with patients under your care
  • The nature of your professional relationships and conduct with coworkers and supervisors
  • Your actions and demeanor in your personal life and outside of the workplace
  • Your prior track record as a nurse practitioner, both within Iowa and in other states where you may have practiced
  • Any additional factors or circumstances that may have a direct or indirect bearing on your nursing career

No nurse practitioner in Iowa is immune from baseless, exaggerated, or biased complaints. Once the Iowa Board of Nursing receives a complaint against you, the following steps may include:

An Informal Conference

Before pursuing formal discipline against a nurse practitioner, the Iowa Board of Nursing may hold an informal conference. Throughout this informal process, the board might take several steps:

  • Engage in a dialogue with the individual who filed the complaint to gain a better understanding of their accusations against the nurse practitioner under scrutiny
  • Discuss the alleged misconduct with the nurse practitioner in question to hear their perspective on the matter
  • Collect and examine all relevant information pertaining to the complaint, focusing on evidence that can help determine the validity of the allegations

This informal conference acts as a preliminary fact-finding mission, enabling the board to assess the complaint's merits and decide whether to proceed with formal proceedings or close the case without further action.

Pursuing a Pre-Hearing Resolution

Should the board choose to move forward with the complaint against you, there may be an opportunity to pursue a consent order or settlement prior to the formal adjudicatory hearing.

As outlined in the Iowa Administrative Procedure Act, you have the right to seek a resolution to the complaint without the need for a full hearing, either on your own or with the assistance of an attorney from our firm. The decision to pursue a pre-trial settlement should be based on factors such as the specific allegations, the strength of the evidence, and other pertinent aspects of your case.

Navigating the Adjudicatory Hearing Process

Your rights during an adjudicatory hearing are outlined in Iowa state law. These include:

  • The entitlement to a hearing when a complaint puts your nurse practitioner license at risk
  • The ability to be represented by legal counsel
  • The right to be given adequate notice of the hearing date and time
  • The opportunity to present evidence, argue your case, and cross-examine witnesses as needed to establish the truth (tasks that your attorney from our firm will handle on your behalf)

After the hearing concludes, the representatives from the Iowa Board of Nursing will render a decision, which must be:

  • Delivered in writing or verbally on record
  • Accompanied by an explanation of the rationale behind the decision and the factual basis supporting it

In most cases, nurse practitioners who face sanctions from the Iowa Board of Nursing are entitled to appeal the decision. Pursuing an appeal may be the appropriate course of action if you believe that the ruling is unjust or unfair.

Challenging an Adverse Decision

As stated in Iowa law, anyone "aggrieved" by an agency's disciplinary action, such as that of the Board of Nursing, has the right to seek judicial review. The appeals court has the authority to:

  • Uphold the Board of Nursing's original decision
  • Order additional proceedings or fact-finding initiatives
  • Overturn or amend the Board's decision

The appeals court may choose to modify or reverse a decision made by the Board of Nursing on the following grounds:

  • The Board failed to adhere to statutory requirements when conducting the hearing or issuing its decision
  • The Board overstepped its authority in its ruling
  • The Board relied on or engaged in unlawful procedures during the decision-making process
  • The Board's decision was demonstrably incorrect based on the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence presented in the case
  • The Board's decision was arbitrary, capricious, or represented an abuse or unwarranted exercise of discretion

During the appeal process, our team may introduce evidence or testimony that was not admissible during the initial hearing. If the Iowa Board of Nursing issues an unfavorable ruling, the initial appeal may not be your final recourse. In some cases, the Iowa Supreme Court may agree to hear a further appeal, which could be an option, depending on your circumstances.

Retain a Lawyer from the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team When Facing Nurse Practitioner Licensing Sanctions in Iowa

When confronted with the possibility of professional sanctions, you may wonder whether hiring an attorney is truly necessary. We strongly recommend that you consider the full weight of the potential consequences and the benefits of engaging the Lento Law Firm Team for the following reasons:

  • The ease with which nurse practitioners can face sanctions: The burden of proof may fall on you to disprove the allegations, essentially creating a "guilty until proven innocent" scenario in the eyes of the Iowa Board of Nursing. To navigate this challenging landscape, you'll require a proactive license defense strategy, which our team specializes in developing and executing on your behalf.
  • The formidable resources at the disposal of the Iowa Board of Nursing: When you contest a complaint lodged through the Iowa Board of Nursing, you are essentially taking on the state of Iowa itself. You need a law firm with the resources and experience to mount a robust defense to level the playing field.
  • Your likely lack of familiarity with license defense proceedings: Most nurse practitioners we represent have never before encountered the disciplinary process. Our team possesses extensive experience in this arena and will thoroughly prepare you for what lies ahead.
  • The proven success of our attorneys in defending nurse practitioners: You can take comfort in our impressive track record of safeguarding nurse practitioners from license sanctions. There is no replacement for experience, and our team of defense attorneys will work tirelessly to resolve your case favorably.

As you grapple with the stress and uncertainty of potential license sanctions, life's demands continue unabated. We will handle every facet of your case, which will allow you to maintain focus on your personal and professional obligations.

We Serve Nurses at Medical Providers Throughout Iowa

Regardless of your employer, sanctions on your nursing license can have a devastating effect on your life. Therefore, we serve nurses employed in medical centers and clinics throughout Iowa, including:

  • UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Regional Medical Center (Sioux City)
  • Mercy Medical Center (Cedar Rapids)
  • Iowa Methodist Medical Center (Des Moines)
  • UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine (West Des Moines)
  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (Iowa City)
  • Broadlawns Medical Center (Des Moines)
  • MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center (Waterloo)
  • Genesis Health System (Davenport)

Consult the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team Today

Defending your license and your livelihood should be a priority. Our defense attorneys are prepared to start work on your case immediately. Contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team today at 888.535.3686 or through our online form to take the first step in protecting your nurse practitioner license.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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