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Resources include Nursing Research Grants, Reimagining Nursing Initiative, Well-Being Initiative, Help Nurses Serve Smaller Communities, and Help Nurses Beat Burnout.
INA's Esther Huston was quoted in an article titled "Iowans spar on proposed SNAP and Medicaid changes that could cut thousands of recipients" on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. INA is proud of you for representing INA public policy interests so well, Esther! Thank you!
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Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, the new president of the American Nurses Association, also weighed in. "The accusation that personnel at once-accredited nursing schools allegedly participated in this scheme is simply deplorable. These unlawful and unethical acts disparage the reputation of actual nurses everywhere who have rightfully earned [their titles] through their education, hard work, dedication and time."
The false degrees and transcripts were issued by three once-accredited and now-shuttered nursing schools in South Florida: Palm Beach School of Nursing, Sacred Heart International Institute, and Sienna College.
The alleged co-conspirators reportedly made $114 million from the scheme, which dates back to 2016, according to several news reports. Each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison.
Most LPN programs charge $10,000 to $15,000 to complete a program, Robert Rosseter, a spokesperson for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), told Medscape Medical News.
None were AACN members, and none were accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which is AACN's autonomous accrediting agency, Rosseter said. AACN membership is voluntary and is open to schools offering baccalaureate or higher degrees, he explained.
"What is disturbing about this investigation is that there are over 7600 people around the country with fraudulent nursing credentials who are potentially in critical health care roles treating patients," Chad Yarbrough, acting special agent in charge for the FBI in Miami, said in the federal justice department release.
"Operation Nightingale" Based on Tip
The federal action, dubbed "Operation Nightingale" after the nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, began in 2019. It was based on a tip related to a case in Maryland, according to Nurse.org.
That case ensnared Palm Beach School of Nursing owner Johanah Napoleon, who reportedly was selling fake degrees for $6000 to $18000 each to two individuals in Maryland and Virginia. Napoleon was charged in 2021 and eventually pled guilty. The Florida Board of Nursing shut down the Palm Beach school in 2017 owing to its students' low passing rate on the national licensing exam.
Two participants in the bigger scheme who had also worked with Napoleon, Geralda Adrien and Woosvelt Predestin, were indicted in 2021. Adrien owned private education companies for people who at aspired to be nurses, and Predestin was an employee. They were sentenced to 27 months in prison last year and helped the federal officials build the larger case.
The 25 individuals who were charged January 25 operated in Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Florida.
In the scheme involving Siena College, some of the individuals acted as recruiters to direct nurses who were looking for employment to the school, where they allegedly would then pay for an RN or LPN/VN degree. The recipients of the false documents then used them to obtain jobs, including at a hospital in Georgia and a Veterans Affairs medical center in Maryland, according to one indictment. The president of Siena and her co-conspirators sold more than 2000 fake diplomas, according to charging documents.
At the Palm Beach College of Nursing, individuals at various nursing prep and education programs allegedly helped others obtain fake degrees and transcripts, which were then used to pass RN and LPN/VN licensing exams in states that included Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio, according to the indictment.
Some individuals then secured employment with a nursing home in Ohio, a home health agency for pediatric patients in Massachusetts, and skilled nursing facilities in New York and New Jersey.
Prosecutors allege that the president of Sacred Heart International Institute and two other co-conspirators sold 588 fake diplomas.
The FBI said that some of the aspiring nurses who were talked into buying the degrees were LPNs who wanted to become RNs and that most of those lured into the scheme were from South Florida's Haitian American immigrant community, Nurse.org reported.
Telehealth rules in Chapters 6 and 7 became effective on June 22, 2022, and the purpose is to provide guidance to licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and APRNs on the practitioner provider relationship, consent to telehealth visits, the use of technology, record keeping, and follow-up care. In essence, the rules provide additional guidance on the effective and safe use of telehealth technology.
According to the literature, telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies to access health care services remotely and manage the health care of a patient (ATA, 2019; Kruse et al., 2017; NONPF, 2018). Technologies can include computers and mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. This may be technology the patient use from home.
In addition, a nurse or other health care professional may provide telehealth from a primary care office or federally qualified health center, such as in rural areas. Telehealth can also be technology that the health care provider uses to improve or support health care services.
Per Iowa Administrative Code, Chapter 7.9(5), Prior to providing services through telehealth, the licensee shall first establish a practitioner-patient relationship. A practitioner-patient relationship is established when:
- The person with a health-related matter seeks assistance from the licensee
- The licensee agrees to provide services
- The person agrees to be treated, or the person’s legal guardian or legal representative agrees to the person’s being treated, by the licensee regardless of whether there has been a previous in-person encounter between the licensee and the person.
In addition, a practitioner-patient relationship can be established through an in-person encounter, consultation with another licensee or health care provider, or telehealth encounter. Some services may be provided through telehealth without first establishing a practitioner-patient relationship in the following settings or circumstances:
- Institutional settings
- Licensed or certified nursing facilities, residential care facilities, intermediate care facilities, assisted living facilities, and hospice settings
- In response to an emergency or disaster
- Informal consultations with another health care provider performed by a licensee outside of the context of a contractual relationship, or on an irregular or infrequent basis, without the expectation or exchange of direct or indirect compensation
- Episodic consultations by a specialist located in another jurisdiction who provides consultation services upon request to a licensee
- A substitute licensee acting on behalf and at the designation of an absent licensee or other health care provider in the same specialty on an on-call or cross-coverage basis; -· when a sexually transmitted disease has been diagnosed in a patient, a licensee prescribes or dispenses antibiotics to the patient’s named sexual partner(s) for the treatment of the sexually transmitted disease as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A licensee who provides services through telehealth shall be held to the same standard of care as is applicable to in-person settings. A licensee shall not perform any service via telehealth unless the same standard of care can be achieved as if the service was performed in person. Prior to initiating contact with a patient for the purpose of providing services to the patient using telehealth, a licensee shall:
- Review the patient’s history and all relevant medical records
- Determine as to each unique patient encounter whether the licensee will be able to provide the same standard of care using telehealth as would be provided if the services were provided in person.
Additionally, prior to providing services via telehealth, the licensee shall obtain consent from the patient, or the patient’s legal guardian or legal representative, to receive services via telehealth.
Lastly, a licensee who provides services through telehealth to a patient physically located in Iowa must be licensed by the Iowa board of nursing. A licensee who provides services through telehealth to a patient physically located in another state shall be subject to the laws and jurisdiction of the state where the patient is physically located.
Telehealth rules and regulations may be reviewed in the following web links:
American Telemedicine Association. (ATA). (2019). Telehealth basics. Retrieved from https://www.americantelemed.org/resource/why-telemedicine/.
Iowa Administrative Code. (IAC). (2022). 6.4(152) Telehealth. Retrieved from https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/iac/rule/05-18-2022.655.6.4.pdf
Iowa Administrative Code. (IAC). (2022). 7.9(152) Standards of practice for telehealth. Retrieved from https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/iac/rule/05-18-2022.655.7.9.pdf
Kruse C. S., Krowski N., Rodriguez B., Tran L., Vela J., Brooks M. (2017). Telehealth and patient satisfaction: A systematic review and narrative analysis. BMJ Open, 7, e016242.
In May of 2022, the United States Surgeon General released an advisory statement informing the public of the urgent issue of health worker burnout. This statement is a call to action to strengthen the nations public health infrastructure by addressing health worker burnout and to build a thriving workforce.
Themes of this statement include:
- A safe and inclusive health care environment
- Investing in a diverse and empowered health workforce
- Human centered technology
- A culture of healing, community, and connection
- Organizational values and leadership commitment to health workers needs
- Reducing administrative burdens during care delivery
- Community partnerships
- Accessible mental health and substance use care for all including health workers
As we look for solutions to health worker burnout, we must learn from the past and focus on the changes that we can make for a brighter future.
If you would like to read more: https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/priorities/health-worker-burnout/index.html
If you would like to learn about actions that can be taken: https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/priorities/health-worker-burnout/index.html#action
On January 1, the American Nurses Association (ANA), the premier association representing the interests of the nation’s more than 4.4 million registered nurses, welcomed its newest president, Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. She brings more than 25 years of nursing experience to the ANA presidency and has devoted more than a decade of service to ANA, providing leadership in high-profile positions such as ANA Committee Treasurer and service on ANA’s Board of Directors while maintaining membership with the Oregon Nurses Association. Dr. Mensik Kennedy is ready to address the most pressing issues facing nurses: racism in nursing, the health and well-being of nurses, full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), and nurse staffing.
“It is a tremendous honor to be elected to serve as the president of the American Nurses Association and as the national, leading advocate for nurses during these unprecedent times in nursing history. The COVID-19 pandemic brought significant challenges to the nursing profession, with workforce issues making national headlines despite decades of existence. I am committed to maintaining this visibility and more importantly, the momentum made to call for real solutions that address safe staffing concerns, workplace violence, and burnout to ensure nurses receive the support they so desperately deserve. I will also ensure that ANA’s work with the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing and journey of racial reconciliation continues.
Nursing is truly my passion and calling. In addition to tackling the hard issues, I’m simply excited to connect with my fellow nurses across the country. I want to hear their challenges, but I also want to celebrate their vast contributions to society, education, public health, science, research and so much more. Working together, we can support our profession and make health care delivery the best experience it can be for our patients and communities,” said ANA president Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
Dr. Mensik Kennedy most recently served as the division director of care management at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon as well as an instructor for Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation. She is the proud mother of six children, and in her spare time enjoys camping and traveling with her family. To read the complete profile on ANA’s newest president visit American Nurse to read the President’s Column feature.
Dr. Mensik Kennedy is available for press briefings to discuss timely and critical health care and nursing topics and issues. Interested members of the media should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the American Nurses AssociationThe American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
As a licensed nurse, you are responsible for following the laws, rules, and regulations which govern your profession. The following are reminders of what you need to do to retain your license and suggestions on how to involve yourself in the nursing profession.
1. Routinely check the IBON Online Verification System to determine your license expiration date.
2. Remember the Board of Nursing no longer issues paper nursing licenses.
3. A licensee may renew a license beginning 60 days prior to the license expiration date on the wallet card.
4. At the time of renewal make sure you have completed your continuing education requirements.
5. For renewal of a three year license, the requirement is 36 contact hours.
6. For renewal of a license that has been issued for less than three years, the requirement is 36 contact hours.
7. Maintain records of the continuing education you have received in your licensing cycle.
8. If you are chosen for a random audit of your continuing education, complete the audit following the directions.
9. If you regularly examine, attend, counsel or treat dependent adults or children in Iowa, have you completed the Mandatory Training course for dependent adults and the Mandatory Training course for children within the last 3 years? These courses must be completed every 3 years.
10. At the time of initial licensure or renewal answer all questions honestly, specifically relating to your continuing education and criminal history.
11. Does the board office have your current address on file? If not, submit your current address in writing to the board office or submit by email.
12. Do you know the address for the Iowa Board of Nursing’s website? www.nursing.iowa.gov Mark it as a favorite and refer to it often!
13. Do you know where to find the Iowa Administrative Rules for nursing, 655IAC? They can be found on the IBON Website!
14. Do you know who your legislator is?
15. Have you explored the option of joining a professional nursing organization and asked yourself how you can become involved in your profession?
16. Board staff is here to help answer your questions, it is always better to ask then to assume you have the correct answer. The main number to the board office is 515-281-3255.
Specific to the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP):
1. ARNPs must hold an active RN license.
2. For an Iowa ARNP license you must submit a copy of your current certification card from the applicable national certifying body and documentation of your RN license if from another compact state.
3. The continuing education required by the national certifying body is deemed to meet the
continuing education requirement mandated by Iowa law for license renewal. Documentation of current certification in itself verifies compliance.
4. ARNP’s who regularly examine, attend, counsel or treat children or adults in Iowa are required to complete the Mandatory Training course for dependent adults and the Mandatory Training course for children every 3 years.
Council Bluffs, Iowa – The Iowa Board of Regents approved a proposal from the University of Northern Iowa to proceed with the planning, development and implementation of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program on Thursday. According to UNI President Mark Nook, campus leadership will work to develop the appropriate programming and curriculum in anticipation of a Fall 2024 launch.
“Based on figures from the Iowa Board of Nursing, nearly 80% of employers in the state indicate that it is difficult or very difficult to recruit nurses,” Nook said. “Finding qualified health care professionals is becoming exceedingly challenging, particularly in rural areas and in long-term care facilities.
“Long-term projections by Iowa Workforce Development indicate that registered nurses represent the top employment need in the state that will require a four-year baccalaureate degree,” Nook continued. “Research also indicates that health care, and specifically nursing, is the most in-demand field of study among Iowa students seeking a four-year degree. We believe UNI is uniquely positioned to provide the combination of hands-on experience and curriculum necessary to serve the students and residents of our state.”
Additional data from the Iowa Board of Nursing indicates that over 20% of current nurses in Iowa are currently eligible for retirement, while 35% of open nursing positions in the state take over three months to fill. These statistics point to the urgency of getting more students enrolled in health care education programs. In addition, data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing indicates that over 8,000 qualified applicants for nursing programs in the Midwest were denied entry last year.
"This may be the most significant thing to come out of this meeting," Regent David Barker indicated.
"This is not a one or a three-month decision, but a thought-out decision," added Regent Sherry Bates.
Nook indicated that UNI anticipates formally introducing an executive director of nursing and chief academic nurse administrator (CANA) in the very near future as the university launches its first stand-alone nursing program. This individual will play a strategic role in developing a cutting-edge curriculum and assisting the university in obtaining state and national accreditation. In addition, this leader will figure prominently in developing strategic community partnerships with clinical experience providers and future employers of program graduates.
The University of Northern Iowa will join its fellow Iowa Regent institutions at the University of Iowa and Iowa State to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. According to Nook, the objective of UNI’s initiative is to provide access to more seats at public school tuition to students who seek to pursue a nursing career and ultimately increase the number of working nurses in the state of Iowa, and not to draw candidates away from existing programs. The University of Northern Iowa anticipates that its initial cohort of undergraduate students enrolling in its BSN program in Fall 2024 will consist of approximately 24 students.
In addition to engaging with its fellow Regent institutions in Iowa to provide more access to nursing education, UNI also plans to continue its collaborative relationship with Allen College in Waterloo. Current UNI students taking their general education coursework may still complete their clinical training at Allen. UNI and Allen are discussing potential models to improve and expand their existing relationship in an effort to train additional nurses for the Iowa workforce.
Pete Moris, director, University Relations, email@example.com, 319-273-2761.