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Iowa ARNP decision.

On October 31, 2011, Iowa District Court Judge Artis Reis issued a Ruling striking down and invalidating the rules promulgated by the Iowa Board of Nursing and the Iowa Department of Public Health which had formalized the longstanding practice of ARNPs to supervise fluoroscopy in their practice of nursing. An article in The American Nurse noted the following, "The American Nurses Association (ANA) called a decision by an Iowa County District Court judge that invalidated state regulations providing educational requirements for advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) to order and supervise fluoroscopy a setback for patients.

In the decision, the court stated that "this case is not about restricting access to medical services or about the competency of any particular health practitioner to perform procedures." However, the court went on to state that Iowa law "does not provide [the Iowa Board of Nursing] with unfettered discretion to allow ARNPs to engage in the practice of medicine and it specifically prohibits the expansion of nursing practice into areas of medicine absent recognition of the medical professions."

Ultimately, the court concluded that the regulations were unlawful because "the desired expansion of nursing practice sought by [the Iowa Board of Nursing and Iowa Department of Public Health] has not been recognized by either the medical or nursing professions or in standards of radiation health and safety." Since the decision has been filed, the INA has joined with the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists in a motion asking the court to Enlarge, Reconsider, and/or Clarify the decision as it relates to whether ARNPs may still supervise fluoroscopy as they have always done. This motion is pending and will likely be ruled upon in the next 30-60 days. As further noted by the ANA, "The court's decision to invalidate the regulations could have a serious

impact on access to care. The decision is especially significant in Iowa, where ARNPs are often the only access to care available to those living in rural areas. The case was brought by the Iowa Society of Anesthesiologists and the Iowa Medical Society, which argued that the regulation authorizing ARNPs to order and supervise fluoroscopy was not previously permitted under Iowa law." INA and ANA continue to work together on the matter to ensure that all people have access to high quality care, including that which is administered by ARNPs. We are also working to ensure that the Iowa Board of Nursing has the exclusive right to define the practice of nursing, regardless of other professions' practices.
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Publication:Iowa Nurse Reporter
Geographic Code:1U4IA
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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