October 2009 Volume 5 Number 3 Indiana StateBoard of NursingMonthly Meetings:Conducting theBoard’s BusinessRenewal QuestionsOn the Cover: Pamela Hunt,Chief Nursing Officer/Vice Presidentof Patient Care ServicesHoward Regional Health SystemKokomo, Indiana

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Professional LicensingMission StatementIndiana State Board of Nursing Professional Staff: From left toright – Sean Gorman, Katrina Simmons, Stacie Barclay, JanetCassidy, Joyce Krawczyk, Lisa Chapman, Linda Stephenson,and Jodi Pisula.Contents4Director’s Message2009 Nursing Board Members69111216Conducting the Board’s BusinessAsk a Nurse AttorneyRenewal QuestionsDisciplinary ActionsOpenCirculation includes over 100,000 licensednurses and student nurses in IndianaNursing Focus is published by theIndiana State Board of NursingIndiana Professional Licensing AgencyIndiana State Board of NursingIndiana Government Center South Building402 W. Washington St., Room W072Indianapolis, IN 46204To provide efficient and effective administrative supportservices to Indiana’s professional licensing boards andcommissions in order to facilitate the delivery of competentconsumer services by regulated professionals to the citizens of Indiana. To provide an expedient licensing processfor regulated professionals by maintaining a climate thatfosters the growth of commerce while ensuring the health,safety and welfare of the citizens of our great state.Frances L. KellyExecutive DirectorOffice LocationIndiana Professional Licensing AgencyIndiana State Board of NursingIndiana Government Center South Building402 W. Washington St., Room W072Indianapolis, IN 46204Contact InformationPhone (317) 234-2043Fax (317) 233-4236License Verifications (888) 333-7515Web site: www.pla.IN.govE-mail: [email protected] HoursMon. thru Fri.8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Nursing Board Staff MembersSean Gorman, Board DirectorLori Grice, Assistant Board DirectorLisa Chapman, Litigation SpecialistKatrina Simmons, Case ManagerStacie Barclay, Case ManagerJanet Cassidy, Case ManagerJoyce Krawcyzk, Case ManagerLinda Stephenson, Case ManagerKaren Taulman, Case ManagerEdition 19Created by Publishing Concepts, Inc.Virginia Robertson, [email protected] Taylor Loop Road Little Rock, AR 72223501.221.9986 or 800.561.4686www.thinkaboutitnursing.comFor advertising information contact: Tom Kennedy at501.221.9986 or nursing.comEducationRecruitment3

Message from the Executive DirectorSean Gorman, Director of the Indiana State Board of NursingDear Indiana Nursing Professional:I hope this issue of Nursing Focus finds you well as wecontinue through 2009 – this year has certainly seemedto speed by so far! In preparing for this issue, I thoughtlong and hard about what kind of information nursingprofessionals might find interesting about the businessof licensing nurses.Every now and then I am invited to speak at a nursingprogram’s ethics course to share information aboutthe Board with students preparing to come into theprofession. These presentations are something I enjoy,as the opportunity to interact with future licenseesallows me to address questions before they arise.My experiences talking with students served as theinspiration for the two major pieces in this issue ofNursing Focus:First, I think it might be helpful and interesting for you allto learn how our Nursing Board is structured and how weconduct the business of licensing, setting standards, anddisciplining licensed individuals. Most of you will onlythink about the Board’s role in the profession once everytwo years as you submit your renewal application andpay that license renewal fee, so it might be interestingfor you to learn a little bit more about the regulation ofyour profession in the State of Indiana.Second, it’s been a long-standing desire to offer upsome answers to frequently asked questions. Thesequestions come both from inquiries presented by newlicensees as well as from nurses in the profession for 20or 30 years. The FAQs presented in this issue of NursingFocus are not an exhaustive list by any means; you cancheck our website at foradditional, up-to-date information.I hope that you find the info we pass along useful. If youhave further questions about licensure in Indiana, or ifwe can be of any assistance in regards to your practiceas a nurse professional, please feel free to contact theIndiana State Board of Nursing at [email protected] or317 234-2043.Yours truly,Sean GormanDirector, Indiana State Board of NursingNursing Board MembersThe Indiana State Board of Nursing is the governor-appointed bodydevoted to advancing and safeguarding the nursing profession in the stateof Indiana. Their main duties involve setting standards and accreditingnurse education programs preparing individuals for licensure, licensingindividuals prepared and competent to practice nursing, and disciplininglicensees found to have violated nursing regulations.The Board meets on the third Thursday of each month in theauditorium of the Indiana Government Center South, in Indianapolis,Indiana. Board members conduct business that includes discussingissues of interest to the nursing profession, reviewing applications forlicensure, reviewing accreditation requests made by nurse educationprograms, and conducting disciplinary hearings. The monthly meetingsbegin at 8:30 a.m. local time and are always open to the public; allinterested individuals are encouraged to attend.42009 Indiana State Board of Nursing MembersLaurel Valentino, RN, PresidentJerry Burghduff, LPN, Vice PresidentLynda Narwold, RN, SecretaryCarolyn Slagle, RN, CNS, Past PresidentStacy Henderson, LPNScott Johns, CRNAMarcia Laux, RNConnie McIntosh, RNAnne Ogle, Consumer Member

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Indiana State Board of Nursing Monthly Meetings:Conducting the Board’s BusinessThe Indiana State Board of Nursing iscomprised of nine governor appointedBoard members. There are two LPNs, sixRNs, and one consumer member who isotherwise not affiliated with the nursingprofession in any way. Our Board Membersinclude faculty from nursing programs, aclinical nurse specialist with prescriptiveauthorization, and a CRNA. The thirdThursday of every month, they take timeout of their busy schedules to come toIndianapolis from practices throughout thestate. Agendas for upcoming meetingsare available approximately one weekprior and are posted on the Board’s website at Themeetings take place in the auditorium ofthe Government Center South and beginat 8:30 a.m. - the meetings last until allbusiness is taken care of, which can meanwell into the late night hours!If you plan on attending a Board meeting,please be aware that although the seatingcapacity for the meeting room is 370, it willoften fill prior to the meeting start time,particularly when large numbers of nursingstudents visit as part of a nursing class.Your best bet for getting a good seat at themeeting is to arrive at least 15-20 minutesearly.Meeting ParticipantsIn addition to those applicants, educationrepresentatives, and licensees scheduledfor appearances at the meeting, there areother individuals involved. Seated at thetable with the Board members are theBoard’s legal counsel, the Board’s director,assistant director, and litigation specialist.A court reporter is on hand to record alldisciplinary hearings for the record. Inadministrative hearings regarding a nurse’slicense, the state of Indiana is representedby attorneys from the Consumer ProtectionDivision of the state’s Attorney General’soffice.Administrative MattersThe meetings begin with a call toorder by the hearing officer and theestablishment of a quorum. The Boardpresident usually serves as the hearing6officer. A majority of board members arerequired to be present in order to conductofficial business. After establishing thequorum, the Board completes most ofthe routine housekeeping tasks. Thiswill include the review and approval ofthe meeting agenda and any last minutechanges to it, as well as the review andapproval of the meeting minutes from theprevious month.ISNAP ReportFollowing the agenda setting andminutes approval, the Board schedules areport from representatives of the IndianaState Nurses Assistance Program (ISNAP).ISNAP is the Board’s impairment monitoringand treatment program for nurses. ISNAPstaff will discuss the program’s activitiesfor the previous month and will addressthe audience with a brief overview of theprogram.Nurse EducationAfter the ISNAP report, the Boardreviews any nursing education matters.The Board has primary jurisdiction overall nursing educationprograms located inIndiana preparingstudents for initiallicensure as either anLPN or an RN. Newlyproposed nursingprograms and existingprograms with proposedchanges are discussedat this time. Many ofthe matters, such aschanges in the program’sadministration, aresimply treated asannouncements. Newprograms and all mattersinvolving curriculumfacilities, or programstructure changes requireBoard approval.Board Director’sReportThe Board directorreports the licensing activities from theprevious month to the Board. Oftenthe director’s report will ask for Boarddiscussion and perhaps even a vote on aparticular issue.Personal AppearancesA personal appearance is a scheduledpersonal interview for some licenseapplicants – these are conducted whenthe Board wishes to speak directly withan applicant for both new and renewedlicenses. Typically, a personal appearanceis required prior to licensure if there arequestions about past practice issues,criminal convictions, substance abuse, ordisciplinary actions against other licensesor in their scope of employment as ahealth care professional. The personalappearances are usually conducted ina separate room with a Board memberconducting the interviews and comingup with a recommendation for the entireBoard to vote on at the conclusion of thefull meeting. The applicant is informedof the pending recommendation and iscontinued on page 8

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Lorie A. Brown, R.N., M.N., J.D.“ASK A NURSEATTORNEY”Nurses, welcome to “Ask a Nurse Attorney.” This section is designed for licensednurses to ask questions to a nurse attorney. If you have a question that you wouldlike to have answered, please feel free to e-mail [email protected]. If yourquestion is selected, it will appear in the upcoming issues of Nursing Focus.I am a registered nurse, and my license is coming up for renewal beforeOctober 31, 2009. Question 3 asks:“Since you last renewed, have you been convicted of or pled guilty to aviolation of a federal or state law or are criminal charges pending?”All nurses licensed inthe state are requiredby statute to maintaintheir current address with theBoard, and official notice ofany complaints and scheduledhearings are mailed via certifiedmail to that address of record.I am on diversion for a DUI, but my conviction will be overturned if I do nothave a problem before September 31, 2009. Can I wait until October 2009 andanswer the question with a “no?”Diversion RNDear Diversion RN:The question specifically asks if you have pled guilty, which you had to do toobtain diversion. So the answer is that you must answer “yes.” When you answer“yes,” you must provide a detailed statement regarding the circumstancessurrounding your “yes” response to the Indiana State Board of Nursing at [email protected]. (Please type “POSITIVE RESPONSE” in the subject line of your e-mail).Statements may also be mailed to:Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Attn: Nursing Boardissue a default notice. The Board may alsoplace the nurse’s license on an emergencysuspension status at the same time. If theBoard votes to issue a default notice, it mayhold a hearing at a future meeting without theopportunity for the nurse’s participation toresolve the complaint.Finally, the Board conducts hearings inregards to requests by licensees to reinstatesuspended licenses or to withdraw theprobationary status from a license. On apetition to reinstate or to withdraw probation,the burden is on the licensee to prove thatthey have done whatever was required tosatisfy the terms and conditions outlined inthe Orders placing the sanction against thenursing license.ConclusionOnce all of the administrative hearingsare complete, the Board conducts any defaulthearings and finishes up any other looseends from the meeting, and then the meetingis adjourned and another month’s worth ofwork issuing final orders, updating files, andissuing licenses resumes.402 W. Washington St. Room W072Indianapolis, IN 46204The board is looking for the circumstances surrounding your DUI to determineif you are impaired. They may ask for you to make a personal appearance beforethe board to explain the facts and circumstances surrounding the DUI so they canbe assured you are safe to practice nursing. To be proactive, you may want toobtain an evaluation by ISNAP, the Indiana State Nurses Assistance Program, toshow you are not impaired and include it with your renewal. This will be helpfulevidence to the Board in favor of them issuing your license. If you are impaired,the best thing you can do is get the help you need. If you contact ISNAP and areactively working the program, the Board is likely to issue your license. ISNAP canbe reached at (800) 638-6623.If you answer “no” and the board finds out, it is a serious offense and the Boardis likely to take action against your license. Honesty is the best policy. When indoubt, answer “yes” and provide your explanation.Lorie A. Brown, RN, MN, JDLorie A. Brown, R.N., M.N., J.D., of Brown Law Office, Indianapolis, Indiana,(317) 465-1065, is a practicing nurse-attorney who represents nurses forlicensing issues before the Board and for contracting matters. The viewsexpressed in this column are those of the author. www.brownlaw1.com9

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request, the Board requires a copy of anofficial name change document, such asa marriage certificate or divorce decree.If you haven’t notified the Board prior tothe renewal cycle for your license, youhave the option of renewing online underyour former name and submitting thename change documentation to the Boardseparately.Frequently Asked Questions posedto the Indiana State Board of NursingRenewal QuestionsIt is renewal time for the approximately92,000 registered nurses in the state ofIndiana, so some of these questions arespecific to license renewal issues. Others,however, are questions that we answer on adaily basis regardless of the renewal cycle.These questions and more will be updatedand added to as appropriate at the NursingBoard’s web site ( just renewed my license. Where ismy pocket card?No new pocket cards are being issuedautomatically upon license renewal. Thelast pocket card that was issued wasconsidered to be a permanent pocket card,and contained no expiration date. Insteadof an expiration date, it directs individualsto verify the current status of the licenseonline. Online verification of licensure isfree, easy, and absolutely the most up todate source of information regarding anurse’s license status. Replacement pocketlicense cards are available for purchaseonline; they are available with an expirationdate if you so specify.When will I receive conformationafter I have renewed my license?There is no confirmation that will beautomatically generated. You may searchand verify your license online anytime at - it isupdated within hours after your renewalhas been processed online and will reflectthe updated expiration date for yourlicense.I just renewed my license onlinebut it still shows a 2009 expirationdate when I verify online. Why isn’t itupdated?If you answered “yes” to any of therenewal questions, your renewal wasprocessed but is not yet complete. You arerequired to submit to the Board a writtenstatement outlining the circumstances ofthat “yes” response. The Board reviewseach of these statements and will makea decision as to whether to renew thelicense or to investigate further, includingcalling you in for a personal appearancebefore the Board. The Board will contactyou if further information or a personalappearance is required; otherwise, yourlicense will be renewed after review.Why is the Board encouragingonline license renewal? Why doesrenewing my nursing license onlinecost more?Online renewal is fast, convenient andeasy and cuts down on the amount of timespent by Board’s staff processing renewalapplications. This makes the Board staffmore accessible and timely in processingroutine applications and answeringquestions. The 50 renewal fee is set bylaw. All renewal fees are paid directly tothe State of Indiana’s general fund, withthe exception of a percentage that goesto pay for ISNAP. Unfortunately, the creditcard processing fee associated with theonline renewal is not a cost the IndianaProfessional Licensing Agency is able tobear under it’s current budget. While theBoard highly encourages nurses to takeadvantage of the convenience of the onlinerenewal system, anyone is welcome torenew by providing the completed renewalapplication along with the 50 renewal feeby mail or personal delivery to the IPLA.I tried to renew online but amhaving trouble. Why can’t I log in?Your login is your primary licensenumber (RN or LPN). Make sure youinclude the letter “A” at the end of yourlicense number. Your password is setto your social security number withoutdashes. If you still have trouble, pleasecontact the Nursing Board staff at (317)234-2043 or via email at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.My name has changed. What doesthe Board need to update my licenserecords?In order to process a name changeMy address has changed. Whatdoes the Board need to update myaddress?You can send in an email to [email protected], you can submit in a letter via regularmail to the IPLA, you can call us at (317)234-1990 during our normal businesshours, or you can update your addressat anytime at our online license service( want to keep my license but amno longer working as a nurse. Canmy license be placed on an inactivestatus?There is no inactive status for Indiananursing licenses. Your license is eitheractive or it is expired. Nurses shouldbe aware that if you allow your licenseto expire, and then you later apply torenew that license, you may be requiredto demonstrate continued competence topractice prior to license renewal.?Is Indiana going to join the NurseLicensure Compact?The Nurse Licensure Compact is aninterstate agreement between states torecognize a nurse’s license in one stateas privileging that nurse to practice inthe other NLC states (and is still subjectto individual state laws and discipline ineach state). Under the NLC, a nurse is onlylicensed in the state of primary residence.In order to join the NLC, the state mustenact enabling legislation into law. InIndiana, the possibility of joining the NLChas been discussed and considered, butwe have as of yet to enact the enablinglegislation required for membership.11

Disciplinary ActionsIndefinite Suspension—Indefinitely prohibited from practicing for a specified minimumperiod of time.Indefinite Probation—License is placed onprobation for a specified minimum period oftime with terms and conditions.Renewal Denied—The nurse’s license will notbe renewed, therefore, she/he does not havea license to practice in Indiana.Summary Suspension—Immediate threat tothe public health and safety should they beallowed to continue to practice. Issued for aperiod of ninety (90) days but can be renewedwith Board approval.Revoked—An individual whose license hasbeen revoked may not apply for a newlicense until seven (7) years after the date ofrevocation.Letter of Reprimand—Letter issued by theBoard to the nurse indicating that what she/he did was wrong.Fine—Disciplinary fee imposed by the Board.License #Board Action TakenAri Carl Davis27047719A ContinuedLexie Anita Birt27048156A 750.00 fine 24 CEUsCharles Woodson28126400A Continued

Indiana Government Center South building 402 W. Washington St., room W072 Indianapolis, IN 46204 Created by Publishing Con CePts, in . Virginia Robertson, Publisher [email protected] 14109 Taylor Loop Road Little Rock, AR 72223 501.221.9986 or 800.561.4686 For advertising information contact: tom .