If you are an Iowa hospital nurse leader, there is no charge to join the Iowa Organization for Nursing Leadership. Click here to join.


The Iowa Organization for Nursing Leadership's mission is to shape health care in Iowa through innovation, leadership expertise, professional development, education and advocacy. The organization engages nurse leaders across the broad continuum of nursing leadership and at every stage of their nursing careers, including emerging nurse leaders.

Nurse leaders influence, improve and advocate for the health of others through a variety of roles and settings. The nursing leadership role includes:

  • Executive leadership.
  • Clinical care management.
  • Staff education.
  • Development and engagement.
  • Case/Care management.
  • Information technology.
  • Academic appointment.
  • Quality and data analytics.
  • Bedside clinical experts.
  • Shift leadership.

The nurse leader role is defined by the actions, duties, responsibilities and accountabilities embodied in the role, rather than by a title. As the health care environment is evolving, so too is the role of the nurse leader in adapting and responding to those changes.


  • 2024 IONL Conference, May 21
  • 2024 Annual Meeting, October 8-9


Kelley Blackburn, President
Exec. Director Nursing Operations & Clinical Professional Development
UnityPoint Health- Des Moines, Des Moines

Dawn Schwartz, President-elect
Vice President of Care Quality
ChildServe, Johnston

Brenda Oehler, Secretary
Director of Nursing Operations
UnityPoint Health- St. Luke’s, Cedar Rapids


If you are an Iowa hospital nurse leader, there is no charge to join IONL. Click here to join.

For More Information

Iowa Organization for Nursing Leadership website
Contact Jen Nutt, IHA staff liaison, 515-288-1955.


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