RNs must work two or more years in settings where they'll be exposed to patients with developmental disabilities in order to be eligible for the specialty certification. Post-graduation from a 2-year college ADN program or with your 4-year BSN degree, nurses must of course become licensed through the NCLEX examination. At present, there are no formal internship opportunities for new graduates who apply for the role, though hospitals may have their own procedures in place, or have an agreement with local nursing programs to facilitate intake and training. A Developmental Disability or Special Needs Nurse takes care of patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities, such as Down Syndrome and Autism. Developmental disability nurses, or special needs nurses, are trained to care for individuals with conditions which result in developmental disabilities. Factors that will determine how much a developmental disability nurse is paid include things like the location of their employment, the employing organization, how much clinical experience in the field they have, their education levels, and other credentials that they may have. Nurses must work for two or more years with patients that have developmental or intellectual disabilities prior to becoming eligible for certification through the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA). Developmental disabilities nurses specialize in providing nursing care to people who have developmental and mental disabilities. All trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. Known also as a Special Needs nurse, the Developmental Disability nurse works with patients or populations that have developmental disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, cerebral palsy and many other developmental disorders. Incorporated in 1992, the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit nursing specialty organization committed to advocacy, education, and support for nurses who provide services to persons with developmental disabilities (DD)… As previously stated, nurses with more experience often find the role of nursing individuals with special needs to be a fulfilling career choice. Some nurses who work with the special needs population do choose to pursue teaching, administration and policy work - however most jobs are patient-focused. In order to be eligible for certification, you must meet the following criteria: Rates of autism in America are higher than they've ever been before and only continue to climb. In addition to the salaries that these nurses receive, it also isn't uncommon for employers to give them a mileage stipend since visiting the homes of patients is often an aspect of the profession. While some nurses apply for the role of Developmental Disability Nurse right after graduation and licensure, many wait until they have some nursing experience before applying. PLEASE NOTE: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only. Provides health-related education and advocacy to various stakeholders involved in the patient's life, Develop health-related policies and procedures, Records accurate records for the interdisciplinary team, Refers patients to other staff or services for a variety of developmental, social, and mentla health support, Acts as a liaison between family, educators, external health and advocacy organizations as well as the medical team, Researches and recommends modification of educational or workplace programming and roles. What Is a Developmental Disability Nurse? Where Do Developmental Disability Nurses Work? Becoming a Developmental Disability Nurse. While standards of preventative care have risen over the past generation, resulting in less individuals with developmental differences and special needs, diagnostic tools for genes and behavior have vastly increased the amount of knowledge that we have about best treatment and outcomes for patients with special needs, resulting in the need for nurses who are highly skilled, certified and most of all compassionate toward their chosen patient population. Working with patients from newborn to adult, Developmental Disability Nurses are an important point of contact for patients and their families as well as the rest of the interdisciplinary care team. Developmental disability nurses are one of a number of healthcare professionals who provide important services to developmentally delayed patients and are tasked with assisting patients with eating, teaching language and movement skills, and more. Upon graduating and then passing the NCLEX-RN, individuals become fully licensed via their state's governing body. At present, the average salary for a Developmental Disability Nurse ranges from $42,000 to $86,000 depending on location, experience and qualifications. This entails caring for newborns, children, and adults who suffer from a wide range of disabilities which include Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), cerebral palsy, Fragile X syndrome, and other developmental disorders. With some additional training on developmental disabilities, rights of individuals under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA) and other factors, nurses will be ready for the challenges of the role. How to Become a Developmental Disability Nurse, Developmental Disability Nurse Jobs, Salary & Employment, Developmental Disability Nurses Association, The Developmental Disability Nurses Association (DDNA), Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, Educate patients and their families about their conditions, Assist patients with bodily care, movement, and communication, Coordinate certain aspects of patient care, Work closely with an interdisciplinary healthcare team to assist patients in maintaining their health and quality of life, Develop evidence-based care plans, policies, and procedures, Maintain accurate patient records for the interdisciplinary healthcare team, Act as an intermediary for families, educators, the medical team, as well as external health or advocacy groups, Survey pertinent health information and make recommendations accordingly, Refer patients to a wide variety of healthcare professionals to assist in supporting their social, developmental, and mental well-being, Help find and recommend clients to other kinds of services such as educational or workplace programming. Home / Nursing Careers & Specialties / Developmental Disability Nurse. Tasks commonly carried out by developmental disability nurses may include: While not a requirement, seeking certification through the DDNA means that you have attained a level of competency and experience with a vulnerable population. What Does a Developmental Disability Nurse Do? Tasks commonly carried out by developmental disability nurses may include: Developmental disability nurses generally care for patients in the following environments: All nurses should be compassionate, empathetic, and patient. What Are Some Developmental Disability Nurse Duties? However, these three qualities can't be overstated when it comes to developmental disability nurses. Registered nurses may find success in looking for job postings through hospitals and specialist offices, as well through government and community agencies. Developmental Disability Nurse Salary & Employment, Helpful Organizations, Societies, and Agencies, Post-Master’s Certificate Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA), NY State Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association, International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, Works with parents and caregivers to develop an evidence-based plan for school or work, Analyze health information and makes recommendations accordingly. Many hospitals and medical facilities will prefer a BSN degree for the role. Many nurses receive a mileage stipend as there is often a home-care component to the job. They work with children … Internships typically include both a didactic and practical component. RegisteredNursing.org does not guarantee the accuracy or results of any of this information. Developmental Disability Nurse. The Developmental Disability Nurses Association represents the organizational body that grants certifications, developmental disability nurses. Because individuals who are on the autism spectrum represent a significant percentage of the patients that developmental disability nurses care for, these nurses can expect to be needed for the foreseeable future. Developmental Disability nurses work primarily in patient-facing roles, either in the clinic, in the community, with families or possibly in the group home or institutional setting.