Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Nursing
What Is IDD Nursing?
Intellectual and developmental disabilities nursing can be learned from most nursing programs. A good nursing education background prepares nurses for the challenges that they will encounter in the duties they have to perform in this specialty of nursing. Intellectual and developmental nursing is also called special needs nursing, and it is a specialty that concerns itself with providing healthcare to patients who have to endure a number of intellectual or developmental disabilities. These nurse jobs deal with problems such as mental disabilities in patients, autism spectrum disorder, pervasive developmental disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett’s Syndrome and many others. This nursing specialty presents challenges that other nursing specialties do not, but it is a rewarding field in its own right.
What Are The Educational Requirements For IDD Nursing?
While online nursing programs can teach students about the necessary job duties that intellectual and developmental disabilities nurses have to face, they cannot teach students about the work experience that is required because there is no substitute for direct experience. To this end, an intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse can find himself or herself working in a variety of working environments. For example, an intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse can be found working in a hospital just as he or she can be found working in a patient’s home, where they can provide unique social assistance as well as unique healthcare. Sometimes, an intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse can be found working in a school that deals specifically with those who are intellectually or developmentally impaired, and these types of nurses can also be found working for the government in institutions that take care of the intellectually or developmentally impaired. Primary care centers and even worksites are also locations that may require the on-site services of an intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse.
What Are The Duties For An Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Nurse?
The duties of an intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse include many things, as people who have graduated from an LPN program or an RN program will learn. An intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse has to provide care for patients of all ages since intellectual and developmental disabilities can strike at any age and can leave people of any age affected. The first duty is to provide whatever care they can to patients who exhibit mental, behavioral or physical disabilities. The second duty is to provide patients in their care with services like helping them eat and control their bodily functions. Another duty of an intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse, as students will learn from either online LPN programs or online RN programs, is to provide patients with support as they are encouraged to become more independently mobile. Yet another duty extends even to the family members of the intellectually and developmentally disabled people, and it is educating family members on how to deal with intellectually and developmentally disabled people.
Because intellectual and developmental disabilities nursing is a form of specialty in one’s nursing career, it lends itself well to an advanced degree, like so many other nursing specialties. This is especially true in intellectual and developmental disabilities nursing because the nature of the work is so highly technical. While it is not a requirement to actually have an advanced degree, like a Master’s in Nursing, it is preferable. However, intellectual and developmental disabilities nursing makes use even of licensed practical nurses and entry-level nurses, both of whom have relatively less experience in areas like work and education.
What Is The Job Outlook For Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Nursing?
Extra credentialing is recommended for nurses who want to work in the intellectual and development disabilities field. The Developmental Disabilities Nurse Association suggests that nurses working in this field take the Certified Developmental Disabilities Nurse certification, which is a nationally regarded industry credential. In addition to credentialing, intellectual and developmental disabilities nurses are also mandated to earn a certain number of continuing education credits from nursing schools. The purpose of these continuing education credits is to provide already working nurses in this field with very technical information that is associated with specific disorders.
What Is The Average Salary For An IDD Nurse?
The average yearly salary of a nurse who works in these intellectual and developmental disabilities nursing occupations is quite good, with nurses who have earned an advanced degree making an average of about $62,000 per year. The range of yearly salary, on the average, is about $51,000 to $76,000, with factors like work experience, educational background and even the exact location of the work setting contributing to whether a nurse in this field earns a lot more or a lot less. In addition, many of these intellectual and developmental disabilities nurses receive benefits from their employers, benefits like child care, flexible work schedules and yearly bonuses. The job outlook for intellectual and developmental disabilities is very good, which can be said of many nursing specialties. There are a number of factors that are driving these good job prospects for intellectual and developmental disabilities nurses, besides the fact that there will always continue to be people who endure mental and physical disabilities. The shortage of nurses and the increasing emergence of highly specialized medical settings are two factors that continue to ensure that intellectual and developmental disabilities nurses will always be in demand.
The demands on an intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse are quite high, given the fact that they have to deal constantly with people who endure such hardships like mental disabilities. While this specialty can be rewarding by helping to make the lives of those afflicted with intellectual and developmental disabilities easier, this specialty calls for an extensive education background to be able to provide competent services to people in need. While advanced degrees are not required, it is advisable that nurses in this profession do have them; extra perks of having advanced degrees in this nursing profession are, for instance, the ability to get a higher salary. The number of duties that a nurse of this caliber has to attend to is high, with duties ranging from helping disabled people eat to educating their family members on how to deal with them. Because of these stresses, the salary a nurse gets is quite high.
To learn more about intellectual and developmental nursing, see these links.
- Earnings for RNs
- DDNA Website
- Nursing Manual
- What are Developmental Disabilities?
- Caring For The Developmentally Disabled
- Developmental Disability Nurses