Individuals suffering from Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, and various genetic disorders are often referred to as being developmentally disabled. They often require long-term monitoring and care by nursing professionals who cannot be provided independently through family and friends. BSN nursing graduates who care for patients with developmental disabilities make up the specialty of nursing called developmental disabilities nursing.
What is Developmental Disabilities Nursing?
BSN nursing graduates who choose to specialize in developmental disabilities nursing care for patients who develop a severe, life-long condition before the age of 22. Depending on the severity of the developmental disability, patients may need assistance with activities of daily living, require long-term monitoring for heart conditions, and necessitate treatment for associated physical conditions. BSN nursing graduates who care for developmental disability patients may work in long-term care facilities, schools, or home health care.
Required Education to Become a Developmental Disabilities Nurse
All nurses must be licensed as Registered Nurses within the U.S. through a hospital diploma, associate degree, or BSN nursing program. Specialized areas of nursing, such as developmental disabilities nursing, often require focused clinical and educational training through a BSN nursing program. For example, Kaplan University BSN nursing students are able to select a specialty within the field of nursing and also develop critical thinking skills that are essential in the health care industry. Students interested in learning more about developmental disabilities nursing may visit the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association website.