ASN and Developmental Disability Nurse

ASN Developmental Disability Nurse

Being a developmental disability nurse also known as a special needs nurse, can be a sold career choice.  If you decide you’re interested in this nursing specialty, you must first earn a degree as a registered nurse.  You can do so by attending an accredited ASN program such as the one offered by HCI, and then take you NCLEX-RN exam, which will allow you to work in your state. 

After earning your Associate of Science in nursing and your exam, if you do decide that you would like to work as a developmental disability nurse, employers are usually looking for two years of experience as a practicing nurse.  Once school and experience is completed, you are eligible to take an exam for a Certification in Developmental Disabilities Nursing (CDDN) which is accredited by the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association.  This certification is not mandatory, but it looks good on a resume when searching for a job.

A developmental disabilities nurse provides care for those with both mental and developmental disabilities, including but not limited to Down’s syndrome, mental retardation, autism, and many more.  Not only do these nurses provide care for their patients, but they also provide support for their patients’ families. 

Duties for ASN and Developmental Disability Nurse

  • Aiding patients with feeding and bodily functions
  • Strengthening patients’ independent movement
  • Assisting the patient with communication and language

Job Settings for ASN and Developmental Disability Nurse

  • Primary care centers
  • Group homes
  • Schools
  • Hospitals

A developmental disabilities nurse who has an RN and CDDN may earn anywhere from $50,000 – $60,000.  Some centers offer reimbursement to their employees for their travel back and forth to their patients’ homes. 

It can be a very challenging specialty, but also rewarding for those of whom do want to work as a developmental disability nurse.  One huge reward can be the relationships built with patients and their families while also helping improve their lives.

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