Monday, June 13, 2011

Nurses with disabilities working in hospital settings: attitudes, concerns, and experiences of nurse leaders.

Nearly 50 million people in the United States live with a disability. People with disabilities are increasingly represented in professional nursing. It is important to understand attitudes and concerns of nurse leaders who hire and work with nurses with disabilities. Using an exploratory descriptive design, this study surveyed nurse managers from 600 hospitals, with responses from 219 participants. Using a modified version of two subscales of the Employer Attitude Questionnaire, nurse managers expressed attitudes toward work performance, reported concerns or perceived abilities of staff nurses with disabilities to work in administrative positions, rated job performance, and described accommodations extended to staff nurses with a broad range of disabilities. Results indicated that most nurse managers rated work performance as exceptional or above average. Concerns included abilities to perform necessary job tasks, patient safety, and acceptance by the public and by coworkers of the nurses with disabilities. There was a significant positive relationship between nurse managers' previous exposure to nurses with disabilities and their willingness to hire nurses with disabilities. Conclusions indicate a need for the discipline to move beyond advocacy and personal case sharing to research on promotion of effective means of recruitment and retention of professional nurses with disabilities.

Wood D, Marshall ES. Nurses with disabilities working in hospital settings: attitudes, concerns, and experiences of nurse leaders. J Prof Nurs. 2010 May-Jun;26(3):182-7.
PMID: 20488428

Danette Wood, RN, EdD, CRN
Associate Professor and Director of Baccalaureate Program, School of Nursing, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

Elaine S. Marshall, RN, PhD
Professor and Bulloch Healthcare Foundation Endowed Chair, School of Nursing, Box 8158, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

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