Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How to Write a Business Case for Hiring Disabled Nurses

There's a story on titled, "How to Write a Business Case for Hiring Disabled Nurses." Does your organization think about hiring disabled nurses? The author does a nice job pointing out some of the potential benefits and business implications of hiring nurses who may have a variety of disabilities. You'll certainly increase workplace diversity, but there are significant benefits that go beyond that. You may get valuable input from nurses who have physical disabilities. They may offer unique insights that other nurses may not offer.

If you're interested in this topic, read more here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nurses with Disabilities Forum

Did you know that has a forum where nurses are discussing issues revolving around disability? You can find the "Nurses with Disabilities Forum" here:

Recent discussions have revolved around:
  • Arthritis
  • ADHD
  • PTSD
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Mental illness
  • and other health conditions

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hiring Nurses With Disabilities

A number of health care organizations such as hospitals, clinics, and medical centers are hiring disabled nurses to increase workforce diversity. People with disabilities contribute to organizational diversity and are ready and willing to make a difference in your organization.

Here are two examples of financial benefits your organization may experience by hiring disabled nurses (information from

1) The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). If your business pays taxes, the federal WOTC has the potential to reduce your federal income tax liability by as much as $2,400 per qualified worker. As an employer, you may take a tax credit up to 40 percent of the qualified worker's first $6,000 in wages paid during the first 12 months for each new hire. For veterans with disabilities who meet specific criteria, the WOTC can be up to $4,800. There are 10 target groups for WOTC eligibility, including people with disabilities who are certified Vocational Rehabilitation referrals, qualified recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI)1 and the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work holders. One hotel property in the Tampa, Florida, area had a WOTC of more than $60,000 in 2006.

2) The U.S. Social Security Administration's (SSA) Ticket to Work Program (TTW). SSAs TTW Program provides employers an opportunity to generate $4,800 in the first nine months of employment when they hire a Social Security beneficiary with disabilities, and there is more to be earned over time. Employers must become TTW Employment Networks to participate in the program. There are more than 10 million Americans with disabilities who are Social Security disability beneficiaries, providing hundreds of recruitment opportunities for your business.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Depression in nurses

Depression can lead to mental disability in nurses and nursing students. Here's an abstract from a recent study titled, "A longitudinal study of stress and self-esteem in student nurses."


INTRODUCTION: It is well recognised that nurse education/training can be a stressful experience and that self-esteem is an important predictor of stress.

BACKGROUND/LITERATURE: While there are a significant number of studies showing levels and contributors to stress among students. There is little evidence of how these levels change over time. The aim of the study was to investigate nursing students' experiences of stress and levels of self-esteem during three years of their undergraduate nursing programme.

METHODS: Participants completed the stress in nurse education questionnaire and the culture free self-esteem inventory at various time points in the study, and a demographic questionnaire at baseline. The students who took part in the study commenced their nurse training in September 2002. DATA/

RESULTS: This study has demonstrated that levels of self reported stress and "general" self-esteem are significantly different at different stages the nurse training process. Self reported stress were at the highest at the beginning of the third year and these were significantly higher when compared to stress reported at any other time point. Self-esteem levels were lowest at the end of training.

CONCLUSIONS: Trying to obtain data only at single time point during nurse education/training is inadequate as this research has shown that there is indeed variation in student psychological well being across the academic year.

PMID: 19632748

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Disabled Nurses Association

Is there a group out there called the Disabled Nurses Association? Perhaps at one time a group like that existed. I searched on the Internet and I was not able to find anything.

Our group, the Society of Disabled Nurses, exists to provide support and resources for nurses who are disabled. If anyone has any information about a group called the Disabled Nurses Association, please make sure to provide that information to us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses Working with disAbilities

Here's a great book you have to read: "Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses Working with disAbilities"

Here's a brief description:
In the midst of a national nursing shortage, many nurses who can and want to work are being denied the opportunity. They are being pushed out of jobs and turned away from unfilled positions, all because they have disabilities.

Eleven nurses who defied disability tell their personal stories of courage and determination in the face of stigma and discrimination, proving that nurses with disabilities have the ability to successfully fill the jobs that so desperately need filling.

A car accident. A fall. A stroke. Depression. Disability can happen to anyone and at any time. By knowing the ins and outs of disability laws as they relate to those in the nursing profession and taking the measures outlined in this book, you can ensure that you will be prepared should disability ever happen to you.

This book serves as both an inspiration and as a practical guide for nurses living and working with disabilities and for students with disabilities pursuing careers in nursing. Nursing with a disability is a challenge, but with proper planning, the right knowledge and perseverance, it is not impossible. The nurses who share their stories here are living proof of that.

For hospital administrators, human resource personnel and nursing educators, this book demonstrates that shutting nurses and nursing students with disabilities out of the profession only does the profession and the patients who need them a disservice.

Let’s try not to leave any nurse who can work and wants to work behind. The cost to society of underutilizing the hearts and minds of these professionals is staggering.

About the Author
Donna Carol Maheady, ARNP, EdD, the mother of a daughter with disabilities, is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Maheady is the author of Nursing Students with Disabilities Change the Course and the founder of She lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Disability services for nursing students

What type of disability services does your nursing school provide? here's what Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing provides:
Upon admission and prior to enrollment, students with a disability should provide a comprehensive evaluation of a specific disability from an appropriate qualified diagnostician that identifies the type of disability, describes the current level of functioning in an academic setting, and lists recommended accommodations. Dean Angell coordinates reasonable accommodation.

Johns Hopkins University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or other legally protected characteristic in any student program, activity administered by the University, admission or employment.

A person with a disability is defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as an individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. For persons with disabilities it is important to provide to the University a comprehensive evaluation of a specific disability from an appropriate qualified diagnostician that identifies the type of disability, describes the current level of functioning in an academic or employment setting and lists recommended accommodations. It is important to submit this documentation to the appropriate coordinator or Human Resources contact person in a timely manner. Occasionally, it may be necessary to request additional information from an individual’s diagnostician to verify the information or accommodations.

Peggy Hayeslip, Director, ADA Compliance & Disability Services in the Office of Institutional Equity serves as the central point of contact for information on physical and programmatic access, specific accommodations, resolution of complaints and problems, faculty and staff concerns, and identification of available services. In addition, the office can provide training, consultation, and information regarding disability issues.

The school in which the student is enrolled assumes the coordination of reasonable accommodations. It is important to make an appointment with the appropriate person at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester to ensure that accommodations are provided in a timely manner. The Offices of Human Resources and/or University Departments assume the coordination of services and accommodations for employees.
You can learn more here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Supporting disabled students in practice: a tripartite approach

Here's another great article about disabled students titled, "Supporting disabled students in practice: a tripartite approach." Here's the abstract:
Universities are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students. For providers of professional courses, in this case pre-registration nursing, this requirement is perceived to pose significant challenges. In part this is due to the nature of the course, where practice learning is a central component and therefore clinical hands-on experience of the care of patients/clients is an absolute requirement. Concerns around the ability of disabled students' to meet the programme requirements have been expressed. This article describes the co-development of a six-phase tripartite model that provides a supportive framework for disabled student nurses in the practice environment. A brief overview of the literature will be given and a single case study will be used to demonstrate the model in action. The development of broad partnership working between the Practice Learning Team, The Disability Service and the Student Placement Facilitator, taking a student centric approach, is outlined. Finally, the process by which a critical knowledge base, on which decisions around reasonable adjustment can be made is discussed. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Griffiths L, Worth P, Scullard Z, Gilbert D. Supporting disabled students in practice: a tripartite approach. Nurse Educ Pract. 2010 May;10(3):132-7. Epub 2009 Jun 6.
PMID: 19502110

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Being reasonable: Supporting disabled nursing students in practice

There's a recent article that was just published. It's titled, "Being reasonable: Supporting disabled nursing students in practice."

Here's the abstract from that paper:
AIM: To analyse recurring adjustments made in practice settings and the support strategies put in place to enable disabled students to achieve the levels of proficiency required on pre-registration nursing programmes.
BACKGROUND: Legislative and regulatory changes in the UK require higher education institutions to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students whose needs must be considered and adjustments made before their programmes of study begin. The student practice learning advisor's (SPLA) primary role is to support disabled students and to operationalise recommended adjustments in practice.
METHOD: An evaluative case study design was employed to analyse the work of the SPLA over 12 months using progression data, individual interviews and reflective accounts. FINDINGS: The evaluation illustrates the need for support throughout the student's programme which appears to reach a peak in the final year. Disabled students required 20% more contact time than their non-disabled peers. Operationalising adjustments requires attention to inter-disciplinary, practical and communication considerations.
CONCLUSION: Implementing adjustments in practice requires a multi-disciplinary approach in order to support disabled students, and their mentors and to enable the development and application of coping strategies to overcome potential restrictions. The SPLA provides an essential role in ensuring opportunities for the disabled student to succeed are maximised. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tee SR, Owens K, Plowright S, Ramnath P, Rourke S, James C, Bayliss J. Being reasonable: supporting disabled nursing students in practice. Nurse Educ Pract. 2010 Jul;10(4):216-21. Epub 2009 Dec 16.
PMID: 20018564

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Disability as an equal opportunity issue within nurse education in the UK.

Here's an article that may interest you, especially if you work in the UK. It's titled, "Disability as an equal opportunity issue within nurse education in the UK."

The author writes: 
Whilst equal opportunity policies, related research and subsequent curricula changes over recent years may have begun to have a positive impact in some areas of nursing education and practice, 'disability' struggles for recognition as an equality issue. Disabled people, making up approximately six million of the UK population, experience discrimination as part of their daily lives and this is also evident in the nursing services they receive. Far from challenging discrimination, nursing education may simply sustain the negative dominant ideological view of disability. Drawing comparisons with 'race', which has an established equal opportunity dimension, this paper explores disability equality, which is relatively neglected in nursing curricula. From this review it is argued that nursing as a profession has a role beyond patient care in influencing public perceptions concerning disabled people and should take more positive steps in promoting social justice by challenging discrimination. Stakeholders in nursing curricula and nursing practice have both legal and professional responsibilities to ensure that nursing and nurses become part of the solution to disability discrimination. Including disability in equal opportunity policies and strengthening their impact on pre and post registration nursing curricula, provides nursing with a tangible opportunity to do just that.
PMID: 10820574

Scullion P. Disability as an equal opportunity issue within nurse education in the UK. Nurse Educ Today. 2000 Apr;20(3):199-206.
Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Join the Society of Disabled Nurses

Join other nurses and form a strong community of nurses who are disabled. Membership is free for this online society which is a part of the Society of Disabled Healthcare Professionals (SDHP).

Join the Society of Disabled Nurses here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Disabled nurse succeeds despite hurdles, attitudes

There's an inspirational story about a disabled nurse on Denver's Morning Star. It's titled, "Disabled nurse succeeds despite hurdles, attitudes."

Here's a snippet from the story:
Craig Hospital’s Terry Chase, ND, RN. Chase is patient and family education coordinator for the Englewood hospital that specializes in rehabilitation of severe spinal chord and brain trauma. A highly respected and professionally accomplished nurse, Chase has learned to deal with the stigma attached to disabled people, particularly nurses. She uses a wheelchair. “The challenges I face are societal attitudes toward people with disabilities and our ability to be productive people,” Chase said. “Even with my background and education, I still am confronted by these attitudes. “I went through nursing school using the wheelchair and still participated in all rotations. I do have some restrictions about lifting and carrying, and have always been aware of safety both for myself and for the patients,” she said.
To read the full story, click here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jobs for disabled nurses at

GettingHired is committed to helping people with disabilities reach their full potential in the workplace, and increasing their visibility to prospective employers. If you are a disabled nurse, you might be able to find a job that will allow you to remain productive in the workplace.

More than 23 million disabled individuals are either unemployed or underemployed, despite their education, skills, and professional qualifications.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Nurses with hearing loss

NurseTogether has an article titled, "Adapt, Compensate and Tune Into the Lights: Nurses w/ Hearing Loss." The story is about a nurse who suffered hearing loss while serving in the Navy. The story is an excerpt from “Nursing Students with Disabilities Change the Course” by Donna Maheady, EdD, ARNP

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nurses With Disabilities: Another Minority Group

There's a great article on titled, "Nurses With Disabilities: Another Minority Group."
People with disabilities are one of the most underrepresented voices in nursing. But like nurses of color, they have a lot to say about overcoming discrimination and barriers to take their rightful place in the profession.
To read that story, click here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

National Nurses Week 2010

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Success Strategies for Nursing Students with Mental Illness

On, there's a nice article titled, "Success Strategies for Nursing Students with Mental Illness"  by Cara T. Hoepner, MS, RN, CNS, NP and Donna Maheady, EdD, ARNP.

Here's the tagline: "Perseverance, support systems, wellness plans and peer networking can help students living with "hidden disabilities" survive and thrive in nursing school."

Click here to view that article.
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