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    Kaplan University - KHE

    MS in Nursing

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    Medical Careers Institute

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    Fortis Institute

    Medical Assistant

Developmental Disabilities Nurse

The work of a developmental disabilities nurse is to deals with developmentally challenged patients, such as those suffering from mental retardation, Down’s autism, disease, pervasive developmental disorders, , Rett’s syndrome, Asperger’s syndrome, etc. – disorders that are of unending conditions that affect an individual’s life completely. The job of these nurses requires a great deal of patience and compassion.


Because individuals with developmental disabilities have multiple issues, including physical and behavioral problems, and also communication difficulties, the job of a developmental disabilities nurse is extremely challenging. Most of these nurses are involved in patient care to help such individuals attain their maximum level of functioning and maintain optimal health. Their routine job responsibilities include monitoring patient behavior, supervising their activities, helping patients with language and communication skills, encouraging independent mobility, and administering routine medication. Besides these, developmental disabilities nurses also provide education and support to the families of these patients.


Work settings for this specialty are quite varied, ranging from hospitals, schools and private businesses to care units and patients’ houses

• Requirements for becoming a Developmental Disabilities Nurse

A degree of associates or bachelors in nursing is required to become this nurse. It could be completed from any accredited college or university. After this, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) has to be cleared to become a registered nurse (RN). Once this is done, an experience of two years is mandatory as practicing nurse to become a nurse educator or administrator.


Once these prerequisites are met, one is open to give exam of certification from Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA)

After this exam is cleared, the nurse will earn a Certification in Developmental Disabilities Nursing (CDDN). Although this is not a mandatory requirement to start work, it is recommended by the DDNA and helps in getting better paid administrative and supervisory nursing positions.

• Salary and Job Prospects

Developmental disabilities nurse field is a field with a high level of job satisfaction. You get to forge fulfilling associations with elderly as you help to nourish their lives better. That is why the job is also widely believed to be very rewarding.


Given the high demand for specialized nurses, this field of nursing also promises bright career prospects. The salary range is higher for certified practitioners – which is up to $60,000 –, while that of non-certified nurse stays around $40,000. The location of work, the individual’s work experience, and the employer also matter when it comes to these nurses’ salaries.

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