Online Program

Disability-related competencies for nurses and nurse practitioners

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Suzanne C. Smeltzer, RN, EdD, FAAN, College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Elizabeth Blunt, PhD, RN, CRNP, College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Lisa Wetzel-Effinger, RN, MSN, College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Although more than 60 million people in the U.S. and 1 billion people globally live with a disability, the topic is often ignored in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Although it is likely that the Affordable Care Act will result in increased need for nurses and nurse practitioners (NPs) to be prepared to provide health care for people with disabilities (PWDs), most nursing students have little knowledge or experience in caring for people with disabilities during their undergraduate education, at the time of entry to NP programs or when they finish their NP programs. Currently, no published guidelines that address nurses' and nurse practitioners' proficiency in caring for PWDs exist. An important step in developing curricula to improve the health care of PWDs is the development of a set of competencies. This project was conducted to identify the core competencies (i.e., skills, knowledge and attitudes) of nurses and nurse practitioners related to care of PWDs. To ensure that major issues affecting health and health care delivery issues affecting PWDs are addressed, the competencies were developed based on the literature and on input from professional and community groups: a Professional Advisory Board comprised of health professionals who work with people with disabilities and a Community Advisory Boards comprised of PWDs. These competencies will provide a framework for faculty in development of curricular objectives for their programs. This presentation will review the current literature on disability competencies and share the competencies developed for nurses and nurse practitioners caring for people with disabilities.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process used to develop disability-related competencies for nurses and nurse practitioners Describe clinical competencies for nurses and nurse practitioners related to care of people with disabilities

Keyword(s): Disability, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research related to teaching health care providers, including nurses and nurse practitioners, about disabilities and have received grants to further this work. I have several publications specifically related to the topic of this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.