Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member co-authors book that address the role of the I/DD nurse


NEWARK, N.J. A Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member has co-authored a book that addresses the role of the nurse who specializes in intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

"Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Nursing: Scope & Standards of Practice" co-authored by Wendy M. Nehring, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is the second edition of a joint American Nurses Association (ANA) and American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) publication that captures changes in nursing practice in this specialty. It also emphasizes the scope of practice for nurses, advanced practice nurses, and specifically nurses who practice in this specialty.

The 116-page book contains a detailed essay on the varieties and extent of I/DD and the status, trends, prospects and professional requirements, including education and certification, of this interdisciplinary specialty.

The information included in this book helps specify the responsibilities of nurses in different settings who care for persons with I/DD, according to Nehring, who is also the director of graduate programs and associate professor at Rutgers College of Nursing.

There are certain things that a nurse should be looking for when assessing data concerning a person with I/DD, said Nehring, a Clifton, N.J. resident.

"Is the person able to communicate with you? Do you need special equipment when conducting an exam?" Nehring said. "Also, the nurse would need to know information about the persons' home environment and their support system and find out what resources they have. Evaluation takes on a new meaning because you need to check back with the person with I/DD and their family to see if they are getting the support and resources they need."

This book also addresses questions nurses may have about this unique specialty. "People don't understand the nurses' role in the health care of persons with I/DD. We are able to talk about that in this book," she said.

From its headquarters at Rutgers Newark, Rutgers College of Nursing offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a master's program with unique practitioner specialties and the only doctoral (Ph.D) nursing degree in New Jersey.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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