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i want to be developmental disability nurse. Can someone please give me advice about how this works and how many years of college you have to take?

im in 9th grade so i have 4 more years until im in college. i love helping kids with disabilitys and it makes me happy and makes them happy. #disability #nurse #nursing #hospital-and-healthcare #developmental-disabilities


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Gary’s Answer

Morning Jaleigha!!!


Good for you!!! It's a field that is in high demand!!! My wife works in that field, started as a para professional (classroom teacher's aide), then earned her masters an is now employed as an Information & Assistive Technology Specialist. Here's the low down on what you'll need to do:


(1) If you want to work as a nurse you will most likely need a BSN - bachelor of science in nursing [four year degree], once done you would then take the state's (whichever one you live in) Registered Nurse [RN] licensing exam. I say "most likely" need a BSN, as there may be the still remaining two year RN programs [associates degree RN - step down from BSN], as well as the few and far between 18 months to two year LPN [licensed practical nurse - step down from associates degree RN]; however, the real push at this time is the BSN [many hospitals no longer hire anything under a four year nursing degree] - so if you can do it, go for it! A lot of nurses go even further to obtain a masters in nursing [generally two to three more years beyond the undergrad degree], or even advanced practice registered nurse [APRN] which is a bit under a medical doctor.


(2) Get the experience now!!! Believe it or not, you can do that! Work as a camp counselor with children with developmental disabilities [I'm apologizing ahead of time in case this is not the most current and correct term, though I believe it still is]. There's a lot of camps out there for kids with various conditions including blindness, deaf, developmentally delayed, etc...


(3) Get more experience now!!! Become certified in CPR and first aid! Anyone can do it at any age, and it's a valuable skill to have!!!


I'm including some links below for you to review, these are safe sites to visit (just copy and paste them to your browser! Good luck!!!!!

Gary recommends the following next steps:

Really good site with valuable information pertaining to nursing - this particular page is about the different types of nursing degrees: https://www.allnursingschools.com/articles/nursing-program-types/
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The ParaPro assessment - a requirement for many collaborative education schools that work with students with disabilities: https://www.ets.org/parapro
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Information on CPR certification through the Red Cross (though there's also the American Heart Association), but find one that also offers a first aid course: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/aed/aed-training/aed-certification
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Information from the Perkins School for the Blind [one of the best] about summer camp programs [but also check out other parts of their website]: http://www.perkinselearning.org/scout/topics/camps
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Massachusetts Easter Seals [these folks do an amazing job helping people, again - best of the best!!! - and I'm sure it's the same quality Easter Seals in every state], this is an example of programs they offer, but as with the Perkins School, check out other parts of their website: http://www.easterseals.com/ma/our-programs/
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