Do you have a desire to work with children that are born with various defects such as deafness, muscular dystrophy, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy or behavioral disorders such as autism? If so, then becoming a registered nurse with a specialization in special needs, otherwise known as a Developmental Disability Nurse or Special Needs Nurse, may be a great option for you.
A special needs nurse is responsible for helping their patients perform basic bodily functions such as eating, drinking, and going to the restroom, as well as helping them develop their communication skills. Special needs nurses must come equipped with a lot of patience, as progress is very gradual with their patients. The job can be very flexible with a wide variety of options such as working in children’s homes, in businesses such as schools, or in a traditional hospital setting.
Special needs nurses are not your typical nurse that performs a check-up or administers a shot to patients but rather serve as 1 on 1 consultants, who are responsible for a child’s growth and development, while also instructing parents of their methods and how to further improvement in the home.
The job itself is very rewarding both economically and personally. There could be nothing more rewarding than putting a smile on an autistic child’s face. Many heartwarming stories are made possible as a result of working with special needs children.
Special needs nurses start by obtaining their Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification, to which they continue for a couple more years obtaining their developmental disabilities certification from an accredited source such as the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA).
If you want to make a difference, then you should start with Marian College of Van Nuys or Los Angeles.