Graduate nursing education: Developmental disabilities and special health care needs

Patricia A. Tommet, Jennifer L. York, Patricia S Tomlinson, Barbara J. Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


As children and adults with developmental disabilities and special health care needs are integrated into home, school, and community life, nurses are being required to provide leadership, advocacy, and training in community settings to a much greater extent than in the past. To assess the school and community need for formal graduate preparation for nurses who work with individuals with developmental disabilities and/or special health care needs, 25 nurses in leadership positions representing urban and rural health agencies throughout Minnesota took part in a 5-hour focus group discussion. Analysis of data summarized from this process shows five features of the recommended curriculum necessary for advanced practitioners in this specialty area: (a) discipline-specific core competencies, (b) discipline-specific specialty competencies, (c) generic competencies not specific to nursing but necessary to function in nursing roles, (d) interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary learning experiences, and (e) clinical experiences with preceptors. The authors recommend the development of interdisciplinary graduate programs designed to prepare nurses to assume leadership roles in school health, public health, home health care, and systems management that will affect public policy and, ultimately, promote change in the systems charged with responsibility to serve this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-258
Number of pages20
JournalIssues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


Dive into the research topics of 'Graduate nursing education: Developmental disabilities and special health care needs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this