In Summary - Intellectual Disability Nurse
Intellectual Disability Nurse s typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos & Interviews
Liam Dowling, Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Liam is a qualified Nurse (CNM2) in the area of Intellectual Disability. He chose to change his career path from that of a qualified Butcher to Intellectual Disability Nursing in his early twenties, and completed a Degree programme. He now works in St Michael's house with people that have severe and profound intellectual disabilities.
Videos on the Web
- Intellectual Disability Nurse - from: Youtube Search
- Learning Disabilities Nurse - from: icould [UK] Video
The Work - Intellectual Disability Nurse
As an intellectual disability nurse you will work towards improving the self-esteem and interaction of clients, enabling them to develop successfully by introducing a purpose to their life.
You will also promote their emotional, physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual needs. You will encourage independence for those who are living in various settings, for example, community-based, residential, and family-based. Intellectual disability nursing provides a holistic approach to care, carried out in a therapeutic yet homely atmosphere.
The challenge of the intellectual disability nurse is to identify the clients' abilities and to enable them to overcome/cope with their disabilities, thereby improving their quality of life. The intellectual disability nurse is involved in the day-to-day living of the individual's needs, including a wide range of activities: social, recreational, physical, arts, crafts, drama, to mention but a few. The work of the intellectual disability nurse involves using these activities as a therapeutic tool.
In a day's work, the intellectual disability nurse could be involved in a whole range of caring interventions, from developing a programme to promote independence in feeding to caring for a very sick client confined to bed; and in between might go horse riding, swimming, or go shopping, assisting the client negotiate public transport, understand money, or choose an outfit. In the field of intellectual disability nursing, you will be working with people of all ages and abilities assessing patient's behaviour and psychological needs. Many clients will live at home and visit service centres daily; nurses will visit others at home. Some will require support only from time to time. Some will require continuous support in a supervised residential setting.
Nurses (RNID) work in a wide range of areas such as:
- Home based support and care
- Day care including assessments
- Early intervention, pre-school and special education
- Residential and respite care
- Work in group homes
- Community settings
- Specialist settings
- Vocational training, sheltered and supported employment
- Pre-retirement settings
- Palliative and hospice type care
You will work along side all disciplines of the interdisciplinary team.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Prescribe medication dosages, routes, and frequencies based on patient characteristics such as age and gender.
- Order, perform, or interpret the results of diagnostic tests, such as complete blood counts (CBCs), electrocardiograms (EKGs), and radiographs (x-rays).
- Analyze and interpret patients' histories, symptoms, physical findings, or diagnostic information to develop appropriate diagnoses.
- Develop treatment plans based on scientific rationale, standards of care, and professional practice guidelines.
- Diagnose or treat acute health care problems such as illnesses, infections, or injuries.
- Prescribe medications based on efficacy, safety, and cost as legally authorized.
- Counsel patients about drug regimens and possible side effects or interactions with other substances such as food supplements, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, or herbal remedies.
- Recommend interventions to modify behavior associated with health risks.
- Detect and respond to adverse drug reactions, with special attention to vulnerable populations such as infants, children, pregnant and lactating women, or older adults.
- Educate patients about self-management of acute or chronic illnesses, tailoring instructions to patients' individual circumstances.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests - Intellectual Disability Nurse
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
You need to be self aware and very interested in people's behaviour. The ability to remain non-judgemental and objective is an important aspect of the role. You will need to be sensitive and tolerant when caring for clients and their families.
It challenges you and will touch your emotions, therefore you need to have the ability to deal with stressful situation and remain calm and composed.
It is important to have excellent communication: to be perceptive of verbal communication, body language and sensitivity.
Entry Requirements - Intellectual Disability Nurse
To work as a qualified nursing professional, you must first successfully complete a programme of nursing education, and then apply to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), the statutory body for regulation of the nursing profession in Ireland.
1. Pre-Registration Degree Programmes Leading to Registration with NMBI
There are 5 pre-registration level nursing training programmes available, all of which are at Level 8 Honours Bachelor Degree, including the BSc in Intellectual Disability programme:
- BSc in General Nursing (RGN) (4 Years Duration)
- BSc in Children's and General Nursing (integrated) (4.5 years Duration)
- BSc in Psychiatric Nursing (RPN) (4 Years Duration)
- BSc in Intellectual Disability Nursing (RNID) (4 Years Duration)
- BSc in Midwifery (4 Years Duration)
The programmes are offered through 13 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in association with the main Healthcare Agencies (Hospitals/Clinical Sites). Application is made through the CAO.
Intellectual Disability Nursing is available at:
DCU; Dundalk IT; Letterkenny IT; St. Angela's College Sligo; TCD; UCC; UL; Waterford IT.
Getting into Nursing Training
To get into a nursing training programme applicants must:
(a) have obtained a minimum grade of C3 in two higher level papers and a minimum grade of D3 in four ordinary or higher level papers in the Leaving Certificate, in the following subjects:
- Irish or English
- A Laboratory Science subject (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Physics & Chemistry or Agricultural Science)
- Three other subjects
(b) have achieved the equivalent minimum educational attainments to the Leaving Certificate, as judged by the Higher Education Authority(HEA)
(c) meet the minimum educational requirements specified by the third level institution (HEI) concerned, for entry to the course, provided the requirements are not of a lower standard than those set out in (a) above.
(Note: Foundation Level Mathematics or Foundation Level Irish are not acceptable).
Alternative Entry Routes:
Certain Specific QQI Level 5 Certificate Programmes provide links to Nursing Degree Programmes. These currently are:
- Nursing Studies (5M4349 / DCHSN)
- Healthcare Support (5M4339 / DHSXXX)
- Community and Health Services (5M4468 / DCHSX)
In all cases, applicants must have achieved distinctions in five components including;
- Anatomy and Physiology (5N0749 / D20001)
- Introduction to Nursing (5N4325 / D200012)
- Human Growth and Development (5N1279 / D20032) or Biology (5N2746 / C20006)
For full detail see Careers in Nursing & Midwifery
Last Updated: April, 2016
Pay & Salary - Intellectual Disability Nurse
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 27k - 43k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Intellectual Disability Nurse
Despite a decline in employment, the demand for certain types of nursing skills has remained strong and has resulted in shortages. Work patterns and certain geographical locations are also impacting on recruitment and retention of nurses.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Intellectual Disability Nurse
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO)
Health Service Executive (HSE)
An Bord Altranais/Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)