ADVICE, PLEASE: RN with a Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders??

  1. 0
    Hi all

    I am a Registered Nurse (licensed since '87) working on a RN- Bachelors degree, and just completed a "Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders".

    I would love to work with DD children but have ZERO pediatric or DD experience......Unless you count my little guy who was diagnosed with Speech delays and Sensory Integration Disorder (but we suspect high functioning autism).

    Because of my lack of RECENTexperience, I can not even get an interview!! (I stayed home with my little guy until he began preschool last year) My only recent experience is in a free clinic where I conducted nutrition/diabetes, general health and wellness classes- more like a community/public helath position, really.

    I would appreciate any suggestions/advice to make me more "hireable", to work with children in any capacity (DD, psych.,etc., etc.)



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  2. 17 Comments...

  3. 0
    Have you tried an ICF MR facility? Many facilities provide services to children. Try your state site for long term care providers that should provide some links to potential employment in your state. Does your state require the BSN to apply for school jobs?
  4. 0
    You may consider looking at the local preschool providers such as Headstart and More at Four type programs sometimes these providers need a contractual Health Consultant to organize or perform screenings, to help find medical services, and to help the organization to abide by the state and federal health requirements to receive funding continued funding.
  5. 0
    Thanks so much; that's a great suggestion!
  6. 0
    I had not thought of that; I will definitely give it a try!

    As far as I know, they don't require a BSN, but of course prefer pediatric experience. I applied for a Headstart position, and was shocked that I didn't even get an interview....
  7. 0
    Headstart and similar programs like to see the additional credits on preschool classes & care, can pick up through local comm colleges.

    ICFMR services are great to learn about folks with various disorders, some more medical and some with more behavioral diagnoses. In the facility I work we have 16 group homes, and the ages range 6 -75. The homes have 3 or 6 beds and the children's home is regulated for 6-21yrs but efforts are in place to ensure proper placements with the current ages and diagnoses of the residents. I have worked with a lot folks with autism over the years at various ages which has be rewarding and sometimes very challenging when working with aggressive clients. I was trained, "shut up & structure up" we use a lot of picture schedules and less verbal stimuli.

    I began doing some consulting work at a local Headstart here in NC a couple of years ago and really enjoy that too. The administrator for the Headstart is an old coworker from the group homes, so that was my entry. I have had a couple providers contact me for services (More at Four) and such but really couldn't work it into my schedule. See if there are health advisory meetings in the local communities and find out who the chair is and contact them as they are usually recruiting community members and that would also put your name and interest out there. Also, check with the hospitals and see who provides inhouse psych services and which of those accept patients with MR/DD as you will find many kids with autism are functioning with cognitive deficiencies (certainly not all). Most hospitals in NC will not accept older behavioral patients with MR/DD, I sometimes have better luck getting the children in to a "regular" psych unit during crisis for stabilization though, it can be a real matrix to find good care.
  8. 0
    hb4hikes: Thanks for such a thorough answer; great suggestions!!!

    I've designed a PowerPoint presentation about ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders) for nurses; I thought about doing free presentations at the local hospital....

    Thanks, again!
  9. 0
    The power point would be very interesting, would love an update... my official training was in i am sure I am a little dated...good luck, with the search.
  10. 0
    Yes, there have been a lot of changes, and a ton of research. I got the certificate because I suspected my son was on the spectrum, and I wanted research-based information. There is a TON of misinformation on the internet (and in the media). And it is very important to give parents (especially with newly diagnosed children) accurate, relaible sources of information and appropriate resources.

    A position like yours sounds ideal for me. Thanks for all your suggestions, and for taking the time to respond.
  11. 0
    Yes, try your local MRDD group homes. Or better yet-maybe a day program where there would be a few other nurses. I've worked in this field in the past and if this is truly your interest, you would be a Godsend.

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