Intellectual Disability Nursing in America

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    Hi i am an American Citizen who is studying Intellectual Disability Nursing in Ireland. I will be qualified in November of this year. Can anyone tell me if i can work as an Intellectual Disability Nurse in the USA? Is my degree recognized? is Intellectual Disability Nursing recognized in any states? Please Help. Thank You
  2. 7 Comments so far...

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    The US is generalist trained just like Canada. One must have clinical & theory in general pediatrics, adult medical-surgical, mental health, geriatrics, and obstetrics/mother-child. It is my understanding that an ID nurse is not generalist trained and thus not automatically qualified as a nurse in the US.
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    Thank you for reply... So without general training me degree is useless in the US? I would love to work with people with developmental/intellectual disabilities in the states. What kind of qualification is needed to work as an care assistant? thanks
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    Care/nursing assistant won't qualify you for a work visa if needed but as far as training basically a high school diploma and a short training course.plus a clear criminal background check.

    The population referred to as ID in the UK is generally referred to as special needs. Not too many nurses in the specialty but some. Mostly OT, PT, speech, teachers, paraprofessional and aides with some LPNs and a few RNs. Nurses are utilized mostly for the medically fragile /medically complex special needs population often private duty agency nursing some in long term care and group homes

    It is not a highly paid area if nursing due to limited reimbursement for long term chronic care.
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    As JustBeachy noted, there's no such thing in the US as an ID nurse. There are plenty of nurses (RNs and LPNs) working in different settings with that population, but they are trained and licensed as generalists. In order to get licensed as an RN in the US, you will need to have classroom and supervised clinical hours (whatever specific number of hours a particular state requires) in adult med-surg, peds, OB, and psychiatric nursing. This is one of the issues with trying to move among countries as a nurse -- different countries use different models of nursing education and practice, and they don't automatically "translate" from one country to another.

    There are plenty of jobs working with the DD population in the US that don't require special degrees or licensure, but they don't pay much.
    tattyrine likes this.
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    thanks for your reply... what a shame spending four years training to be a RNID and not being able to practice in the us even as a citizen. oh well are the lower paid jobs you speak of abundant in the us? what is the usual pay?
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    Not that abundant like $8-10/hr not a living wage. It's not a wasted credential as the training is specific to the UK. The credential is valid for practice in the country of education.
    elkpark likes this.
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    Quote from tattyrine
    ... what a shame spending four years training to be a RNID and not being able to practice in the us even as a citizen.
    It has nothing to do with citizenship; it has everything to do with nursing education. You have been educated in a country that has an entirely different approach to nursing education and practice than the US does, and that education doesn't meet the qualifications for licensure here. Each country's educational system prepares nurses for licensure and practice in that country, and there are big variations among countries. What were your plans when you started the course in Ireland? Did you know you would (or might) be wanting to practice in the US at some point? Did you do any research into whether your UK education and credentials would be accepted here for licensure?

    Do you have to come to the US? Or were you just curious about future prospects?

    Best wishes --


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