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Doctor of Nursing Practice
Post Master's DNP Completion
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Intellectual disabilities, education, acute care, nurses
DNP Project Chair
DNP Project Member Name
DNP Project Outside Member Name
The U.S. Surveillance of Health of People with Intellectual Disabilities, A White Paper (2009), reported people with intellectual disability (PWID) are more likely to have complex conditions, limited access, missed cancer screenings, poorly managed chronic conditions, undetected poor vision, and mental health issues. Research has shown there continues to be a gap in the educational preparation of healthcare providers in the care of people with intellectually disabilities, which contributes to substandard quality of care and increased morbidity and mortality. Best practices for this population include education of the healthcare provider. A quality improvement project aimed at improving the knowledge and practices of acute care nurses caring for adults with intellectual disabilities was conducted at an academic medical center. The purpose of a two-hour educational program provided to nurses was to articulate the best practices in caring for this patient population. Following the education, 94.4% of the attendees were inspired to learn more about the subject and 88.9% reported they would apply the new knowledge to their practice. Increased knowledge and skill set of nurses caring for the intellectually disabled adult in the acute care setting improves the quality of care and has the potential to decrease morbidity and mortality. This program further supports the need for expanding nursing curriculums to include the care of this population across the lifespan.