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Nurses at the Forefront

Nurses are the largest segment of the healthcare workforce and - as the most frequent clinical touchpoints for individuals with IDD - are critical to improving the quality of care for this population. The institute focuses on addressing the needs of nursing professionals in order to achieve greater health equity.

While not well represented in national data, an estimated 6.5 million people in the US have intellectual disabilities and 12.5 million children with developmental disabilities (CDC). Many have complex health needs and experience a cascade of health disparities aggravated by inadequate access to quality healthcare, contributing to higher rates of hospitalization, increased care costs, and poorer care outcomes. In addition, the US healthcare finance system does not adequately reimburse providers for the appointment time required for patients with IDD.

Nurses provide the bulk of care for this population. Yet, there remains an almost complete absence of IDD-inclusive curricula within the nation’s 900+ nursing schools, 200+ Nurse Practitioner Residency Programs, and continuing education venues available to the nation’s nearly 4.2 million nurses. 

Transforming the healthcare experiences and outcomes for the IDD population requires in-depth knowledge, competence, and confidence across the workforce. The Institute intends to fill these educational gaps by supporting the workforce of care.