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Nurse Practitioner Residency Curriculum

Designed and developed by nursing faculty at the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability at St. John Fisher College, this online, modularized curriculum features an in-depth overview of health care topics as well as best practices in the field of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) care. The new curriculum provides a tool for nurses to address the disparities in health outcomes experienced by individuals with IDD. The goals of this program are not only better health, better care, and lower costs but also improved knowledge, confidence, and skills for the nurse practitioner.

Supporting Health Equity for Individuals with IDD

A Black nursing student stands near a window. They are wearing a white coat and a stethoscope.

Individuals with IDD face a decreased life expectancy due to a myriad of factors, including a lack of trained health care professionals and reduced access to routine screenings and exams. Furthermore, patients with IDD often have multiple and complex conditions, such that their care often requires additional time that doctors may not have. 

The Golisano Institute curriculum emphasizes practice areas where health outcomes are dramatically different for patients with developmental disabilities such as reproductive health, or where enhanced skills can reduce complications and stress, as in behavioral health. 

The curriculum consists of five educational modules for Nurse Practitioners engaged in residency programs. The instructional modules focus on assessing, understanding, and communicating effectively with patients with IDD. With this new curriculum, the Golisano Institute provides a tool for nurses to address the disparities in health outcomes experienced by individuals with developmental disabilities, a group that includes more than 6.5 million people in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019).

Pilot Program

The new educational modules are being piloted by nurse practitioners at Highland Family Medicine.

Are you interested in learning more about the Nurse Practitioner Residency Curriculum and how it could fit into your residency program? Contact Dr. Holly Brown, Associate Director for the Golisano Institute at  

This program was developed with grant funding through a Special Olympics Inclusive Health Innovation grant and the CDC.