Nurses in intellectual disability (ID) work in a broad range of services including long-stay settings, community, day-care, care of the older person, child and adolescent. Nurses in ID have a diversity of roles, on a continuum ranging from intensive physical nursing of persons with a severe degree of disability to supportive guidance in the management of children, adults and older persons.
Evidence of health needs for people with an intellectual disability highlight the clear need for the nurse in intellectual disability services to have an intellectual disability qualification. The rationale for this part-time Masters degree/postgraduate diploma is to facilitate the upskilling of qualified nurses working in this critical area.
The philosophy which underpins this programme is grounded in values and beliefs relating to the nature of four fundamental philosophical nursing concepts, namely; nursing, environment, person and health.
This programme is designed to provide the nurse with the opportunity to become knowledgeable, informed, reflective and to develop his/her professional self so that he/she can be empowered and enabled to fully undertake the role and responsibility of nursing care, within the intellectual disability services. The exploration, application analysis, evaluation and synthesis of nursing theory, evidence-based practice and research support this aim. The student will be guided to strive for excellence in delivering care, to practice with self-awareness and compassion, to high ethical, legal, and clinical standards from a strong evidence base, within the profession of nursing.
On successful completion of the programme, graduates will be able to critically examine the supports and barriers that influence the ability of people with an intellectual disability to integrate into their community. They will also be able to critically evaluate the specialist knowledge and skills required to care for service users in the intellectual disability service. Furthermore, they will have attained a threshold of practitioner skills as required by registration and professional bodies, in particular An Bord Altranais/the Nursing Board.