White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs for the California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (CCEPD)

A White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs is available on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) website. This paper also presents a new model of technical standards inclusive of all students with and without  disabilities

White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs
for the California Committee on Employment of  People with Disabilities (CCEPD)

Nurses  are  challenged  to  fill  the  new  and  expanded  roles  for  a  health  care  system  designed  to improve the quality  of  health  care.  Despite  the  unique  perspective  and  set  of  skills  that students and health professionals with disabilities have to address many of these challenges, people  with  disabilities  are  often effectively  excluded from  the  nursing  profession. The purposes of this white paper are to 1) frame the issues that prevent applicants with disabilities from entering nursing education and the nursing profession and 2) propose the changes necessary to engage the potential of people with disabilities to enhance nursing leadership and innovation  necessary  to transform  health  care.  Major  barriers  include  the  following: 1) outmoded admission standards that deter applicants with disabilities; 2) misconceptions about the capacity of students with disabilities to function effectively in the clinical components of nursing education; and, 3) lack of a comprehensive understanding of issues related to patient safety. This paper begins with an historical overview of the journey toward the acceptance of nurses with disabilities, including civil rights legislation, judicial rulings with reference to specific landmark cases, and the development of current technical and educational standards. The paper also presents a new model of technical standards inclusive of all students with and without  disabilities, along with recommendations  supportive  of  students with  disabilities  in admission, matriculation and graduation from nursing programs.

Additional Resources

  1. A New Model of Technical Standard for Nursing Education Programs
  1. White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs
  1. ADA Amendments Act and Accommodations