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Chicago Community Trust

NOND Internet Resource Clearinghouse: Regional Demonstration Project – Final Report

The purpose of this Regional Demonstration Project was to develop and implement a regional Internet Resource Clearinghouse (IRC). The IRC supports National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) in understanding and combating issues related to discrimination that exists within the nursing profession and impedes education and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and beginning to collect data in order to provide local and national nursing professionals and prospective students a basis upon which to support positive change.

Through the resources developed during this project we have been working to change nursing education policies to do the following:

  1. increase support to and the numbers of students with disabilities
  2. extend careers of nurses who experience disabilities; and
  3. enhance the quality of care available for persons with disabilities.

The Internet Resource Clearinghouse Project achieved the following objectives:

  1. Established partners within the Chicago Metropolitan area to collaborate on issues related to disability and nursing,
  2. Conducted three web-based surveys and initiated the analysis of the survey data,
  3. Provided resources on nursing and disability issues, and
  4. Developed constructive strategies that will afford change in the nursing profession for persons with disabilities which will ultimately enhance health care resources in the Chicago Metropolitan area.

The IRC has also created a list of resources and information tailored for nursing students and nurses with disabilities to increase their education and career opportunities in the nursing profession. Through the IRC project, NOND continues to develop resources regarding information on the impact of disabilities on members of the nursing profession, appropriate accommodations as a part of safe nursing practice, effective curriculum materials dealing with disability in nursing education, and support for the recruitment and certification of qualified persons with disabilities within the nursing profession.

The data collected through the web-based surveys completed by 446 nursing students, nurses with disabilities, and nursing faculty and administrators identified issues that support and impede recruitment and retention of nursing students and nurses with disabilities in schools and employment. We are using the data from these surveys to identify strategies that will assist nursing students and nurses with disabilities in completing school and gaining employment, along with resources for nurses with disabilities to obtain and retain employment.