In the midst of a national nursing shortage, many nurses who can and want to work are being denied the opportunity. They are being pushed out of jobs and turned away from unfilled positions, all because they have disabilities.
Eleven nurses who defied disability tell their personal stories of courage and determination in the face of stigma and discrimination, proving that nurses with disabilities have the ability to successfully fill the jobs that so desperately need filling.
A car accident. A fall. A stroke. Depression. Disability can happen to anyone and at any time. By knowing the ins and outs of disability laws as they relate to those in the nursing profession and taking the measures outlined in this book, you can ensure that you will be prepared should disability ever happen to you.
This book serves as both an inspiration and as a practical guide for nurses living and working with disabilities and for students with disabilities pursuing careers in nursing. Nursing with a disability is a challenge, but with proper planning, the right knowledge and perseverance, it is not impossible. The nurses who share their stories here are living proof of that.
For hospital administrators, human resource personnel and nursing educators, this book demonstrates that shutting nurses and nursing students with disabilities out of the profession only does the profession and the patients who need them a disservice.
Let's try not to leave any nurse who can work and wants to work behind. The cost to society of underutilizing the hearts and minds of these professionals is staggering.
Donna Carol Maheady, ARNP, EdD, the mother of a daughter with disabilities, is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Maheady is the author of Nursing Students with Disabilities Change the Course and the founder of www.ExceptionalNurse.com. She lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.