Saturday, April 14, 2018

A passport to support nurses with disabilities

"Exclusive: Nurses with disabilities face discrimination in the workplace" was written by Jo Stephenson and published by the Nursing Times in the UK.

It is reported that "the Royal College of Nursing is trying to support nurses with disabilities and managers to have 'open and honest conversations' via a new 'disability passport' that is due to be trialled soon." 

The document is designed to be completed by the nurse and their manager. It is intended to clearly identify a nurse's individual needs, adjustments (similar to accommodation in the United States) and a timeline for reviewing arrangements that are made. 

"The idea is that the passport is recognized throughout an organization. If a nurse moves into a new role or management changes, the nurse doesn't have to start from scratch. There is a suggested template for documenting everything. Keys to success include: the employee feels safe and confident to "own" their disability and talk about it and the manager feels safe and comfortable to ask questions, listen and understand."

"Ultimately, employing nurses with disabilities and supporting them makes sense for the National Health Service as a whole. There is a huge value in having lived experience of disability when you are a care giver. What we want to highlight is that it is good business sense to recruit and retain disabled healthcare professionals", according to Holly Chadd, Peer Support Officer at the Royal College.

 So.....what do you think? Could this work in the United States? 

Love to hear your thoughts. 



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

For Cerebral Palsy awareness month: We celebrate Carla Pease, a Nurse Practitioner with CP!

Carla Pease, RN, MS, Nurse Practitioner
Carla Pease was born with cerebral palsy. She finished her LPN certificate and then finished an RN program. Carla continued on to get her masters in nursing. 

She is now a board-certified adult-geriatric nurse practitioner. Carla lives in North Dakota and has been practicing as a nurse practitioner for 3 years. She states, “The only disability is ignorance. Cerebral Palsy is not my stumbling block, it is my stepping stone.”

Bravo Carla!!!


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

New report: Access, Inclusion and Action in Medical Education

In order to capture the state of disability in medical education, the AAMC and the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine partnered to publish a report based on the lived experiences of learners with disabilities. The report identifies major themes from interviews with 47 students, residents and physicians with disabilities.

Coauthored by Lisa Meeks, PhD and Neera Jain, MS, CRC, the report describes best practices that can promote and foster a positive culture around disability.

Bravo and thanks to Lisa and Neera!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sian Preddy: First profoundly deaf midwife in Wales!

Sian Preddy

 In an interview reported by the BBC, Sian was four years old when she was first diagnosed as deaf.

"My mother cried and cried when told the news. She had known there was something wrong with me but was constantly brushed off by doctors as an overly anxious mother; she was so relieved to finally have a diagnosis."

"After that, I was given a hearing aid but just ripped it off. Nothing helped. I kept getting ear infections and by the age of 14 was classed as profoundly deaf."

"Because I had spent so much time in hospital as a child, I was interested in the medical world and wanted to be a nurse."

After having two children and a cochlear implant, Sian applied for midwifery training and "never looked back". So far, she has completed two years at the University of South Wales.

Read more of the story at

Cheers and congratulations to Sian!!!   


P.S. Sian has been nominated for Disability Wales' #IAmEmbolden awards to honour women for breaking down barriers and empowering others.

Think she will win???

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Nursing students with disabilities: Is your campus assault prevention program inclusive?

A study, conducted by the National Council on Disability, a federal agency, suggests that undergraduates with a disability are more likely to be sexually assaulted than are their peers without a disability, and that colleges don’t know how to support them.
About 31.6 percent of female undergraduates with a disability reported having been sexually assaulted, compared with 18.4 percent of undergraduate women without a disability, the study found.
“Sexual assault has become a topic of concern on campuses and with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, but seldom has the conversation included consideration of the needs of college students with disabilities,” said Wendy Harbour, a member of the council and director of the National Center for College Students With Disabilities, in a news release.
The study, described in a report titled “Not on the Radar: Sexual Assault of College Students With Disabilities,” is the first federally funded examination of how the needs of sexual-assault victims with disabilities are treated in colleges’ policies and procedures.
“Campus assault prevention and education programs are not inclusive of students with disabilities,” the report says, “and college staff lack awareness that such programs should be accessible to students with disabilities, and staff are not trained in disability accommodations.”

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to read your thoughts, experiences or suggestions.

With thanks,


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Access to RN-BSN programs for nurses who use wheelchairs

A nurse who uses a power wheelchair shared the following story:

I was recently accepted into an RN to BSN program. I have an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) from an accident. I use a power wheelchair, drive a modified van and do not require any accommodations for writing, computer or telephone use. I am also Minimum Data Set (MDS) certified.

I was officially accepted into the nursing program. The program never asked about my disability or shared any technical standards.

I attended the first week of classes and was told, "you can't be a nurse because you don't meet the college's technical standards." There is a small component of the program that includes a clinical experience and they said I wouldn't be able to participate as, "I must be able to ambulate without any assistive device".

So many questions to ask about this situation?????

You "can't be a nurse". She is a nurse!!!!!

Isn't this screaming discrimination?

What about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and reasonable accommodation?

The clinical portion of an RN-BSN program is typically in a community accommodation would certainly be possible.

What about totally online RN-BSN programs?

What would you advise this nurse to do?

With thanks in advance!


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Can I become a nurse with my lower arm missing?

Angelica Baeza, SN

Recently, I received the following email from a nursing student.

Good afternoon.
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Angelica Baeza and I'm a new Nursing 1 student currently attending Orange County Community College in Newburgh, NY. I was born without the lower portion of my left arm. It's never interfered in any given task, but now as I go into the second week of Nursing 1, the questions arises, "Can I actually become a nurse?" Everything in my heart and soul is telling me "yes" but obviously I'm scared and nervous. I only wish to succeed and master all the skills necessary to achieve my goals!

Angelica also sent me the following videos of "Donning and removal of PPE". In one video she is practicing skills at home and in another one she is practicing in the car while her girls are in math tutoring!

In my view.....she's got this one!!!!!!!!

Love to read your thoughts.

With thanks,