Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nurse practitioners with disabilities...Take a bow!

Nurses with disabilities often ask, "Can I become a nurse practitioner?"
The short answer is "YES, you can!"
Here are some of their stories. 

Morag MacDonald is a nurse with a significant hearing loss. She has practiced as a nurse for more than 28 years and has worked on spinal cord, pediatric and mental health units. Currently, she works as a nurse practitioner at Capital Region Mental Health Center in Hartford, Connecticut.  She has knowledge of pathological and cultural viewpoints and can communicate in all modalities (oral, signed English, American Sign Language and gestures) in order to meet the health needs of d/Deaf patients.

Greg Mercer is an adult geriatric nurse practitioner with mental illness. Greg has a blog called Big Red Carpet Nursing. He wrote, "I deeply understood depression, suicidality, and the inpatient patient experience...  I knew how to manage agitated patients without meds or force." 

He works at McClean Hospital, a psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Greg has worked on all of the inpatient psychiatric units at McLean and the ECT service. He has also supervised clinical placements for various nursing schools.

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.”


Are you a nurse practitioner with a disability? Are you a nurse with a disability interested in becoming a nurse practitioner? Share your stories and questions here. 

And, get connected with others at

With thanks!



Morag MacDonald (2006). "The Little Engine that could: Nursing with profound deafness". In D. Maheady, Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses working with disAbilities, New York:iUniverse.

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