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Top Reasons To Hire A Nurse With A Disability: An Open Letter To Employers

Dear health care employer:
 Are you looking for talented nurses to fill current positions?
 Does your ad read,"Nurses with disabilities encouraged to apply"?
 A good reason to consider a nurse with a disability is because the individual may be the best person for the job! Unless you recruit and consider disabled candidates, you may not know the following information.
 Nurses with disabilities can provide care based on years of experience, skill, and expertise (with and without accommodation).
They can teach patients based on their personal experience of being on the "other side of the bed".
 They have knowledge about medications and treatments from their education as well as personal experience.
Nurses with disabilities can benefit patients by sharing first-hand experiences coping with limb, vision or hearing  loss.
 Some can use sign language, read lips or have personal experience living with chronic pain, fatigue, or mental illness.
 Retaining nurses who are injured on the job or who become disabled makes good business sense when you consider the cost of hiring a new person.
There is no evidence that nurses with disabilities pose any greater risk to patient care than employing a non-disabled nurse.
Nurses with disabilities can serve as role models to patients.
Patients can relate to nurses with disabilities who have first-hand experiences living and coping with chronic illnesses.
Employing nurses with disabilities demonstrates a health care organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Employing nurses with disabilities can benefit an organization's public, media and community relations.
Employing nurses with disabilities can provide tax benefits.
Employing nurses with disabilities helps an organization demonstrate a commitment to the spirit and letter of the American with Disabilities Act.
Employing nurses with disabilities helps an organization lead by example.
With thanks for your consideration.
Nurses with disabilities eager to work!

Guest Blog post by Donna Maheady, this post originally appeared on ExceptionalNurse.blogspot.com

Donna Carol Maheady, ARNP, EdD, the mother of an adult daughter with autism and related disabilities, is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and an Associate Graduate Faculty member in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Maheady has conducted research on the experiences of nursing students with disabilities, published numerous articles and is the author of Nursing Students with Disabilities Change the Course (winner of the American Journal of Nursing 2004 Book of the Year Award), Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses working with disAbilities. The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities. She is the founder of ExceptionalNurse.com a nonprofit organization for nurses and nursing students with disabilities http://www.ExceptionalNurse.com and can be followed at http://exceptionalnurse.blogspot.com and https://twitter.com/ExceptNurse.

Donna is one of the newest members of our Affiliate Program, you may see our continuing education courses on her site ExceptionalNurse.blogspot.com. To support Exceptional Nurses click on the course title of interest from the blog link. 
Posted: 3/1/2016 1:19:11 PM
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