JOHNSON CITY (July 19, 2013) – Dr. Wendy Nehring, dean of the East Tennessee State University College of Nursing, is lead author of a new book for nurses who specialize in care for patients who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The book, “Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Nursing: Scope & Standards of Practice,” is in its second edition and is part of a series of American Nurses Association (ANA) books that establish the scope and standards of professional nursing practice. Nehring authored book chapters and also served as editor.
Since the 1990s, the ANA has partnered with other nursing organizations to establish a formal process of recognizing specialty nursing practice and establishing training criteria for the specialty. Early in Nehring’s career, she became interested in caring for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) as well as furthering a professional scope of standards for improved care. Her research and work in the specialty has earned her an international reputation for her expertise in the field. A fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Nehring has authored 37 book chapters and edited or authored nine books.
“Providing care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is a specialized nursing practice, and it can be challenging as well,” Nehring said. “These individuals are part of a vulnerable population who need nurses with specific expertise. Our book provides professionals with a detailed overview and discussion of the scope of practice, and also gives them a comprehensive overview of what is expected in terms of professional competency for the specialty.”
The book address a wide spectrum of topics related to IDD care and also provides a history of the specialty.
“All nurses will provide for an individual with IDD at some point in their practice,” Nehring said. “But for those who want to specialize and provide health care for this unique population, it’s important to have added layers of expertise, because each individual will have unique needs. Coordinating interprofessional care is also an important component in achieving successful outcomes, so we emphasize the need for interprofessional partnerships, too.”
The ETSU College of Nursing is online at www.etsu.edu/nursing.