Wednesday, October 21, 2020

9:15 AM – 10:45 AM

Primary Presenter:  Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD, APRN, CRRN, FAAN – Family Nurse Practitioner, Pentucket Medical Express Care

Background: The prevalence of nursing students with disabilities is increasing.  In 2016, approximately 12.8 percent of non-institutionalized people of all ages living in the United States reported having a disability. In that year, approximately 19% of people with a high school diploma or its equivalent reported a disability (Erickson, Lee, & Von Schrader, 2017). In 2011-2012, 11% of undergraduates in postsecondary schools reported having a disability (United States Department of Education, 2016).

Purpose: To explore whether perceptions of faculty regarding nursing students with disabilities has changed over time.

Method: An integrative review of peer-reviewed literature written in English was conducted.  CINAHL, PubMed, and Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) were searched. The date range spanned from 2008 to 2018. The type of peer reviewed literature was not specified. The integrative review method (Russell, 2005) was used to frame the review.

Results: A total of 170 articles met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. Two authors reviewed the content of the literature and separately developed their own interpretations. Faculty penalize students with illnesses or disabilities. Dahl (2010) found that faculty were using a medical model to assess the capabilities of nursing students with disabilities and were unaware of their own discriminatory practices. While faculty expressed positive attitudes toward nursing students with disabilities, prospective students who could not hide their disabilities were being discriminated against and denied admission (Aaberg, 2012). Misinformation and misunderstanding regarding the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act (2008) has led to inadvertent and unintended discrimination. Interestingly, nurse educators and preceptors expressed positive attitudes about supporting students while expressing a lack of confidence in providing accommodations (L'Ecuyer, 2014; May, 2014).

Conclusions and Implications: Nursing faculty continue to have misperceptions about their responsibilities to students with disabilities based on the law. The literature indicates that discriminatory practices with prospective and current students continue. Increased awareness of these discriminatory practices is important to protect student rights and prevent legal consequences for faculty and schools of nursing.

Learning Objectives:

  • To analyze issues pertaining to nursing students with disabilities.
  • To describe what has changed since 2008 regarding nursing students with disabilities.
  • To analyze the implications of the research, including noncompliance with the ADA.

Meeting Link: ARN REACH 2020