Over 500 nurses in New Jersey responded to a survey on education and training in the area of developmental disabilities. Respondents provided information on their work experience, experience with patients who have developmental disabilities, and opportunities for continuing medical education. Results showed that although many nurses thought educational activities related to developmental disabilities were important, only about 10% said that they received “a lot” of training. Most respondents (almost 60%) said that they received little or no training in the area, and most received no specific training on developmental disabilities since receiving their licenses or in their current job. Implications of these findings in light of the movement of people with developmental disabilities into community-living and managed care plans are discussed.
This survey project was conceived by the Health Care Committee of the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council and carried out by the Princeton Survey Research Associates, Inc., of Princeton, NJ. We acknowledge the assistance of Rachel Hickson, who served as the liaison with the Council's Planning Committee for guidance in this process, and Carolyn Miller of Princeton Survey Research Associates, Inc., who managed the data collection, major analyses, and development of the resulting project report Survey of New Jersey Nurses—Final Report. We also acknowledge the insight and support of former and current members of the Health Care Committee of the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council. The content of this paper reflects the views of the authors and does not imply any specific policy or position on the part of the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council or the employers of the authors.