Work Experiences of RNs with Physical Disabilities

Authors

  • Leslie Neal-Boylan PhD RN CRRN FNP-C,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD RN CRRN FNP-C, is an associate professor of nursing at Yale University, New Haven, CT.

  • Sharron E. Guillett PhD RN

    Associate Professor of Nursing, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD RN CRRN FNP-C, is an associate professor of nursing at Yale University, New Haven, CT.


  • Sharron E. Guillett, PhD RN, is associate professor of nursing at Marymount University in Arlington, VA.

leslie.neal-boylan@yale.edu.

guillett@marymount.edu.

Abstract

Registered nurses who consider themselves to be physically disabled were interviewed regarding their experiences. Nurses who interview other nurses for hire were also interviewed. Participants were gathered from Virginia, Maryland, and Maine. Data collection and analysis were conducted using a qualitative methodology. Findings indicated that nurses with physical disabilities are leaving the workplace, and employers are not typically making accommodations to permit nurses to work safely and effectively in the patient-care setting. Nurses often hide their disabilities because they fear being rejected for employment and being stigmatized by colleagues. Rehabilitation nurses are in an ideal position to lead the way to reduce discrimination against nurses with disabilities. Many themes emerged from the study and are discussed in this article.

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