Membership


Join DDNA Today

Who can join DDNA?

Membership in DDNA is open to any registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or licensed vocational nurse who holds a current license and who supports the goals and objectives of the association. DDNA also welcomes physicians, dentists, and other professionals who have an interest in the care and support of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Do you know someone who would like more information on DDNA, but who does not have easy access to the Internet? We will mail information about joining DDNA, including a registration form, in an attractive brochure. Download a PDF of the brochure.


What does DDNA membership offer?

  • Promotion of your choice of specialization in IDD nursing and recognition by your colleagues, your employer, and other professionals as a member in your national specialty association.
  • A pathway to chapters and networks, locally and nationally, where you can meet with other knowledgeable, interested nurses who serve persons with IDD.
  • An annual education conference that offers top quality continuing education in IDD nursing, and that also provides a forum to network with colleagues from a wide range of geographical and practice settings.
  • A certification process that recognizes a nurse's experience in IDD and validates his or her IDD-specific knowledge and critical thinking ability via a certification examination. The certification process is ongoing and requires continuing work experience and education in the specialty of IDD nursing. Certified nurses improve the quality of services provided to individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Enhancement of professional esteem as an IDD nurse through recognition of the specialty. Joining your specialty nursing organization is the first step in becoming identified with the professional nursing community.
  • Coordination of reference and resource information critical to IDD nursing practice. Nurses organized for a common purpose effect change and enhance the level of IDD nursing practice nationwide.


Member benefits

  • Seventy hours of free interactive online courses in IDD nursing worth $400 and included in your $80.00 membership. This education can be used towards your CDDN or DDC certification requirements and is available free to members only. Here is a list and descriptions of courses offered.
  • Member-only access to "DDNA News Network," the association's quarterly electronic newsletter. Archived copies of the newsletter are available to all website visitors, but only members have access to current issues. The newsletter includes information on the association's activities, and news from its Board of Directors and Executive Management office. Also included in the newsletter are articles of interest to IDD nursing professionals and links to the most current IDD nursing information
  • Information about DDNA Chapters and Networks on a map of the United States on our Chapter/Network page. Find your state on the map and click on it. These chapters and networks provide local/regional meetings and educational programs at which members can learn and share. You will get information about where and when IDD nurses in your state are meeting and holding local conferences, as well as reports on their other activities.If there is no chapter convenient to where you live and work, DDNA will be delighted to send you information about starting one.
  • Member-only access to Online Resources in IDD Nursing, with links to 1,400+ valuable IDD information resources, all categorized and located in one convenient place. Makes finding online information about IDD nursing topics quick and easy. Members are encouraged to submit useful links to DDNA.
  • Online annual education conference registration -- with reduced conference registration fees for DDNA members. No forms to fill out and mail in! View information about the conference hotel and register for your discounted hotel room online. Select the break-out sessions that you want to attend online! Learn about special conference events at which you can network with other IDD nurses from all over the United States and Canada.
  • Member-only - free advertising in our classified section.
  • Member-only eligibility to nominate candidates and to run for an office on the DDNA Board of Directors.
  • Representation in the Nursing Organization Alliance and other professional organizations.
  • Membership renewal reminders by email, with the ability to renew right away online -- or at your convenience. Nothing to mail in!
  • Free download of CDDN and DDC certification applications and renewal applications from the DDNA website, with automatic reminders of your renewal dates by email.
  • Access to DDNA's social networking sites, which enable you to connect both socially and professionally with others who are interested in IDD nursing.
  • Access to current and archived issues of the peer-reviewed "International Journal of Nursing in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities."

Mission statement

As nurses in the specialized field of intellectual and developmental disabilities, our mission is to continually develop our expertise to assure the highest quality of life for the people we support throughout their lifespan.

The Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA) exists to provide opportunities for exploration of common issues and concerns, education, and professional recognition to those nurses involved in the lives of persons with IDD.

We seek to accomplish this mission by adhering to the following goals:

  1. Promote standards for the enhancement of nursing practice in the field of IDD;
  2. Serve as a resource for new developments in IDD nursing practice and support mutual sharing of information and views that foster growth of the profession;
  3. Serve as a liaison to other professional organizations that directly or indirectly address the field of IDD;
  4. Sponsor quality educational programs oriented toward an advanced scope of practice in IDD nursing;
  5. Act as the governing body responsible for administering and managing all aspects of professional certification in IDD nursing;
  6. Promote and support IDD nursing certification on an international level, requiring continuing education and certification renewal.

Ethical guidelines

In addition to accepting responsibility for developing expertise in IDD nursing practice through self development and continuing education, DDNA members adhere to a set of ethical guidelines.

  • Contributes significantly to the services provided to persons with IDD, with respect for the uniqueness of the person and human dignity;
  • Accepts responsibility for developing expertise in IDD nursing practice through self development and continuing education;
  • Recognizes the rights of persons with IDD, acts as an advocate, and strives to ensure that the rights are protected;
  • Promotes and maintains a safe environment that enhances the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the person;
  • Maintains confidentiality at all levels in accordance with professional standards of practice, agency guidelines and state and federal law;
  • Makes contributions from the nursing perspective, while recognizing the collaborative nature and unique role of the interdisciplinary team in providing quality services for persons with IDD;
  • Commits to making contributions to the development of innovative ideas for nursing practice in the specialty of IDD nursing;
  • Serves as a resource to prepare other team members, including direct support professionals,

Member categories

Regular Member - $80
Open to all nurses who are interested or engaged in IDD nursing.
Student Member - $40
Open to full-time undergraduate nursing students. Written proof of full-time status in an undergraduate nursing education program is required for this discount. If you are a licensed nurse, you are not a full-time undergraduate nursing student. Exception: LPNs who have returned to school fulltime to obtain their RN.
Associate Member - $100
Open to all persons who are interested in IDD, but who are not nurses.
Retired Member - $40
Open to all nurses 65 years and older who are interested in IDD nursing and have retired from nursing. Please call DDNA to join or renew your membership.
Corporate Member - $2000
These are special nonvoting memberships open to companies and organizations that wish to support the goals and mission of DDNA. These members receive preferential exhibit placement and special recognition at the DDNA conference. Membership is extended to a single organizational designee who receives one full registration for the DDNA conference, as well as full access to member benefits.
Charter Member - $50
Charter members are the founding members of DDNA.




Effective communication policy

  • Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA) is committed to providing equal access to all persons with disabilities, including conference attendees, students, and others.
  • To ensure effective communication in connection with dissemination of information, DDNA provides qualified sign language, oral interpreters and other auxillary aides and services, free of charge, for conference attendees, students, and other individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision.
  • To request auxiliary aids or services, please call Mary Alice Willis, Executive Director, at (800) 888-6733.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. People who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind, or have low vision have the right under ADA to request auxiliary aids and services to ensure communications. For more information about the ADA, call the Department of Justice's toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TY) or visit the ADA Home Page at www.ada.gov.