Joining a specialty nursing organization is the first step in becoming identified with the professional nursing community. 

It demonstrates your commitment to professional development and your dedication to the individuals you support.

Importantly, your participation in DDNA contributes to the collective voice of DD nursing, helping to define the specialty and direct the association in supporting nurses in this important area of nursing practice.  Through DDNA, you can pursue professional certification in the specialty, indicating significant experience and a high degree of expertise in IDD nursing practice.

Your participation also promotes of your choice of specialization, enhancing recognition by your colleagues, your employer, and other professionals as a member in your national nursing specialty association.

  • Nurses – $100 Open to all nurses who are interested or engaged in IDD nursing.
  • Students – $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 eligible for a student membership. Exception: LPNs who have returned to school full time to obtain their RN.
  • Associate – $125 This non-voting membership is open to all persons who are interested in IDD, but who are not nurses.
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  • 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.
  • Continuing Education: Access 20+ online DD nursing continuing education courses with DDNA U — continuing education accredited by the Ohio Board of Nursing.  Additional continuing education is offered throughout the year by DDNA or DDNA affiliates.
  • Career Advancement: Opportunities to join DDNA’s Education Council, Practice Council or Research Council to advance your career in DD nursing or expand your DD nursing expertise.
  • Online Networking: Member-only access to DDNA’s online nurse community on Facebook — Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association Member Community.
  • Association News: Member-only access to “DDNA News Network,” the association’s quarterly electronic newsletter.  Plus, access archived copies of the newsletter.  Newsletter content includes:
    • Association’s activities and events
    • News from its Board of Directors and Executive Management office
    • Articles of interest to DD nursing professionals and links to the most current DD nursing information
  • Network Locally: Information about local DD nursing groups is available to members.  These affiliates and networks provide local/regional meetings, events and educational programs at which members can network, learn and share their knowledge and experiences.
  • Online Resources: Member-only access to thousands of online resources in DD Nursing, with links to valuable DD information, all categorized and located in one convenient place.  Makes finding online information about DD nursing topics quick and easy.  Members are encouraged to submit useful links to DDNA.  
  • Member Discounts: Member-only reduced annual education conference registration rates! 
  • Certification Program: Eligibility to become certified in the specialty of DD nursing – for RNs and LPNs/LVNs!  Must meet eligibility criteria for certification application and renewal.  
  • Find a Job: Member-only – advertising in our classified section.
  • Board of Director Participation: Member-only eligibility to nominate candidates, vote and to run for an office on the DDNA Board of Directors.
  • Research Articles: Access to current and archived issues of the peer-reviewed “International Journal of Nursing in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.”
  • Be Heard & Seen: Representation in the Nursing Organization Alliance and annually at national conferences, such as: The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), and other many professional organizations.

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
  • 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 contact our 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
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