Nurses with sensory disabilities: their perceptions and characteristics

A survey design was used to explore the perceptions and characteristics of registered nurses (RNs) with sensory disabilities and their risk for leaving their jobs. An earlier study found that nurses with disabilities are leaving nursing and that employers do not appear to support these nurses. Work instability and the mismatch between a nurse's perceptions of his or her ability and the demands of their work increase risk for job retention problems. This study's convenience sample of U.S. RNs had hearing, vision, or communication disabilities. Participants completed a demographic form, three U.S. Census questions, and the Nurse-Work Instability Survey. Hospital nurses were three times more likely to be at risk for retention problems. Nurses with hearing disabilities were frustrated at work. Hearing difficulties increased with years spent working as a nurse. Many nurses with sensory disabilities have left nursing. Early intervention may prevent work instability and increase retention, and rehabilitation nurses are ideally positioned to lead early intervention programs.

Neal-Boylan L, Fennie K, Baldauf-Wagner S. Nurses with sensory disabilities: their perceptions and characteristics. Rehabil Nurs. 2011 Jan-Feb;36(1):25-31.
PMID: 21290962

Access the full article here (PDF).


  1. "Many nurses with sensory disabilities have left nursing."- This is a sad reality we have to face, but one that cannot be avoided and is, to certain extent, necessary. Sensory disabilities in several professions is not encouraged, which perhaps is the case for hospitals and nurses.

    hearing centre

  2. Sensory disability affects the level of care they provide. It's about maintaining health standards in their job.


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