Nursing in the IDD Field

Health and Wellness, Staff Perspectives

Written by Sue Sproule, MPA, RN, Director of Nursing at The Arc of Monroe

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share about how special it is to work as a nurse supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Rewarding Career

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a nurse and caring for people with IDD is that we can build meaningful connections with the people we support. It’s unlike a hospital or family medicine environment where patients are constantly in and out, never staying (hopefully) for extended periods of time. Because we visit peoples’ homes on a consistent basis, we are able to really familiarize ourselves with how to best care for them. Working as an RN or LPN in a setting like The Arc of Monroe also allows for a great work-life balance compared to traditional healthcare settings because we are generally not working holidays, nights or weekends.

Supporting People with IDD

Caring for and supporting someone with a disability can present challenges as much as it is rewarding. It’s imperative to have empathy, compassion and patience as we navigate direct care, educating families and staff about care options and advocating for each person’s rights. No two people with a disability, even if they have the same diagnosis, are the same and require personalized care. It’s just like any other person or patient a nurse may help! Having an understanding of what certain disability diagnoses can present helps us find the right direction to move in as we decide how to best support people.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

This DD Awareness Month, I would encourage you to learn about what it’s like to support someone with a disability. The best way we can create an inclusive community is to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and express empathy for them. People with IDD are just like anyone else; they want respect, dignity and meaningful relationships. I’m proud to work at The Arc of Monroe where I can help contribute to improving their overall wellness and empowering people to care for others in a person-centered, respectful way.


Interested in learning more about a career working with people that The Arc of Monroe supports? Visit our nursing careers page or contact me to chat!

Sue Sproule is the Director of Nursing at The Arc of Monroe. She has 44 years of experience in nursing and four have been at The Arc of Monroe. To connect with Sue, email her at