About DDNA


Incorporated in 1992, the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit nursing specialty organization that is committed to advocacy, education, and support for nurses who provide services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). DDNA believes that IDD nurses are the experts in this specialty area of nursing. Our goal is to foster the growth of nursing knowledge and expertise about optimal care of persons with IDD, thereby improving their care, services, and quality of life.

Thousands of DD nurses, student nurses, and supporters are united to promote high quality education, national recognition, and certification in this important, highly skilled area of nursing practice. DDNA's members share a common purpose -- to enhance developmental disabilities nursing practice through networking and education -- effecting positive change for persons with developmental disabilities locally, nationally, and globally. DDNA supports this common purpose by: offering continuously updated news relevant to the care of persons with IDD, with more than 1,400 references on its website; providing high-quality education in the form of conferences and online IDD-specific learning; promoting and supporting opportunities for professional networking among members through our regional chapters/networks and online; publishing a peer-reviewed scholarly online journal in IDD nursing; and offering certification in the specialty of IDD nursing to both RNs and LPN/LVNs via experience, examination, and continuing education.

Interested in Membership?

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).

Learn more about membership here.


Become Certified

DDNA offers both CDDN and DDC certification for nurses who qualify and pass an extensive exam. DDNA worked closely with Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) to formulate this specialty certification examination.

Learn more about certification here.