Step 2 of 6 - Qualifications for certification


Certification eligibility

To apply for certification, you must meet the practice (work experience) requirement described below.


Practice (work experience) requirement

To apply for certification, you must meet the following criteria for the Practice (Work Experience) Requirement: a minimum of four thousand (4,000) hours of active developmental disabilities nursing practice as a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, or Licensed Vocational Nurse within the immediate previous 60 months (five years). Practice experience hours prior to this will not be considered.  Please note:  If you have worked as an LPN/LVN and are now an RN and wish to sit for the RN certification exam, you must have 4,000 hours of active practice as an RN before you are eligible to sit for the CDDN exam.  Hours worked as an LPN/LVN do not meet this requirement of active practice as an RN.

The Practice (Work Experience) Requirement may be met with experience in the following roles:

  1. Practicing nurse in developmental disabilities in an institutional or community setting;
  2. Nurse administrator in a developmental disabilities program;
  3. Nurse educator in a developmental disabilities program;
  4. Nurse consultant in developmental disabilities;
  5. Nurse practicing in the expanded role in an IDD institutional or community setting, including nurse practitioners.

Special circumstances

The diversified role of the nurse in all facets of developmental disabilities practice is recognized by DDNA, and nurses practicing in any role other than those listed above will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Consideration will be given to information submitted by the applicant (in job descriptions and program brochures) to verify that the experience meets the DDNA certification practice requirement.

Please note: Caring for a family member with IDD in the home, whether paid or unpaid, does not meet the work experience hours requirement.