The nurse’s role as specialist practitioner and social activist
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The nurse’s role as specialist practitioner and social activist

Fintan K Sheerin Lecturer in intellectual dsability nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dublin

Experiences of people with intellectual disabilities show ongoing marginalisation. Fintan Sheerin proposes how, through rights-based interventions, professionals can work collaboratively to reduce inequity

This article explores the rights-based agenda for social action by intellectual disability nurses working alongside people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland. The author discusses the rights issues raised by people involved in the participatory action movement, IDRights: Human Rights and People with Intellectual Disabilities. He suggests that such issues, derived not from the expertise of the nurse but from the experience of the person with intellectual disability, constitute rights-based focal points for collaborative social action interventions.

The author further proposes that this role of the nurse is a social action one that takes place outside the formal care setting. Although not informed by research but by participatory discussion, important pointers are presented for research and action, including a number of rights-based focal points that have emerged from collaborative discussion. These are structured according to criteria adopted by the International Classification for Nursing Practice and presented in the context of the United National Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities.

Learning Disability Practice. 14, 10,31-37. doi: 10.7748/ldp2011.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

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