Featured Advice
What are your interests?



The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Intellectual Disability Nurse

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€27k > 43
Registered Intellectual Disability Nurse
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€27 - 43
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Despite a decline in employment, the demand for certain types of nursing skills has remained strong and has resulted in shortages. Work patterns and certain geographical locations are also impacting on recruitment and retention of nurses.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Nurses & Midwives

Also included in this category:

Practice nurses; psychiatric nurses; staff nurses; nurse (clinical specialists); nurse-tutors; midwives; matrons (medical services).

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 21%
Aged over 55: 17%
Male / Female: 7 / 93%
Non-Nationals: 11%
With Third Level: 97%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Tends to the special needs of people with intellectual disabilities, working in either residential or community services.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Liam Dowling
Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Liam is a qualified Nurse (CNM2) in the area of Intellectual Disability. He chose to change his career path from that of a qualified Butcher to Intellectual Disability Nursing in his early twenties, and completed a Degree programme. He now works in St Michael's house with people that have severe and  profound intellectual disabilities.
Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Learning Disabilities Nurse - from: icould [UK] Video

The Work header image

As an intellectual disability nurse you will work towards improving the self-esteem and interaction of clients, enabling them to develop successfully by introducing a purpose to their life.

You will also promote their emotional, physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual needs. You will encourage independence for those who are living in various settings, for example, community-based, residential, and family-based. Intellectual disability nursing provides a holistic approach to care, carried out in a therapeutic yet homely atmosphere.  
The challenge of the intellectual disability nurse is to identify the clients' abilities and to enable them to overcome/cope with their disabilities, thereby improving their quality of life. The intellectual disability nurse is involved in the day-to-day living of the individual's needs, including a wide range of activities: social, recreational, physical, arts, crafts, drama, to mention but a few. The work of the intellectual disability nurse involves using these activities as a therapeutic tool.  
In a day's work, the intellectual disability nurse could be involved in a whole range of caring interventions, from developing a programme to promote independence in feeding to caring for a very sick client confined to bed; and in between might go horse riding, swimming, or go shopping, assisting the client negotiate public transport, understand money, or choose an outfit. In the field of intellectual disability nursing, you will be working with people of all ages and abilities assessing patient's behaviour and psychological needs. Many clients will live at home and visit service centres daily; nurses will visit others at home. Some will require support only from time to time. Some will require continuous support in a supervised residential setting.  
Nurses (RNID) work in a wide range of areas such as:

  • Home based support and care  
  • Day care including assessments
  • Early intervention, pre-school and special education
  • Residential and respite care
  • Work in group homes
  • Community settings
  • Specialist settings
  • Vocational training, sheltered and supported employment
  • Pre-retirement settings
  • Palliative and hospice type care 

You will work along side all disciplines of the interdisciplinary team.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You need to be self aware and very interested in people's behaviour. The ability to remain non-judgemental and objective is an important aspect of the role. You will need to be sensitive and tolerant when caring for clients and their families.  
It challenges you and will touch your emotions, therefore you need to have the ability to deal with stressful situation and remain calm and composed.  
It is important to have excellent communication: to be perceptive of verbal communication, body language and sensitivity.

Entry Routesheader image

To work as a qualified nursing professional, you must first successfully complete a programme of nursing education, and then apply to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), the statutory body for regulation of the nursing profession in Ireland. 

1. Pre-Registration Degree Programmes Leading to Registration with NMBI

There are 5 pre-registration level nursing training programmes available, all of which are at Level 8 Honours Bachelor Degree, including the BSc in Intellectual Disability programme:

  • BSc in General Nursing (RGN) (4 Years Duration)
  • BSc in Children's and General Nursing (integrated) (4.5 years Duration)
  • BSc in Psychiatric Nursing (RPN) (4 Years Duration)
  • BSc in Intellectual Disability Nursing (RNID) (4 Years Duration)
  • BSc in Midwifery (4 Years Duration)

The programmes are offered through 13 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in association with the main Healthcare Agencies (Hospitals/Clinical Sites). Application is made through the CAO.

Intellectual Disability Nursing is available at:

DCU; Dundalk IT; Letterkenny IT; St. Angela's College Sligo; TCD; UCC; UL; Waterford IT.

Click here for course list.

Getting into Nursing Training

To get into a nursing training programme applicants must:

(a) have obtained  a minimum grade of C3 in two higher level papers and a minimum grade of D3 in four ordinary or higher level papers in the Leaving Certificate, in the following subjects:

  • Irish or English
  • Mathematics
  • A Laboratory Science subject (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Physics & Chemistry or Agricultural Science)
  • Three other subjects


(b) have achieved the equivalent minimum educational attainments to the Leaving Certificate, as judged by the Higher Education Authority(HEA)


(c) meet the minimum educational requirements specified by the third level institution (HEI) concerned, for entry to the course, provided the requirements are not of a lower standard than those set out in (a) above.

(Note: Foundation Level Mathematics or Foundation Level Irish are not acceptable). 

Alternative Entry Routes:

Certain Specific QQI Level 5 Certificate Programmes provide links to Nursing Degree Programmes. These currently are:

  • Nursing Studies (5M4349 / DCHSN)
  • Healthcare Support (5M4339 / DHSXXX)
  • Community and Health Services (5M4468 / DCHSX)

In all cases, applicants must have achieved distinctions in five components including;

  • Anatomy and Physiology (5N0749 / D20001)
  • Introduction to Nursing (5N4325 / D200012)
  • Human Growth and Development (5N1279 / D20032) or Biology (5N2746 / C20006)

See also: Getting into Nursing - Entry routes in Ireland and the UK

Always contact the Admissions Office of the individual HEIs or visit www.cao.ie or www.nursingcareers.ie to check for any changes.

For full detail see 'Nursing and Midwifery - A Career for You'

Last Updated: April, 2016

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Learning Disability Nurse - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Mental Health Nurse - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Nursing Careers Centre
Address: An Bord Altranais, 18/20 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Tel: (01) 639 8500
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO)
Address: The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7
Tel: (01) 664 0600
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
Tel: 01 635 2000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: An Bord Altranais/Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)
Address: 18-20 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin
Tel: (01) 639 8500 LoCall 1890 200 116
Email: Click here
Url Click here

Search for Jobs

Industry Expert

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Medical & Healthcare
Psychology & Social Care

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database


Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 1

Digital Healthcare
Letterkenny Institute of Technology - LYIT