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Everything you need to know about learning disability nursing

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Published: 19 June 2018

As a learning disability nurse, you can make a huge difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families. But what exactly does a learning disability nurse do? And what are their career prospects like? We answer these questions and more...

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What does a learning disability nurse do?

Learning disability nurses work to provide specialist healthcare and support to people with a learning disability, as well as their families and staff teams, to help them to achieve a fulfilling life. They support people from birth to the last years of life with a range of health issues including mental, physical and behavioural. Learning disability nurses have the skills, knowledge, care and compassion to support people and families through very complex health and social care systems.


Where do learning disability nurses work?

Learning disability nurses historically worked in large institutions but it has evolved to become a highly specialised profession. Nurses now work in specialist learning disability hospitals and community teams delivering complex health interventions to people with learning disabilities. 

Learning disability nurses are also employed in a number of clinical environments including acute hospital care, offender health, children and young people‚Äôs services, social care and residential settings.  


What are the career prospects of a learning disability nurse?

Learning disability nurses have the same career prospects, if not more, as other branches of nursing. There are opportunities to specialise and develop advanced clinical qualifications in psychological therapies, positive behaviour support, autism and mental health. Employment opportunities are available in the NHS, independent and private sector providers.

Nurses have used their professional qualifications to pursue careers in higher education, management and consultancy and research. 


Why should I train as a learning disability nurse?

Studying as a learning disability nurse at the University of Sunderland will give you the opportunity to embark on a rewarding career that is like no other in the nursing profession. It is a career that allows you to make a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families. 

When you qualify you will have the opportunity to seek employment and develop a rewarding career in a variety of clinical settings ranging from working with children with complex needs to supporting adults maintain independence in later life. 

At Sunderland, you will be led by an academic team who are experienced and leaders in the learning disability nursing field.