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Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now
The BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing will lead to registration as a qualified nurse in the care of those with learning disabilities in which there is a dearth of experienced and effective practitioners.
You will graduate ready to actively participate and engage with a cutting-edge workforce delivering caring, compassionate and restorative interventions to those with a learning disability. As a critical thinker, you will deliver effective and sincere person-centred care based upon a contemporary evidence-base, which will be administered and applied within a spectrum of clinical skills to include physical health monitoring and promotion, and positive mental wellbeing.
You will be competent and confident in working with and supporting a ‘whole-systems’ approach in diverse settings, ensuring the mental well-being of families and carers with a relative who has a learning disability.
We use various methods of teaching including:
Assessment methods include written reports, essays, examinations, oral presentations, portfolios, clinical reflection diary, competency log, patient care plan and case studies.
Develop the required skills for evidence-based practice. Build upon existing study skills required to meet the academic requirements of the course. Gain insight into engagement with learning styles, teaching methods and the assessment process. Practice using source materials for the purpose of referencing and citation. Present work to a variety of audiences, for example; peers, academic staff, practice colleagues and Patient, Carer, Public Involvement (PCPI) participants.
Learn through a systems-based approach to anatomy and physiology, psychology and microbiology using patient journeys as illustrations to enhance learning. Explore human health and wellbeing in the context of Public Health and symptoms of disease. Learn to communicate complex medical terminology to both colleagues and patients in an understandable manner through engagement in discussions of practice experiences with both peers and Patient Carer, Public Involvement (PCPI) participants.
Develop your understanding of the physiological processes, anatomical and cognitive structures of the human body beginning at a molecular and cellular level and culminating in a complete overview of organs and systems. Explore overarching themes in anatomy, physiology pathophysiology, and neurology supported by taught sessions that facilitate inquiry-based learning.
Explore the core skills of nursing and take a holistic view of the individual focusing on health promotion, comprehensive assessment and the application of evidence-based practice. Understand models of reflective practice to support learning and professional development while supporting the development of building effective relationships with clients and others involved in the provision of healthcare. Focus on three core elements that reflect the competence, professionalism and underpinning knowledge which characterise a high-quality nursing workforce which underpins the values base of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Gain necessary psychomotor skills to perform the core and essential skills of nursing practice through interactive clinical skills sessions with PCPIs in our Living Lab and Mental Health and Wellbeing Suite. Explore the consequences of error and negligence in a risk-free environment through considerable simulated experience.
Apply theoretical components to clinical practice. Study models of reflective practice together with an overview of interprofessional working. Gain experience and insight into lived patient experience. Understand the importance of respecting an individual’s autonomy and right to make decisions about their own health and wellbeing.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Develop an understanding of the key issues related to healthcare practice informed by the best available evidence to support shared decision making. Explore the nature of evidence available to inform practice and discuss sourcing the evidence for practice. Gain critical appraisal skills and debate how best available evidence can be integrated into healthcare practice and healthcare policy. Explore the nature of knowledge and how this underpins nursing and healthcare practice. Debate the ethical issues that underpin best practice including consent and risk management. Use a range of research methods and explore their merits and appropriate use. Explore the nature of clinical judgment and research integration.
Gain knowledge of major pathological and physiological changes in the human body, occurring as a result of common diseases, and disease processes. Explore the manifestations, impacts and interventions of illness and disease. Build on your foundational knowledge of physical and human sciences and explore altered pathological and physiological change. Use a range of teaching and learning strategies to explore the impact of these changes and define the implications for nursing practice. Study co-morbidity and medico pharmaceutical treatments and modalities in order to enhance wellbeing and recovery, within the context of ethical and professional frameworks.
Develop knowledge and the application of nursing practice interventions to provide evidence-based, safe, and compassionate physical and psychological care. Effectively assess, plan and implement care and demonstrate a range of nursing interventions. Develop skills and knowledge to formulate a nursing plan of care and undertake observations and clinical interventions with less direct supervision.
Attend formal sessions which explore the evidence base of nursing practice, the range and hierarchy of evidence for particular healthcare issues. On this basis, select a particular area in your field of nursing. Develop your ability to make informed use of published research and other sources of evidence and information in order to apply findings to enhance practice; enabling your production of an independent, negotiated project that analyses an aspect of your discipline.
Develop knowledge and understanding in self-awareness, improving healthcare and working with others. Gain an understanding of key leadership theories and models. Explore your application to healthcare and reflect on your personal strengths along with areas for development. Explore the role of service improvement techniques, approaches in service provision and development to improve healthcare, developing an understanding of clinical governance. Consider roles and responsibilities of all professionals alongside the values of team work in interprofessional care.
Explore carer and user perspectives in interprofessional care settings to illuminate personal experiences of interprofessional care. Explore the challenges of shared decision making in interprofessional practice through interactive workshop sessions. Study ethical issues in the context of interprofessional working to drive discussion and debate and gain insight into challenges faced from a variety of professional viewpoints. Study the impact of information technology, healthcare informatics and issues in transcultural healthcare provision.
Develop your knowledge and application of nursing to practice within a range of clinical settings. Study care provision across the human lifespan including the health and wellbeing continuum. Learn biological, psychological and sociological theory in the context of person-centred care. Focus on individuals with complex health needs with emphasis on the concept of co-morbidity and the implications for care this entails. Explore pharmacological principles and concordance.
Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent, which should preferably include a Health or Science related subject. Please note we do not accept General Studies AS or A Level.
Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator.
We also require at least five passes at GCSE grade C or above which must include Mathematics and English Language or equivalent. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.
Please note we are unable to accept applications from outside of the EU. You can find other acceptable qualifications in our Applying help and advice articles.
Your completed application form will be reviewed by our Admissions Team to ensure that you have the required entry qualifications. If you meet these requirements, then your application will be individually assessed by the Adult Nursing Practice Admissions Tutor and if successful you will be shortlisted for interview.
The selection process will include an individual interview and two group activities which will assess you on your values, problem solving and communication skills.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL): This is available to applicants who meet the course-specific APL requirements. It may apply to applicants who wish to transfer their NMC approved nursing studies from another university where they have achieved 120 credits at Level 4.
Access: We would be looking for a combination of merit and distinctions in your level 3 units which should preferably include some units in a Health or a Science related subject. We also require a minimum of grade C in maths and English language or equivalent. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.
Fitness to Practise: Nursing is a registered health care profession for which the ability to practise safely and effectively and professionally is essential, so all nursing applicants will be subjected to Fitness to Practise procedures.
This means you are required to complete two self-declaration forms, one about your health and the other about your conduct. For UK students you will also be required to obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If you are successful, you will also need to complete these self-declaration forms on an annual basis for the duration of the course.
A Fitness to Practise information pack containing the relevant documents will be sent to you by the University of Sunderland once you hold a conditional firm offer with us. These forms are then reviewed alongside your application, and you must meet both the academic and fitness to practise requirements before you will be given an unconditional offer.
These checks enable us to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain activities including the nursing practice placements. The University will take into account current NMC regulations and do all it can to accommodate the needs of undergraduate adult nursing candidates who declare a specific learning difficulty.
In addition, you will also be required to attend a full occupational health screening.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
Please apply via UCAS using the UCAS code B7S6. At interview, you will be asked to rank your preferred Trust, which will then be confirmed once you start the course.
The full-time, annual fee for this course is:
Please note we are not presently accepting international applicants for this course.
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.
From September 2020, a non-repayable grant of £5,000 and extra payments worth up to £3,000 will be available to eligible students for each year of study. Read more on the NHS website.
If you currently serve (or have recently served) within the Armed Forces, then the Ministry of Defence's ELCAS scheme may be able to help cover your funding for this course. For more information, see our Funding for Armed Forces personnel page.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Successful completion of the course will lead to registration with the NMC as a qualified learning disability nurse, enabling you to apply for graduate learning disability nursing posts available within the NHS, voluntary and private sector services in the UK.
Learning Disability Nursing is a specialised and rewarding career, supporting individuals, their families and carers in meeting their health and wellbeing needs. Learning disabilities can affect an individual across the whole of their life course, from paediatrics to elderly care. Learning disability nurses will enjoy an enriched and challenging career working with multi-professional groups in areas where the client is in need such as clients homes, schools, community-based teams, specialist hospital care, liaison teams, crisis and intervention teams, forensic services including prisons and specialist Autism services in the community and in a hospital setting.
Learning Disability Nurses are also key to facilitating the care and treatment of people with a learning disability across the health and social care sector. Upon qualifying, learning disability nurses will commence on an NHS band 5 (£22,128) and will have the opportunity for career progression to more advanced roles such as an Approved Clinician which can attract salaries up to NHS band 8 (£47,092 - £56,665).
The NMC requires that all graduate nursing courses consist of a balance of 50:50 of theoretical university-based learning and clinical placements, which will be within the partnering NHS organisations associated with this course. At all levels of the course, you will undertake unpaid clinical placements in hospitals and the community. The placements occur in blocks of varying duration, there are two blocks in year 1 and three blocks in years 2 and 3. You will undertake your placements at one of our partner trusts: Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation Trusts. During your placements, you will be assigned a Clinical Mentor who will directly supervise you as well as acting as a means of support and guidance. As you may be expected to travel long distances, start your shift in the early hours, or finish your shift late at night, you could be entitled to Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses (TDAE) which allows you to make a retrospective claim for excess travel costs and/or expenses for temporary accommodation near to the location of your placement. Find out more from the Learning Support Fund (LSF).
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