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Course starts: 19 September 2022Apply now
The BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing course 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:
|High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade: SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement||GPA 3.0 or above and: Sat score of 1100/1600 from SATs AP (Grades 3+ in at least 2 subjects) ACT (score of 26+)|
If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, you can take one of the foundation pathways at our partners ONCAMPUS Sunderland. Find out more information and whether your course is eligible on our ONCAMPUS page.
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at email@example.com for further advice.
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 Learning Disability Nursing Practice Admissions Tutor and if successful you will be shortlisted for interview.
The selection process will include an individual interview and a group activity 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.
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
Medical assessments of your mental and physical health and disclosure of criminal convictions apply to all nursing courses and are based on current NMC requirements. Nurses are registered health care professionals and the ability to practise safely, effectively and professionally is essential, so all applicants are required to follow our fitness to practise procedures. This means you are required to complete the following:
Instructions on how you complete these checks will be sent to you 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. If you are successful, you will also need to complete an annual declaration form to confirm you are fit and there are no changes to your DBS.
We require international applicants to meet the equivalent UK entry requirements and IELTS with a minimum of 6.5 in each element with an overall score of 7. To be eligible for an interview, you must currently have attained an overall IELTS score of at least 7 with 6.5 in each element.
Covid vaccination requirements
Please be aware, to gain entry onto this course you must have received at least two doses of the Covid 19 vaccination. This is a government requirement set out to all universities by the Department of Health and Social Care. If you have not been vaccinated against Covid 19 you must be able to prove medical exemption by the means of an NHS Covid 19 Pass. You can find out more about this requirement in our Help and Advice section.
Annual fees for September 2022 intake:
Please note that September entry is not open to international students.
*European Union (EU), EEA (European Economic Area) and Swiss nationals who do not qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme are classed as international, however, for 22/23 admission you will receive a European student fee scholarship and will pay the home tuition fee rate for the duration of your studies. The discounted fee will be reflected in your offer letter. Learn more in our Help and Advice article.
A non-repayable grant of £5,000 and extra payments worth up to £3,000 is available to eligible home students for each year of study. Read more about the Training Grant on The NHS Business Services Authority 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.
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. As a key worker 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 (£24,907) 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 8b/8c bands (£53,168 - £63,751).
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:
Your first placement will take place in the first term, after ten weeks of teaching.
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 Trust. During your placements, you will be assigned Practice Assessors and Practice Supervisors who will directly assess and 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 about the NHS Learning Support Fund.
Do I need work experience?
Given the current Covid-19 pandemic we appreciate that it is not possible to obtain work experience in the health or caring environment. As an alternative we would recommend that you investigate the field of nursing you are interested in through online resources, professional body websites and healthcare organisations so you can demonstrate a clear understanding of the role.
What should I include in my personal statement?
Your personal statement provides a unique opportunity to express your personal qualities and attributes related to a rewarding career in nursing. The statement should include a clear articulation of:
For more advice on your personal statement please read our article on how to write a personal statement when you have no work experience.
What does a nursing interview involve?
Our interviews are currently taking place online via Microsoft Teams. They will consist of an individual interview and group activity. For advice on how to prepare please read our article on how to prepare for online interviews for healthcare degrees. Interviews start in late November and will run until the summer.
How many weeks holiday is there each year?
You will have seven weeks of holiday a year, with two weeks at Christmas. The remaining five weeks is spread across the rest of the academic year. The timings of the holidays will vary over the three years and we do try where possible to align some of these to the school holidays. You are unable to take holiday outside of these set times, but you will be provided with a three year plan on enrolment.
How far will I have to travel for my placements?
As part of the interview you will be asked to rank your preferred Trusts. This will be confirmed once you start the course. Please note it is not possible to guarantee your first choice. We would recommend that prior to your interview you consider your preferred Trust. During the three years all your placements will then take place in various locations within that Trust so the travel distance will vary.
How long are the placement shifts?
Your standard working week will be around 37.5 hours on a shift pattern which can include nights, early starts, evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Shifts can be between 7- 12 hours and the shift pattern can vary between Trusts. Your shifts will be confirmed four weeks prior to starting your placement. It is not possible to fit placements around school hours and holidays.
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