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Case Study

Danielle Lee-Shield

Durham, UK

BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing Practice


After re-starting sixth form, Danielle Lee-Shield found the new subjects she’d chosen suited her more. Through them, she was able to access work experience at an SEN school and from this placement decided that becoming a Learning Disability Nurse was the right path for her. She is currently undecided about the area she wants to work in after graduation but has enjoyed her community placements so far.

At sixth form I had started out studying History, Biology, Maths and Psychology, but had to restart after my first year and chose Health and Social Care, and Sociology instead. I enjoyed these subjects a lot more and this is where I got the opportunity to access work experience. I completed 100 hours work experience within an SEN school, in an Autistic Specific classroom and loved the experience so much I continued to volunteer there for the two years I was at sixth form. It was from this placement that I decided I wanted to work with individuals with Learning Disabilities. I did briefly look at teaching, however nursing appealed to me more and so I decided Learning Disability Nursing was the right path for me.

Sunderland is very close to my home and as soon as I walked on campus at an Open Day, I knew this was where I wanted to go. Staff were very helpful, both over the phone and in person, and very welcoming. It was overall a relaxing and friendly environment. I had looked at other universities in order to ensure I was certain about my choice, but I felt that the ones I looked at weren’t as welcoming or as informative as Sunderland.

The teaching staff are always available to help and more than willing to provide support, should you need it. Even if it is just somebody to talk to, they are there and happy to listen. The lectures are informative and I love that all the presentations are accessible outside of university, as it allows me to go back over areas that I feel I need to spend more time on. Another great aspect is the library and the space it offers. It has plenty of computers, quiet work spaces should you want silent work away from others, a large variety of books, and study rooms which prove significantly useful for group work. Not to mention the little coffee shop, which is definitely a necessary part of student life!

I have loved every second of being at the University of Sunderland (even the assignments!), and couldn’t imagine studying anywhere else. The cafés are great and the food is amazing, there’s always something for everybody and the prices are reasonable. The campus is very spacious and has plenty of space for you to sit or wander around.

I’m currently undecided about what area I want to work in but I’m hoping that once I’ve been on all of my placements I’ll have more of an idea. I’ve loved the community placements and quite like the idea of working with children, or in a prison, but I am keeping an open mind for now as there are so many opportunities out there.

I’ve loved every second and each opportunity provided so far. Studying BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing at the University of Sunderland is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Published 27 May 2020

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