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What is a Learning Disability Nurse?

A Learning Disability Nurse supports the wellbeing and social inclusion of people with learning disabilities to reach their full potential, achieve an equitable quality of life, and be valued in society.

Learning Disability Nurses care for people of all ages with a learning disability and work in partnership with individuals, supporters, family and carers to provide specialist healthcare.

Is Learning Disability Nursing the right career for me?

There are many reasons why you should consider a career as a Learning Disability Nurse. It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility, and a career with excellent employment prospects.

Are you:

  • Caring
  • Good with people
  • Have a strong value base
  • Able to relate well with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Able to work of part of the multidisciplinary (MDT) team as well as having the ability to use your own initiative
  • Able to communicate well with others

What do Learning Disability Nurses do?

The main areas of your role as a Learning Disability Nurse involve:

  • Improving or maintaining a person’s physical and mental health
  • Reducing barriers to them living an independent life
  • Supporting the person in living a fulfilling life
  • Advocating

Learning Disability Nurses promote individuals autonomy, rights, choices, and their social inclusion in the health care system.

Where do Learning Disability Nurses work?

Learning Disability nurses work in:

  • People’s own homes
  • Communities
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Universities (teaching)
  • ...anywhere that people with learning disabilities are

What roles do Learning Disability Nurses undertake?

Learning Disability Nurses can work in the following roles:

  • Community Learning Disability Nurses
  • Behaviour Specialists
  • Specialist Epilepsy Nurses
  • Inpatient Learning Disability Nurses
  • Learning Disability Hospital Liaison Nurses
  • Specialist Safeguarding Nurses
  • Learning Disability Practice Development Nurse
  • Learning Disability Practitioner lecturer roles
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner roles
  • Head of Learning Disability Nursing
  • Learning Disability Nurse Consultants
  • Learning Disability Unit Nurse Director
  • Service Management roles

How much do Learning Disability Nurses earn?

In the NHS, an entry level Registered Learning Disability Nurse would start at Band 5; please see our Pay and Benefits section for more information.

What career progression opportunities are available for Learning Disability Nurses?

Once you have registered and gained some clinical experience there are a number of employment options available including:

  • Clinical Lead
  • Nurse Lecturer in a university
  • Inpatient Unit/Ward Manager
  • Community Learning Disability Team Lead
  • Nurse Consultant
  • Research/Service Development Nurse
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner
  • Senior Nurse Manager

How do I become a Learning Disability Nurse?

Do I need a degree? Yes, If you want to work as a Learning Disability Nurse you will need to complete a Learning Disability Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved course.
Where can I train in Wales? Visit our Courses page to find out more.
Is there funding available? Yes, for further information about available funding and eligibility please visit Student Awards Services.
How do I get experience? To find out about work experience and volunteering opportunities in NHS Wales visit our Work section.
How do I apply for a job? All vacancies for NHS Wales are advertised on NHS Jobs; visit our Work section for more information.

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