Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers to enter, and more importantly it is a privilege. Learning Disability Nurses work with children and adults. As a specialist nurse you will be able to assess, plan and develop individual packages of care designed to provide the appropriate levels of physical, emotional and psychological care to meet the needs of children, young people and their families, while meeting the challenges of a changing healthcare environment.
This Masters degree provides the exciting opportunity for graduates to enter the nursing profession. You will gain a comprehensive education in nursing and develop into a confident, autonomous, compassionate and research-aware practitioner, specialising in learning disabilities nursing. The programme includes an innovative exploration of leadership and management in healthcare and will enable you to critically evaluate evidence to inform decision making and apply analytical and creative problem solving approaches to complex situations. You will be fully equipped with the skills, knowledge and practical experience required to deliver excellent care as a modern-day nursing professional.
Year 1 provides the opportunity to achieve national generic and field specific competency outcomes. These include professional values, communication and interpersonal skills, nursing practice, decision making, leadership, management and team working. The programme will immerse you in health promotion, prevention strategies and best practice for service users and their families. A comprehensive introduction will also be provided to the research process.
Year 2 continues the development of field-specific competencies, with a particular focus on person-centred holistic care for individuals with learning disabilities and complex needs. In addition to this, you will develop the leadership and management skills required for the transition to professional practice.
This programme adheres closely to the NHS’ six core values. These values, enshrined within the NHS Constitution, have been developed by patients, the public and staff to inspire passion in the NHS, guide it in the 21st century, and provide common ground for cooperation in achieving shared aspirations. Further information about the core values can be found at http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england.
You will be taught using a combination of seminars, lectures, tutorials, work-based learning and technology enhanced learning. The theory part of the programme is delivered during the normal working week (Monday to Friday).
You will spend 50% of your time in practice which will be undertaken in hospitals and community settings within the NHS, local authority, independent and voluntary organisations. You will be supported by a practice placement mentor/supervisor and a practice education facilitator.
Placements include weekend, early morning, evening and night work to ensure access to a full range of practice experiences across 24 hour care. There may also be the opportunity to undertake a practice learning experience outside the region, either within the United Kingdom or internationally.
Assessment in both theory and practice is continuous, assessed against national outcomes and generic and field competencies, with students required to demonstrate evidence of their achievement. A range of assessment of theory procedures is in place including assignments, seminar presentations, advanced notice examinations, online learning activities, case studies and portfolio work.
All lectures are delivered by professionals within the field of nursing as well as specialists in other areas. The pathway team represent a range of qualified, research-active professionals with extensive experience of working within the health and/or social care sector. Most importantly service users, carers and their families will be involved in facilitating learning so that an understanding is gained about the impact care has on individual groups.
The complex and dynamic landscape of modern nursing requires nurses who can work creatively and innovatively, who can lead and inspire, who can make decisions in challenging situations and who can contribute to the advancement of nursing.
Career opportunities are excellent. NMC registration is recognised the world over and following registration as a Learning Disabilities Nurse, you can pursue a career in a variety of settings including residential homes, supported living and employment and assessment and treatment units, as well as specialist child and adult learning disabilities teams in the community. Increasingly, qualified learning disabilities nurses are acquiring posts within mainstream services, such as acute trusts, prisons and criminal liaison teams as health facilitators and specialist advisors to support people with learning disabilities.