An exciting project that we hope will produce a UK wide network of champions who will increase awareness of learning disability nursing as a career option. The project aims to increase the number of people applying to become a nurse and to help reduce the drop out rate of student learning disability nurses; often after being given negative comments about their future career prospects by their peers and qualified staff. These negative comments were discussed in more detail on a blog about the link between the Loch Ness and Learning Disability Nursing. From this blog came an amazing piece of work below by Kelly Swift. I have called the character Fiona for now, and it will be a constant reminder of the myths we need to dispel within learning disability nursing. This will be the character logo for the champions project and the keen eyed among you will see the tie in with the Strengthening the Commitment report and Positive Choices. I have called her Fiona as its a strong Scottish name (where Nessy lives) and it also pays homage to Fiona Law, the inspiration behind what the LDN team work around.
Fiona – Nursing Champions Character – c/o Kelly Swift
The project will run alongside the learningdisabilitynurse.com website, thus giving a portal for students to make an informed choice of future career paths. We aim for the project to increase the leadership skills of both student and qualified nurses and we will be giving a certificates of achievement signed by Helen Laverty and Prof Ruth Northway to add to their portfolio.
Volunteer Role Summary
Learning Disabilities Champions will be part of a UK wide network. The champions will promote awareness of learning disability nursing as a career option to potential new recruits of the future within their own local area, mainly colleges. The awareness presentations will be delivered to students undertaking a range of health and social care courses that may lead to them thinking of nursing as a career. Champions may also be asked on occasions to take part in other organisations campaigns on behalf of learningdisabilitynurse.com. One example of this may be to support a local nurse open day by a University.
The champions will deliver a short pre-designed presentation to potential nurses, answer any questions, signpost people to the learningdisabilitynurse.com website and to highlight possible local employers. Champions will also be giving talks to university students who are in their first few weeks of studying to be a nurse. This talk will showcase the range of support networks available to students via the university, social media sites and conferences such as Positive Choices. These talks will aim to reduce some of the anxieties of the student nurse by taking on the well known philosophy that “Together we are stronger ”
Key Responsibilities of Champions
1. Be an advocate for learning disability nursing , both as a career choice and as a profession
2. Act as an innovative and enthusiastic role model, providing leadership, guidance and advice to students, other health professionals and the general public.
3. Be part of the LearningDisabilityNurse.Com’s Champion’s Network Forum.
4. Ensure that any information on the specialty of learning disabilities nursing that they present is up to date for their local area.
5. Ensure that they keep within the NMC Code and their own University’s Code of conduct if applicable.
We aim to have at least one champion linked to every University that offers a RNLD course.
It is hoped that student nurses will be able to undertake this work as a part of their placement pathway and that university lecturers and mentors will see it as a positive aspect of student’s development.
We are aiming to build partnerships with organisations such as the NHS, RCN, BILD, NMC, Mencap, Jan-Net UK University Lecturers’ Network and leading employers of RNLD’s. The partnership we hope will lead to these organisations putting their logo onto certificates of achievement, flyers and support with marketing of local events.
So we need two things:
1. Volunteer champions to present at local colleges and to fellow student nurses.
2. A sponsor who would be willing to cover the cost of certificates and marketing materials. In return you would have logo on website, roller banner and marketing materials (approx £400 per year )
If you are keen on supporting the project then please contact us and we will get in touch asap. We are planning to have first presentations starting in Sept 15.