In 1984, I embarked on my learning disability nursing career with very little knowledge about what I was doing. I’d left Pontypridd Polytechnic after completing a two year medical secretary course but ended up applying to do “mental handicap” nurse training. I had a family member who had a learning disability but back then I really had no idea what that meant: I naively thought that people with learning disabilities were people who had physical disabilities. However, my uncle taught me differently and showed me and my family how to live life to the full regardless of his disability.
Fast forward 30+ years, and I can say my journey as a learning disability nurse has been so rewarding, challenging, stressful, and sad at times but what a fabulous journey it has been. I have witnessed many changes in learning disability services, (for the better), changes in terminology used, changes in attitudes and nurse training and met some wonderful colleagues. I remember a nurse tutor telling me that I may not work as a nurse when I qualified as the hospitals were closing but assured me I would have a job somewhere. How wrong was he?
I have never ever regretted my training and truly feel proud to be a learning disability nurse and I am privileged to work with people who are simply inspiring and awesome. Learning disability nurses are unique, and passionate about the people they are there to support and really do make a difference. If you choose to enter learning disability nurse training you won’t be disappointed. My advice to future students is to enjoy the varied experiences and support available to you, and be the best that you can be because people with learning disabilities really do deserve the best.
Behaviour Nurse Specialist/ Team Lead - Powys Teaching Healthboard
If you think this may be the career for you, there are still spaces available to study BSc (hons) Nursing: Learning Disabilities at University of South Wales this September 2018.
For more information, please contact Rachel Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
n be because people with learning disabilities really do deserve the best.