Ten years ago my life was changed dramatically, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl who was later on in life diagnosed with autism. I also have a step-brother who has autism. I suppose, at times it has been a difficult road to get the help we have needed as a family with children with additional needs, and I expect there to be some difficult times ahead. However, I truly believe that the battles I have faced as a carer, as a mother, as a sister have fuelled my desire to want to change things and essentially make a difference.
I want to make a difference not just for my daughter but for others as well. I decided to become a support worker, I was lucky enough to work for the National Autistic Society, and thoroughly enjoyed this role. I especially enjoyed promoting independence with the individuals I worked with...However, I wanted more...
I have always wanted to be a nurse, but there never seemed to be a 'right time' and I worried about balancing family life. Nevertheless, I attended an Open Day at USW in June 2018. During the Open Day I had an opportunity to speak to a Learning Disability Nurse Lecturer, and I could see the same desire and passion to make a difference that I possess. I asked lots of questions, and I attended a talk about Learning Disability Nursing - I just knew this course was for me!
Fast forward to September 2018, and I am one week in to the Learning DIsability Nursing degree programme, and I have completed my induction. I have to say that choosing Learning Disability Nursing was the best decision I could have made.
If you are thinking about Learning Disability Nursing or have a desire to do more, then please attend an Open Day and talk to the lecturers, honestly, it will be the best decision you will make.
Victoria Gibson (1st year student nurse at USW)
You can train to become a Learning Disability Nurse at University of South Wales, you can find more information on the USW website: https://www.southwales.ac.uk/courses/bachelor-of-nursing-honslearning-disabilities/
You can also contact Rachel Morgan - Specialist Lead for Learning Disability Nursing via email: