I chose to go into learning disability nursing after working for several years supporting young adults with disabilities in a college of further education. I loved this job and working with my students to achieve their goals, however I became increasingly frustrated with how little I felt could do in that capacity to help improve their lives. I was supporting people with a wide range of physical and mental health issues and while I sometimes saw students achieve more than anyone had thought possible, my training in that role focused on helping them to attain qualifications that often were not what they wanted to do, were not attainable for them or would not help them achieve more in life. Many of my students would talk to me about the problems they faced outside of college and worried about what they would do when the courses available to them ran out, and I felt powerless to help.
I discovered that learning disability nursing existed and that it is a role in which you have an opportunity to support the person as a whole. I decided to apply, was lucky enough to be accepted and have never been happier with a decision. While it has been three of the most challenging years of my life studying to become a nurse it has also been by far the most rewarding. As a student I have had the chance to work in a wide range of roles and I have met some of the most inspirational people who have taught me so much about life as well as nursing.
I feel strongly that learning disability nursing is one of the most fulfilling careers available. As I qualify and start work at a mental health ward for people with autism and learning disabilities I feel I am in a position to act as a real advocate for people, supporting them in making positive changes and in getting the most out of all areas of their lives. I would recommend this course to anyone who cares about and wants to do more for people with learning disabilities because of the positive changes you can make in their lives and also for the positive changes it will make in yours.
Sarah Wildblood (Newly Qualfied Nurse)
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: