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What is a learning disability nurse?

A learning disability nurse provides support and care to people of all ages with learning disabilities, to help them lead independent, active and healthier lives. 

If you are looking to expand your skillset into the area of learning disability nursing or want to find out more about what they do – our comprehensive guide has you covered.  

What is the role of a learning disability nurse?

The role of a learning disability nurse is to ensure that the individual needs of adults and children with learning disabilities are met, supporting them to maintain their physical and mental health and helping them with daily activities. Learning disability nurses are required to teach individuals the skills they need to keep themselves healthy and maintain an active life by helping them to find work or attend college, socialise with friends or to be able to go on holidays.

What does a learning disability nurse do?

Learning disability nursing can be a challenging but rewarding career where you are able to help people live as independently as possible. You’ll often work as part of a team of social workers, GPs, occupational therapists, teachers, general practitioners, psychologists and speech and language therapists. All these professionals play a vital role in both health and care settings to support individuals and their families with learning disabilities. Typically, the role includes:

  • Assessing an individual’s health and social care needs
  • Coordinating healthcare reviews and plans with other health and social welfare professionals
  • Drawing up care plans and monitoring the implementation, tailoring where required to best suit the individual’s needs
  • Assisting with everyday tasks and basic practical skills such as attending appointments, food shopping and getting dressed
  • Providing support to relatives and discussing progress

Learning disability nurse FAQs

What qualifications do you need to become a learning disability nurse?

You must be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) to work as a learning disability nurse in the UK. A HNC in healthcare practice can lead you to an undergraduate pre-registration nursing degree which you can continue at university.

Entry requirements for students who are looking to enrol on an undergraduate degree in Ireland must have at least six subjects presented. Two subjects at a minimum of H5 and four other subjects at minimum grades 06/H7 with English and Irish a requirement for all programmes. Learn more about the learning disability nurse requirements to work with The Guild.

How much do learning disability nurses get paid?

A learning disability nurse in the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland will be paid in line with the NHS’s banded pay scale called an Agenda for Change (AFC) and usually starts at band 5 with a starting salary of £25,655 to £31,534. The more you develop and take on more responsibility, you’ll work your way up through the bands. The more experienced nurses at band 6 and 7 have salaries ranging from £32,306 to £40,057. [SR1] 

In the Republic of Ireland, the salary scale for a learning disability nurse ranges from €31,109 to €47,931 in line with the HSE. For salaries within the private sector of the Republic of Ireland, you can learn more about the hourly rates of pay provided to agency learning disability nurses working with The Guild.

Learning disability nurse roles available with The Guild

If you are interested in becoming a learning disability nurse, The Guild offer a wide range of roles in a variety of locations. We also provide training and development opportunities along with competitive pay as part of the multitude of benefits we offer. You can register online or find out more information by contacting our friendly and helpful team today.

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