Continuing professional development opportunities for learning disability nurses - elearning for healthcare
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Continuing professional development opportunities for learning disability nurses

Kieron Bradshaw, 1 November 2023
An image of a person looking after a patient with a learning disability

This year, Learning Disability Nurses Day is a double celebration for us as it also marks six months since the launch of a bespoke training package for learning disability nurses called the Learning Disability Nursing CPD Award.

The response to the training so far has been brilliant as almost 2,000 people have already registered to use it. If you haven’t already tried it, you can access the training for free on the NHS Learning Hub and we hope that it will support you in your career. We want the training to be as meaningful and valuable as possible for you, so please do complete the evaluation survey at the end of the training as well, to let us know what you think of it.

Covering the core principles of the profession, the training aims to help resolve any gaps in knowledge that colleagues already practicing may have; and it can also be used as an introduction to learning disability nursing for any healthcare professional with an interest in the area. The training can also help prepare you for specialising in key areas as it includes modules on inpatient settings, community, forensic and intensive support settings, as well as primary and acute care liaison.

This fantastic step forward is part of work to advance a dedicated career structure for learning disability nursing. The training supports the delivery of the All England Plan for Learning Disability Nursing, and aims to support those thinking about a career in this profession, as well as those in training and those currently working as a learning disability nurse.

Learning disability nurses are one of the most diverse and adaptable professional groups, working in a variety of settings and roles, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you for the care and support that you provide every day.

Discussing the training, David Harling, National Deputy Director for Learning Disability Nursing at NHS England, said:

“The launch of the new Learning Disability Nursing Continuing Professional Development Award signals an important marker in both the evolution and investment in our profession. For over 100 years learning disability nurses have been providing expert care to people with learning disabilities and their families, and the advent of this programme will enable them to further their knowledge and skills.

“The programme has been created by learning disability nurses working in a variety of specialist areas of care and we hope it will become one of requisite benchmarks supporting specific roles, be this within job descriptions or as part of the learning disability nursing career framework.”

Ellie Gordon, Senior Nurse; Autism, Learning Disability and Mental Health at NHS England, said:

 “It has been a real pleasure to be part of this piece of work. Collaborating with learning disability nurses to progress from an ‘ask’ to a programme of continuing professional development that not only supports knowledge development, but also provides tools and resources to enhance nursing specific skills.

“When we first launched the All England plan for Learning disability nursing back in 2020, we had a clear vision that we not only needed to attract more people into learning disability nursing, but we also needed to develop those nurses who specialised in this area. We also knew that to develop such specialist nurses we would have to develop something that really spoke to nurses and nursing, and which showed how much we value and appreciate all that these great nurses do. I really feel that with this training we have started to do just that, and I look forward to continuing to work with learning disability nurses to develop and grow this great profession.”

Access the training

You can find out more and access the training now on the NHS Learning Hub.

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