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Staff Nurse

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice

Area of Practice

  • Learning Disability Nursing


  • Hospital Care

Job/Role Summary

I work as a staff nurse in Lakeview Hospital which is for adults with learning disabilities who present with mental health and/or behaviours that challenge. On the ward I work as part of a multidisciplinary team to assess patient needs and develop appropriate treatment plans to improve mental health and/or manage behaviours that may be displayed. This includes working alongside professionals such as the Consultant Psychiatrist, the Social Worker, members of the Behavioural and Psychology team as well as Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) and the Dietician. As a nurse on an assessment and treatment ward it is my role to recognise and respond appropriately to mental health, physical and behavioural conditions.

In addition, I also assist patients, when required, with all activities in daily living and promote patient independence in these areas too. I also order, receive and administer medications in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code.


Specific qualifications and experience required

I qualified from Queen’s University Belfast in 2009 with BSc in Learning Disability Nursing. During my training from 2006-2009 I had many placements in Lakeview hospital within many settings including multiple complex needs, children’s and mental health. I also had placements in the community and Foyle View School as well as the Berryburn Centre.

In 2015 I also completed the module “Fundamentals of Forensic Nursing” which gave me an insight into services available for patients with learning disabilities who also have a forensic background.


Career Milestones

My career highlight would be how much I have developed as a person since qualifying as a Learning Disability nurse. As the years progressed I have become much more confident in managing behaviours which are challenging which is an important factor within Learning Disabilities Nursing.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

The patients I work with bring great enjoyment to my role as a Learning Disability nurse. To see a patient’s mental health improve or to see a reduction in incidents of behaviours which challenge brings me pleasure because it demonstrates that as a team we are actively helping improve the quality of life for the patient and their families.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

I would advise anyone considering this job to remember that learning disabilities is indeed a special branch of nursing and is not like any other branch of nursing. Working as a Learning Disability nurse has its challenges but ultimately it is a very rewarding job.


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