I would really like to go to university and pursue a BSc in either Mental Health Nursing or Learning Disabilities Nursing. I am passionate about learning disabilities such as severe autism and would like to go in to this field. The closest university to me has a Mental Health nursing course but not a Learning Disabilities Nursing course. Would it be possible to do a degree in Mental Health nursing and pursue opportunities to work with people with learning disabilities? Or should I look to another university to specifically go for a Learning Disabilities Nursing course? The Mental Health nursing course is like 3 miles from my house and the Learning Disabilities Nursing course is about 30 miles I believe.
Hi, I'm a student MH nurse and while there is a cross over with LD I really don't think we get enough training on supporting people with LD to be honest. I think if this is your passion I would look to see if you could study the LD branch if possible just because you are likely to enjoy it far more. However, I appreciate that there is a real issue right now with LD degrees closing and travel is a pain in the arse
Jobs wise I understand there is a big shortage of LD nurses so there is probably flexibility when it comes to recruitment particularly if you have other experience working with people with LD (I know this is often true for MH jobs due to MH nurse shortages), but that's going to depend a lot on the recruiting party and what they are looking for.
I would suggest a couple of things. Contact your local uni and ask them how LD is covered in the MH degree, including access to LD focused placements. Also contact some people in your dream jobs and ask them what they would be looking for when recruiting. Most places are desperate to recruit and so I'm sure they would be happy to have a quick chat with someone keen.
Also, one more thing. For the LD degree find out where their placements are. You will spend half your time in placement so you could find you end up having to travel much further or, if you are lucky, could end up much closer to home some of the time. This can make a huge difference.
I’m an adult RN and I would think that doing a general adult nursing degree would be better than Mental Health. I would imagine LD is a lot more clinical than MH as lots of patients would require help with toiletting issues, all types of feeding tubes, pressure area care etc.. I originally was going to go down the MH route but doing general was best decision I made as can lead onto all other doors much easier! Good luck! X