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RNMH or is it RNLD now? Any learning disability nurses here please?

(12 Posts)
YcLaT Sat 18-Jul-09 20:01:08

I let my registration slip in 1996 in order to have my family.
Thinking about rekindling my career, any advice please.
Are nurses still needed with this qualification, or is it worth retraining in order to have a duel qualification?
I haven't used my brain in years.

twinklytoes Sun 19-Jul-09 22:01:15

signing in.

it will all depend on where you live and where you want to work (nhs or private)

jobs in the nhs are few and far between. some of my colleagues are still in their support worker posts despite being qualified (funded through work) after two years. however, they are being picky and not looking outside of their current place of work.

companies like care principles are expanding and are always after staff. there can be a huge turnover of staff because of the stress.

our uni will put rnld;s through the return to nursing course but don't know how popular it is.

I'm not dual registered yet - have chosen to have my children rather than do the course. However, I will be doing it in Jan 11 if I can get the funding. Yes, there is still aplace for LD's but I'm not sure for how much longer. I want to be dual-registered a) because I work with LD with associated MH, b) regularly use the MHact, c) selfishly think that I need to keep all career options open in case we loose LD services to private sector (a current threat in our area at the moment) and I want to work for the nhs.

It also depends what you want to do - if you want to work in a nurse-led environment then yes you would have to do the return to practice course but you never know the prospective employer may fund this. If you wanted to work in residential as a manager then you would / should get these roles without initially renewing your course (the diploma / degree aspect would be enough to get these roles)

twinklytoes Sun 19-Jul-09 22:05:16

currently 24 active posts on nhs jobs website for the whole country. so not that good.

also since 96 pay scales have changed, so based on the info you have given, you would need to look at band 5 roles.

wrinklytum Sun 19-Jul-09 22:11:29

Just looked at this out of interest as have daughter with LD and am shock at those statistics- only 24 LD jobs IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY!!!!

also very sad about lots of qualified LD nurses still being in support worker role.

I had not realised that LD speciality had been so decimated for training etc.Am a adult rn and when I trained many moons ago there was still plenty of places on LD section of course but these seem to have shrunk

Good luck with your career YcLaT.

twinklytoes Sun 19-Jul-09 22:31:38

wrinklytum - that is nhs jobs only. unfortunately services are so often placed into the private sector.

our uni struggles to get the minimum students each year even with promoting the course and making it more attractive.

our trust for example provides community nurses to the under 18's but respite services, challenging behaviour assessment and treatment, specialist autism etc etc is all provided by charities or private sector.

YcLaT Mon 20-Jul-09 13:01:34

Thankyou wrinkly and twinkle.
I would like to work for NHS, i have previously worked by privately and for Social services. I will need take my existing skills, i think, and update in a new role. Not sure that i want to go into a management role.

twinklytoes Mon 20-Jul-09 21:17:09

Yclat - why don't you approach your local nhs services and enquire about doing bank shifts as a support worker. you might have to register with nhs professionals to do this as not all trusts will offer 0 hour contracts now. See how you get on and whether you want to return? If you make a good enough impression they may then just put you through the return to practice course.

good luck grin

YcLaT Tue 21-Jul-09 21:22:34

Thanks twinklytoes, good idea to get my foot in the door, so to speak.
Thankyou for your advice

sheenaisapunkrocker Thu 30-Jul-09 16:21:15


I've only just found this thread, so hope that you find this message.

Yes, it is true that there are currently fewer jobs for RNLDs (ie jobs with the title "nurse" within the NHS) than in the past due to the current (correct) policy of social care, however, I really believe that we are on the cusp of another change.

Due to some hard hitting reports and investigations in recent years (Sutton and Merton abuse case; Mencap's Death by Indifference and subsequent independent inquiry by Sir Jonathan Michael to name but a few) there is a growing recognition that LD nurses are a valuable commodity. In particualr, mainstream health services are waking up to the fact that people with learning diasabilities get a raw deal in secondary care and targets are being set to address these inequalities.

If you have a look in your area, you might find that there are posts being created for hospital liaison nurses or health facilitators (or similar ilk). Alternatively, community teams for LD might be expanding to provide this extra support. Community teams should be able to tell you what's going on if you give them a ring for an informal chat.

These sort of posts would make it well worth returning to practice; as would an interest in assessment and treatment services for behavioural distress. However, if social care (e.g day opportunities/supported living/short break services) are more your thing, then you may well find work without re-registering (as someone has already said).

RNLDs are always under threat, but this is nothing new to us, we just move on to the next policy and continue our work regardless smile

If it helps, the NMC reviewed nurse education last year with a view to doing away with the 4 branches and instead delivering a generic training programme with post qualifying specialities. However, due to the overwhelming response from members during the consultation period(particularly from the smaller branches such as LD), the NMC decided to keep the 4 branches. The only change to training is the committment to move to an all graduate profession over the next few years, which might be worth thinking about.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck. LD is a brilliant field to work in.

twinklytoes Sat 01-Aug-09 22:38:05

sheena - you must be a lecturer. I'd love a post as a hospital liasion nurse. dreamed of this for the last 10yrs since supporting my lecturer with her PHD research of the experiences of hospital for the LD population. nothing so specific has ever come up though - the community nurses just work three times as hard sad

sheenaisapunkrocker Sun 02-Aug-09 14:46:41

Sounds as thought the "nursing" bit of LD services is more your bag. Keep your ear to the ground as this is an expanding area and seems to vary massivley between areas. Perhaps a foot in the door on a nursing bank might provide access to opportunities and would give you some of the experience that would be asked for when the right post comes up.

As an example, a friend of mine has just landed her dream job as a modern matron for complex needs in an acute trust. She worked her way towards this by getting experience in complex needs nursing homes & day services, then worked in generic palliative care services for a couple of years.

She now hopes to secure funding for band 5 or 6 posts (old D/E grade RNLDs) to support her matron role with the hands on stuff on the wards, as she has been quickly swamped with work.

Other areas are doing things a bit differently and creating liaison roles first - but hospitals are being asked to provide strategies for supporting the most vulnerable people.

Maybe this will give you some hope, although it is just a question of time now and being in the right place when opportunities come up.

Good luck once again.

sheenaisapunkrocker Sun 02-Aug-09 14:54:34

As an add on, if you wan to look at some recent policy & guidance for LD, which should give you an idea of current thinking and direction, then I can recommend Valuing People Now (DH 2009 for latest Dept Health strategy for LD and Good practice for LD nurses (DH 2007)

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