Editorial

The crisis facing learning disability nursing, is, sadly, all too real

Making a pitch for learning disability nursing

If you were to pitch to win a contract to market learning disability nursing that will attract hundreds of new recruits what would you do? What would you emphasise to make it an attractive proposition?

The chance to make a difference, an ability to change someone’s life for the better, a chance to tackle discrimination and being an advocate for a group of people who are some of the most vulnerable in society, a chance to improve services and pursue a varied career where no two days will be the same… 

These are just some of the opportunities on offer and yet learning disability nursing is facing a crisis: in terms of the numbers of people employed as registered nurses and in attracting those who want to study to pursue it as a career.

There are other factors at play of course: the scrapping of the bursary in England, which is discouraging mature students – who traditionally have been attracted to the field of practice – in particular. There are also wider issues which are hitting nursing as a profession and making it less attractive – pay, unsociable hours, the cost of renting and buying a house – to name but a few.

However, what I know from the short time that I have been editor of this journal is that learning disability nurses are among the most passionate and dedicated of healthcare professionals. You know why you are doing what you do and you want the best for those in your care. This is evident in everything you say, do and write. 

There is concern for the future of learning disability nursing and this is reflected in our coverage this month in news and opinion.

Elsewhere, however, we also feature all that is good and varied about what you do. It’s a new year so let’s celebrate it.

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