How to become a learning disability nurse
You can get into this job through a university course or an apprenticeship.
You can do a degree in learning disability nursing approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. You might be able to study another area of nursing alongside learning disability nursing on some degree courses.
You might be able to join the second year of a nursing degree if you already have a degree in:
- a health-related subject
- life sciences
- social work
Full-time courses usually take 3 years.
You might also be able to get a postgraduate qualification if you already have a relevant degree.
Integrated practice degree
You could qualify as a learning disabilities nurse and a social worker through an integrated practice degree. You'll need to check that the course is recognised by the relevant professional bodies for both roles. You can get advice on this from the course provider.
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 or 3 A levels, including a science, or a level 3 diploma or access to higher education in health, science or nursing
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You might be able to do a degree apprenticeship in nursing if you work in a healthcare setting like a hospital.
The degree apprenticeship takes around 4 years and is a mix of academic study and on-the-job training.
You'll need the support of your employer to do a degree apprenticeship.
To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
- you'll need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
You'll be expected to understand how the NHS values apply in your work when applying for a course or apprenticeship.