Message from Lynne Watson Disability Matters Consortium member:
The Open University has, for many years, run a nursing programme for health care assistants to train as registered nurses (adult or mental health nursing) whilst they work part time as HCA’s. It is now looking into running the same format but for learning disability nursing.
Message from Sheila Counihan, Lecturer in Nursing, Open University:
I work as a lecturer in nursing with the Open University (OU) and I have recently been asked to explore the possibility of developing a Learning Disability Nursing programme at the OU. At the present time, we deliver a BSc Nursing programme for students in the fields of Adult and Mental Health practice and these programmes are doing very well. With small numbers of students on the LD pragramme, several HE providers have found the programme unsustainable and have ceased recruiting new students. Because we at the OU have a UK-wide reach and our programmes are delivered online, we can more easily attain sustainable numbers of students and we are planning to begin the LD programme in Sept 2019.
All of our nursing students comprise of healthcare support workers who are supported on to the programme by their employers and they study part-time over four years. The students we recruit will need to be currently working in LD services so in that sense we will not be ‘targeting’ the full time students who would attend other universities.
If you are interested in finding out more about the learning disabilities nursing programme, please get in touch, I will be delighted to discuss it with you.
Sheila V Counihan
Lecturer in Nursing
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
The Open University, Horlock Buklding, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA