Role of a learning disability nursing network in developing students’ skills
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Role of a learning disability nursing network in developing students’ skills

Ruth Liann Hirst Community Learning Disability Nurse, Intensive Support Team, Learning Disability Division, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Partnership Trust, Birmingham, England
Julie Irvine Learning Disability Nurse, Mental Health Intensive Support and Treatment team, Learning Disability Service, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, Scotland

Why you should read this article
  • To enhance your awareness of how online networking can enhance your practice

  • To gain knowledge of the benefits of using social media for nursing students and nurses

  • To understand how being a member of a professional network group can provide learning disability nursing students with opportunities to develop and practise leadership skills

Changes in health and social care, the complex health needs of the learning disability population and diversification of learning disability nursing roles have led to an increased need for professional networking. This can assist nurses and nursing students in communicating effectively with each other, developing professional connections and sharing optimal practice and expertise worldwide.

This article describes the experience of a group of learning disability nursing students who collaborated with the Scottish Learning Disability Nursing Network steering group to promote online networking among their peers and nurses. It also outlines the role of the learning disability nursing students in this collaboration and how it has enhanced their leadership skills, as well as describing the benefits of professional online networking.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e1991

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Hirst RL, Irvine J (2020) Role of a learning disability nursing network in developing students’ skills. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e1991

Published online: 16 January 2020

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