Supporting people across the lifespan: the role and contribution of the learning disability nurse

Ruth Northway, Karen Cushing, Sharon Duffin, Tyler Payne, Pepsi Price, Kevin Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strengthening the Commitment, the Modernising Learning Disabilities Nursing Review, highlighted the importance of learning disability nurses providing support across the lifespan. This article describes an activity undertaken at the Living the Commitment Conference in Cardiff in November 2016, at which delegates were asked to identify the roles of learning disability nurses at different lifespan stages. The article examines the responses, which were thematically analysed, and highlights a range of support, some of which is provided across all lifespan stages, and some at specific periods. Responses also identified new and emerging roles across a range of settings, and the importance of influencing policy and commissioning of services. It is not possible to determine whether these roles are fulfilled across the UK, and the article recommends scoping these roles, and using the findings to inform development of learning disability nursing practice, education and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22 - 27
Number of pages6
JournalLearning Disability Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2017


  • learning disabilities
  • nursing
  • lifespan
  • nursing students
  • learning disability practice
  • roles


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