UoN student wins ‘Oscar’ for Learning Disability Nursing

Third year BSc Nursing for Learning Disabilities student Anna Johnson was inspired to train to be a nurse after working with children with learning disabilities at a nursery. She has received a major national award from the Nursing Times.

Anna was awarded Student Nurse of the Year 2018 in the Learning Disabilities category at a ceremony in London. The award recognizes excellence in nurse training.

Anna said: “My inspiration for a career with people with learning disabilities came from when I first started working at a mainstream nursery. A young boy started in the pre-school room where I was working. Staff gradually suspected that he had autism. I worked with a wide range of health professionals and a diagnosis was made within six months. Working with this young boy gave me a feeling of great achievement because I could support him to learn skills that would enable him to live a fulfilling life and achieve his potential.”

Anna’s winning submission to the Student Nursing Times awards was based on a survey she had conducted which highlighted the limited knowledge that student nurses from other fields have about learning disabilities. The data from the survey made clear the important role that learning disability student nurses and qualified nurses have in educating others about people with learning disabilities and what can be done to support them. A resulting website and Twitter account now promotes learning disability nursing as well as providing education about learning disabilities.

The Student Nursing Times Awards judging panel commented: “Anna is a true rising star, a future leader, compassionate and professional – everything we look for in a learning disability nurse.”

Anna concluded: “This new-found confidence will give me motivation to apply for future jobs. I will continue to strive to educate others in how to effectively provide outstanding care to those individuals with learning disabilities.”

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