RCN Peer Support Service - Information for students

If you are studying to be a nurse, or thinking about doing so, and you have an impairment and/or consider yourself to be disabled, this page is for you. 

Universities are generally well versed in how to support students with impairments, and often have Disability Support Officers or equivalent who can work with you to identify and put in place the support you need to have equal access to your course of study.

In general, the student members who contact the Peer Support Service don’t have access issues in the academic setting, but on placement. 

This is for a variety of reasons including:

  • Student’s fear about disclosing their disability;
  • The way information is shared between university and placement;
  • Lack of knowledge about how to support colleagues with disabilities amongst placement staff;
  • Incorrect assumptions about the implications of a disability for being able to perform a nursing role.

However, in reality:

  • Students with impairments can, and do, complete nursing degrees and go on to work as nurses.
  • A diverse cohort brings benefits for all as student with protected characteristics bring valuable lived experience, increased resilience and resourcefulness.

Have you had a great reasonable adjustments experience on placement? Perhaps you had to navigate systems to get what you need and your experience can help others. If you have a success story to share, please fill in our form.

You can also send questions and suggestions  to peer.support@rcn.org.uk

Join Peer Support

Joining is quick and easy. Just complete this online form

Share a success story

If you have a success story that you'd like to share, please fill in our form

Guidance for students affected by disability on placements



Reasonable adjustments case study: Dyslexia

After initially struggling with academic assignments and organisational skills, Kate was referred to Student Services for additional support, and was later diagnosed with dyslexia. 

Read about the adjustments and support put in place to help her thrive.

Reasonable adjustments case study: Depression

Liam didn't want to disclose his depression on placement, but when his mood and energy levels dipped, he felt unable to attend his shifts.

Upon meeting with the Disability Liaison Tutor, adjustments were put in place to help Liam succeed.