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Learning Disability Nursing

Use this guide to find information resources about learning disability nursing including books, reports and journal articles.

Last updated: 13/06/2024

Key Resources

Adults with incapacity: forms and guidance (Scottish government)
The Learning Disabilities Review Programme (LeDeR) (2022) Annual report. Bristol: LeDeR
Mental capacity act (Northern Ireland) 2016.
NHS England (2018) Stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both (STOMP).
Reasonable adjustments for people with a learning disability (2018) GOV.UK.
Royal College of Nursing - Clinical topics in learning disabilities.
Royal College of Nursing (2021) Connecting for change: for the future of learning disability nursing. London: RCN
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (2021) Eating and drinking with acknowledged risks: multidisciplinary team guidance for the shared decision-making process (adults).
  • Eating and drinking with acknowledged risks refers to the decision to continue eating and drinking despite the associated risks from having dysphagia. These risks may refer to aspiration, malnutrition, dehydration and choking. This publication is endorsed by the RCN.
    View page
Skills for Health (2019) Capabilities frameworks. Supporting autistic people and/or people with a learning disability.
Taggart L, Tripp H, Conder J, Whitehead L, Scott J, Rouse L, Redquest B, Lunsky Y and Truesdale M. (2021) International consensus guidelines: reasonable adjustments in the management of type 2 diabetes in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD): Health Special Interest Research Group.


National Autistic Society, Amazing Things Happen by Alexander Amelines. 
We would like to thank the RCN Learning Disability Nursing member community for their input into the development of this subject guide.


Book cover Baker P and Osgood T (2019) Understanding and responding to behaviour that challenges in intellectual disabilities: a handbook for those that provide support. 2nd edn. Shoreham by Sea: Pavilion Publishing.
Alt Barber C (2022) Learning disabilities: a non-specialist introduction for nursing, health and social care. Banbury: Lantern Publishing.
Book Cover Barr O and Bates B (eds.) (2019) Oxford handbook of learning and intellectual disability nursing. 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Book cover Frankish P (2019) Trauma-informed care in intellectual disability: a self-study guide for health and social care support staff. Shoreham by Sea: Pavilion Publishing.
Book Cover Hemmings C (2018) Mental health in intellectual disabilities: a complete introduction to assessment, intervention, care and support. 5th edn. Hove: Pavilion Publishing.
Book Cover Heslop P and Hebron C (2020) Promoting the health and well-being of people with learning disabilities. Cham: Springer.
Book cover Humphrey S (editor) (2021) Learning disability placements: a pocket guide. Banbury: Lantern
Book Cover Jones V (2019) Working with people with learning disabilities: systemic approaches. London: Red Globe Press.
book cover Mafuba K and Gates B (eds) (2023) Learning and intellectual disability nursing practice. 2nd edn. London: Routledge. 
Book Cover Moulster G, Iorizzo J, Ames S, and Kernohan J (eds.) (2019) The Moulster and Griffiths nursing model: a framework for learning disability nursing practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Book cover Northway R and Hopes P (2022) Learning disability nursing: developing professional practice. St Albans: Critical Publishing
Book cover Sheerin F and Doyle C (eds.) (2023) Intellectual disabilities: health and social care across the lifespan. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Book subject searches


A history of care or control? RCN Learning disability exhibition. RCN exhibition: A history of care or control? 100 years of learning disability nursing
  • This exhibition traces the fascinating origins and journey of learning disability nursing, from institutionalised care, through urgent changes in the twentieth century, to supporting people to live independent, fulfilling lives today.
    View online exhibition

Nursing History Collection

Book Cover Dale P (2006) Mental illness and learning disability since 1850: finding a place for mental disorder in the United Kingdom. London: Routledge.
Jukes M (2009) Learning disability nursing practice: origins, perspectives and practice. London: Quay.

Special collections

Our Permanent Collection consists of nursing specific core items and rare items. It is viewable by appointment at the RCN Library and Museum. Here is a small selection of items from our collection.
Gibson F (1958) Mental deficiency nursing. London: Faber and Faber.
Hallas C H (1978) The care and training of the mentally handicapped: a manual for the caring professions. Bristol: John Wright.
Royal Medico-Psychological Association (1931) Manual for mental deficiency nurses. London: Bailliere, Tindall and Cox.


The RCN Archive contains some of the most important collections dedicated to the history of the nursing profession in the UK. Visitors by appointment in Edinburgh.

This subject guide relates to:

RCN library staff

Lee Kattenhorn

Editor of this guide

RCN Library and Museum

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Page last updated - 13/06/2024