This paper reports on the development and outcomes of professional
training programmes in England in which undergraduates jointly qualify in learning disability nursing and social work . Drawing on evidence from a national study carried out as part of a doctoral research thesis, it explores the influence of this training on practitioners who graduated from five universities. Questions about the professional identity of graduates are discussed and the relevance of joint training to interprofessional practice is evaluated. Data was collected through a survey administered through the universities to their ex-graduates followed by semi-structured interviews with graduates working in learning disability services. The results suggest that graduates have a holistic, inter-professional orientation towards practice and hold a breadth of knowledge and skills. Some skills gaps were identified at the point of qualification as well as the dilemma of having to choose between two professions. The paper makes reference to the work of Bernstein (2000) to situate joint training in a newly created region of knowledge and a new professional space between two disciplines.
|Keywords:||Joint Training, Interprofessional Education, Learning Disability Nursing, Social Work, Professional Identity|
Professional Lead for Social Work, School of Health and Social Care, University of Greenwich, London, UK
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