Learning Disability Nursing with Jodie

Jodie Tocher is a second-year Learning Disability Nursing student. We spoke to her about why she chose to study at Edinburgh Napier University and her experience of the course so far.


“The staff are enthusiastic to teach you and that makes the difference."

In her own words:

Why did you choose to study Learning Disability Nursing at Edinburgh Napier University?

Jodie: When I left high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. I kind of wanted to go into caring and I also wanted to do history. Those were my two passions. 

So when I left school I went to college for a year and ended up working for Scottish Autism while I was doing an Open University History degree. But I loved what I was doing at Scottish Autism and knew it was for me, and then I started looking into roles and finding out about nursing and different things you could do. 

I chose to study at Edinburgh Napier University because it has won awards. The staff are brilliant, the facilities are really good, up-to-date. The staff are enthusiastic to teach you and that makes the difference; they’re enthusiastic and excited to teach us – we’re excited to be taught. 

What makes Learning Disability nurses different to other fields of nursing? 

Jodie: A lot of people, when they think of nurses, they think of the nurse in the ward, giving out medicine, carrying out the clinical aspects. That’s a small part of my role. My role is being in the community, being that listening ear, being that voice and advocate. Image of Jodie Tocher in the shelter with Andrew

What is the difference between practical and theory on the course?

Jodie: The difference between practical and theory on this course is that it’s split 50/50. So fifty per cent of the time we are in out in practice, on placement, and the other half we’re at the university doing the academic work. 

I was worried about the academic work. I’d been out of education for a little while. I’m also dyslexic, and it’s something that I shouldn’t have worried about. When you arrive here, you get a personal development tutor and mine has been brilliant for me. 

What advice would you give to anyone considering Learning Disability Nursing?

Jodie: If you’re wanting to find out a bit more about Learning Disability Nursing, get in contact with the University, they will have so much open to you. 

And then there’s students like myself, and everyone else on the course. We’re more than happy to talk to students. I’ve given out my email to potential students at Open Day. We’re here for you if you want to have a chat or if you want a tour around the university. We want to get people on our course.

If you’re thinking about it, it is a career for you, you wouldn’t think about it if it’s not. So, just go for it! Trust yourself.