Staff profile

Joanne Skellern

Senior Lecturer in Nursing (Learning Disabilities)

Joanne Skellern in a classroom.




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Nursing and Midwifery




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer in Learning Disability Nursing and I am passionate about ensuring people with learning disabilities maintain their holistic health and wellbeing and live their lives as fully and independently as possible. This involves:

Teaching responsibilities

I am currently part of the MSc Pre-registration nursing programme team and the programme leader for the MSc Nursing (Learning Disabilities) with registration programme. I am also involved in teaching on the BSc(hons) nursing programmes.


Research interests

I am interested in all research areas relevant to people with a learning disability. After completing my MSc dissertation in 2008 exploring the subject of violence and aggression within learning disability services, I have continued to conduct further research into this area.

I am also particularly interested in service provision and the involvement of people with learning disabilities in the design and delivery of health and social care services and education.

Membership of professional bodies

I am registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a learning disability nurse (1996) and a nurse teacher (2009).

I am an expert committee member of the Health Research Authority National Reseach Ethics Service (HRA NRES).

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a member of the Royal College of Nursing. 



Recent conferences

In the last few years, I have presented at many different conferences in the UK and across Europe on the subject of violence and aggression and how this is understood by people with learning disabilities and the health and social care professionals working in learning disability services.

In 2014, I organised and chaired the 2nd Conference on Intellectual Disability and Criminal Justice at the University of Chester which brought together key stakeholders from a variety of disciplines to discuss the achievements and challenges faced by people with a learning disability who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

More recently, I have been involved in organising and presenting at conferences celebrating 100 years of learning disability nursing, examining the past, discussing the present and planning for the future of our unique profession. 

Experience in industry

Prior to becoming a lecturer, I worked in a range of learning disability service settings including:


International experience

European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS) Summer School Graduate (2014)

Additional interests and activities

This is an exciting time to be a nurse as we celebrate 100 years of learning disability nursing and 2020 has been declared as 'The year of the nurse and midwife' by the World Health Organisation in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. For further information about how we are celebrating and raising awareness, please visit Uni Learning Disability Nursing Rocks! 

Recent publications

In 2015, I had the privilege of being the guest editor of a special edition of the Journal of Intellectual Disability and Offending Behaviour (JIDOB). I used this opportunity to work with a range of clinical practice partners to produce the "Intellectual Disabilities: Nursing" edition which was published in June 2016. The special edition is available at:

Other journal articles include:

Book chapters:

Conference proceedings: