In October the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will finalise arrangements for revalidation for nurses in the UK. The information we will need to submit has been available for months with pilot sites successfully completing all parts.
One section that has changes is continuous professional development (CPD). Nurses will need to demonstrate at least 40 hours of learning and at least 20 must be attended. Some nurses see this as potentially problematic – how will they access that amount of attended training when they have, in part, been unable to get time off work for even a single study day in the past, and funding has not been forthcoming? E-learning isn’t always the best way to learn.
The answer is to see revalidation as an opportunity. It is in my nature to see the positive side of things and this gives nurses a reason to engage employers in their professional development.
Revalidation is essential for nurses to remain active on the NMC register and adequate attended learning is an essential part of the revalidation process. Therefore, it is in any employer’s interest to make sure their staff fulfil the requirements of revalidation and continue to work. Use revalidation as an excellent negotiation tool for attending some of the fantastic conferences and study sessions available. How else can we keep up to date with the latest guidelines and research and apply it to our practice?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, for example, have released draft guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. Within these guidelines is the recommendation that we use fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) testing as part of routine asthma care. However, little is known about this technology in primary care. We need to be finding out about these changes for ourselves and our patients. Conferences are excellent opportunities to get up to date with new evidence and guidelines and see how it can be applied to the care given to patients at practice level, the PCRS-UK annual conference in October is an example of one. All too often research findings and new guidelines can feel too detached from the day job. A day and a half of attended, good quality, relevant respiratory education towards your total in one hit! If I were a respiratory patient I would want to know that my nurse was up to date with the latest care and medicines, and well educated. Wouldn’t you?
Carol Stonham is the expert blogger for the Nursing in Practice respiratory resource centre. She is a senior nurse practitioner working at Minchinhampton Surgery in Stroud, which is part of Goucestershire CCG. She has worked for many years as a practice nurse specialising in respiratory care and is also the nurse lead for the Primary Care Respiratory Society UK, a UK wide society for primary care health professionals keen to deliver high value patient-centred respiratory care.
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