Two years ago it was decided that nursing registration needed to change and, after feedback from the pilot sites, The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has confirmed the new requirements that will start from April 2016.
In a nutshell: revalidation now requires evidence to support the declarations we make in our three-yearly re-registration that links our practice to the NMC Code. The process encourages a culture of reflecting and sharing among the profession.
There have been considerable mutterings among the nursing fraternity that this will be the catalyst for many to leave the profession. Nurse retention is already challenged by poor morale, low pay, a tarnished status and increasing workloads with decreasing professional appreciation – many saying the revalidation changes are the last straw and they will seek early retirement or their P45. This is unfortunate and unnecessary.
I want to yell loud and clear to those nurses who feel this way – don’t go. Please reconsider the facts. It is not arduous and alongside all your experience and responsibilities – this is easy.
Three elements are new and the rest build on what we have always done – or should have done under post-registration education and practice (PREP). The biggest new requirement is that a line manager should confirm that a nurse or midwife has met a checklist of requirements for revalidation. The second new element is the need for five pieces of practice-related feedback. Nurses should seek feedback from a variety of sources such as patients, colleagues and students to improve their practice.
The third new requirement is for a reflective discussion with another nurse on five incidents, experiences, feedback or learning and how they relate to the NMC code. Two other elements have been updated. Firstly, on a template provided, give five written reflective accounts on an incident or event, practice feedback received, and a continual professional development (CPD) activity.
Secondly, a portfolio is still strongly advised, containing the evidence that the NMC may call upon to verify your declaration. There is no change to 450 practice hours, but they must now be listed by the employer and role. There will also be no change to the 35 hours of CPD, but 20 must be learning with others. Additionally, there are no alterations to self-declarations on health and character and indemnity arrangements. Here are my top tips to take the fear out of revalidation:
1. Enrol with the NMC online to get your individualised revalidation date at: nmc.org/revalidation. Read the NMC information provided; it is extensive and detailed but uncomplicated.
2. If your revalidation date is from April 2016 start collecting evidence now and identify your confirmer and outline their role.
3. Capture your evidence, including regular reflections and discussions, on the mandatory NMC templates and simple one-sided A4 sheets.
4. There is no need to use or pay anyone or any organisation to facilitate or store your information or act as your confirmer.
5. Talk about the practicalities of revalidation with your colleagues and line manager so you can set up mutually supportive processes for reflective discussion and confirmation.
6. You need to make your own revalidation declaration online. This can be done up to 60 days before your specified revalidation date.
Over the next three years, more than 670,000 of us will revalidate under the new requirements. We can, and must, support each other – it is the essence of nursing.