Revalidation is a change for the better
Revalidation, one of the most significant changes to the regulation of nurses and midwives, is now under way.
People with revalidation dates in April are submitting applications in their thousands, and many more are logging on to their NMC Online accounts and beginning theirs.
Although revalidation came about as a result of challenging times for the profession, its implementation will lead to some positive changes to the day-to-day professional lives of nurses and midwives, their colleagues and the patients they care for.
While much of revalidation builds on things that nurses and midwives have been doing for years, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has introduced some new requirements. These include reflecting on feedback, discussing these reflections with a fellow professional, and confirming with a third party that you have met the requirements.
Everyone on our register should read the guidance to get a full picture of what revalidation entails. The new elements of revalidation are there to encourage more engagement between professionals, as well as a sense of empowerment and accountability for individual practice.
Revalidation has the potential to benefit everyone on our register. Thanks to the nurses and midwives who have already submitted their revalidation applications and are sharing their thoughts on experiencing the process, we are hearing how straightforward and useful it is.
It is hugely encouraging that people find submitting their online applications simple and manageable: the system guides you through each stage, and you do not have to upload any evidence.
Some who thought revalidation would be onerous before they started are finding that, in reality, it boosts work they already do every day. It helps clarify and provide a framework for tasks, such as taking feedback from colleagues and patients and using this to improve.
Nurses are finding the resources on our dedicated revalidation website helpful and reassuring. Guidance, templates, case studies and films can all be found on the site, which illustrates each of the eight revalidation requirements with step-by-step instructions. The case studies and videos show how your fellow nurses have approached their revalidation.
Many of those who have been through revalidation tell us that once they decided on their approach and started gathering evidence, the element they found most useful was reflection. There is a feeling that the focus on the Code provides a clear structure for reflective accounts and discussion.
Linking reflection to your professional standards will empower you, no matter your scope of practice or employment setting, to think about what has gone well in your practice, to share your achievements with others and to consider how you can improve.
Nurses work in a variety of settings and practise in different ways, so each one of you will approach revalidation slightly differently. The revalidation requirements have been designed to ensure every nurse and midwife can meet them, but we appreciate that some people might find it more challenging than others to identify a reflective discussion partner, for example, if they are not surrounded by a large team of fellow professionals.
I would advise anyone in this position to take a proactive approach. Tap into, or even start, your own professional networks, and use social media to reach out to other nurses. Revalidation is an invaluable opportunity to develop professional relationships and share good practice.