Editorial

Nurses need the details on revalidation – fast

As I sat down to write my first editorial for Nursing Standard, my phone rang. It was my daughter asking me to do a quick internet search on good venues for cocktails. I happily obliged… even though it was just nine o’clock in the morning. After all, she had something to celebrate – she had just completed the last shift of her final nursing degree placement. In a few weeks, she will begin working as a registered nurse.

As I sat down to write my first editorial for Nursing Standard, my phone rang. It was my daughter asking me to do a quick internet search on good venues for cocktails. I happily obliged… even though it was just nine o’clock in the morning. After all, she had something to celebrate – she had just completed the last shift of her final nursing degree placement. In a few weeks, she will begin working as a registered nurse.

So as she and more than 8,000 others wait for the Nursing and Midwifery Council to process their applications to join the register, what future can they look forward to? Key to their success is an understanding of what will be expected of them in demonstrating fitness to practise through revalidation. The process should be straightforward, but a lot of nurses still have questions about it.

People need to understand what is involved… we cannot afford an exodus over this

This week, NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said feedback from more than 2,000 nurses and midwives in revalidation pilot sites was positive. They found the process was a good opportunity to reflect on their practice and behaviour. Some even said they enjoyed it.

However, Ms Smith acknowledged work still needs to be done before revalidation can go live, promising clearer guidance and case studies. Nurses and midwives, wherever they work, need to understand what is involved, from preparation through to validation. And they need to know what to do if they fail. The devil is in the detail and the NMC must provide the detail, and soon. We cannot afford to risk an exodus from the profession over this.

Getting it right is fundamental because revalidation, underpinned by the new NMC code, is about ensuring nurses and midwives deliver excellent care. In essence, it is about proving to the public they can trust the people who look after them when at their most vulnerable.

As we welcome our newest recruits to the profession, let’s give them further cause for celebration – a regulatory system that means they will always be proud to say: ‘I am a nurse.’

For help with revalidation, visit RCNi.com/workplace/revalidation

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