Revalidation and reflective practice
Alison Finch explores how reflection is an important aspect of the re-registration process and suggests ways that managers can help nurses to make the most of it
Alison Finch explores how reflection is an important aspect of the re-registration process and suggests ways that managers can help nurses to make the most of it.
From April 2016 nurses must meet the requirements of the new Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) revalidation process to maintain their registration. It is their responsibility to ensure they meet all revalidation requirements, but organisations and nurse leaders can support them to do so. Reflection is an important part of revalidation, and nurses are required to submit written reflective accounts and engage in reflective discussion. This article discusses how revalidation encourages a more conscious and active form of reflection. It also describes how leaders can help nurses to reflect on practice to identify improvements and become more familiar with the NMC Code.
Revalidation helps nurses demonstrate that they practise thoughtfully. It encourages a culture of enquiry, reflection and learning which, if attended to as part of professional practice, creates opportunities for nurses to become more self-aware and responsive to those they work alongside.
According to McKinnon (2016), self-awareness and the ‘effective use of self’ are prerequisites to sound, reflective practice. Many of us use reflective skills in our everyday life, often without thinking consciously about it. Revalidation builds on this and encourages a conscious, active form of reflection that seeks to identify learning that will improve practice. Reflection in this context helps nurses engage with the world in which they work, assisting them to pause and consider interactions with patients, families and colleagues, or how well they are working as a team.
For nursing leaders, the qualities required to derive the value of revalidation are not dissimilar from those related to effective leadership. Revalidation can be seen as a tool to help coach staff to learn from their experiences.
This article was first published in print in Nursing Management: volume 23, issue 1