The recent approval of revalidation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council is a topic in which has initiated many debates and discussions over the past few months. The process, designed to strengthen the three-yearly registration renewal process, aims to increase professionalism amongst nurses.
Initially, many argued against revalidation, as they feared the introduction would be a burden which could spark a surge in the number of fitness to practice referrals. However, after pilot procedures and test studies were carried out with over 2,700 participants, early data analysis discovered the process to be straightforward and beneficial.
In order for nurses and midwives to revalidate every three years, they are required to undergo 450 practice hours, 35 hours of continuing professional development, five pieces of practice related feedback, five written reflective accounts, a reflective discussion, a health and character declaration, a professional indemnity arrangement, alongside confirming they have met the revalidation requirements.
The introduction will be influential to all nurses as it promotes a culture of professionalism by taking responsibility for their own professional development where they can reflect and focus on their own behaviours in the workplace, rather than those of others. This will empower them to make positive changes within their practice, through small improvements, whilst promoting and maintaining higher standards and quality of care within the NHS.
It will also help to extinguish the blame culture, by focusing on what we could do differently to avoid errors in the future.
Finally, it will also enhance public protection and patient safety, along with increasing the public’s credibility for nurses, as nurses will consciously be focusing on the quality of care given to their patients.
As a current student, revalidation will affect me from the moment I graduate. For example; students who are due to graduate in August 2016 will be due to revalidate in August 2019. For current students it may be easier to adapt and adjust to as it is already a requirement as opposed to trying to get used to the introduction of it.
We are also in a fortunate position as we already spend a considerate amount of time working on modules and reflections, in order to enhance our learning and to allow for self-improvement. Personal learning and development is a life-long experience within the nursing profession, and it allows us to maintain high standards of care, enhance our care skills and further develop our knowledge base. The introduction of revalidation will raise the standards of nursing, and promote professionalism, making nursing an attractive profession for prospective students.
Ceire Casey, Mental Health Student Nurse
21 December 2015