Revalidation is a requirement for all nurses operating within the UK, and it must be completed every three years in order to work legally and maintain a NMC registration.
Introduced in April 2016, revalidation ensures that nurses update their healthcare knowledge and are aware of new developments within the field, ultimately protecting the public from outdated practices.
Although designed to encourage professional development, some nurses find the revalidation process time consuming and paper-heavy. So, we’ve created a some guidance and tips to support our nurses and make revalidation as straight forward as possible.
Whilst the NMC announced that nurses due to revalidate between March and June 2020 could have a three month extension, we’re encouraging nurses to avoid putting revalidation on the back burner for too long, and to be aware of their deadlines so they can plan their work accordingly.
Elaine Alexander is our clinical specialist at Search. She supports our nurses with all clinical aspects of their role, and is on hand to guide and support them with revalidation. She had this recommendation for nurses about to undertake their revalidation paperwork; “Revalidation can put pressure on an already stressed nurse. That’s why I work within Search a Nurse Manager, so I can be the first point of call when nurses need a little more support. Being a nurse myself, I can help out with all aspects of the role, which of course includes preparing for revalidation. Even if they just need a friendly chat after a tough shift, nurses that work with Search know that I’m here to help.”
Read on for a reminder on what is revalidation and some helpful tips for pulling together what’s needed.
What are the requirements of revalidation?
1. Practice hours
Nurses must provide evidence of 450 practice hours over a period of three years. Many obtain these hours just by undertaking their day-to-day job.
2. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
There must be at least 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development over the same three year period, with at least 20 of those hours gained during participatory learning. Part of CPD involves passive learning, perhaps sitting and listening in a classroom or lecture. Participatory learning is much more interactive, for example within a workshop or small group.
3. Practice related feedback
To meet the requirements, you must have at least 5 pieces of work-related feedback. This can take various forms, can be from patients, co-workers, line managers or other service users. Feedback can be related to your personal performance, or based upon an overview of your team or ward. However, it is important to always specify how this relates back to your own professional growth and experience.
4. Reflection time
The revalidation process includes a period of reflection time, where nurses can review any practice-related feedback and apply this to their 5 work-related pieces. Remember that feedback can be positive or negative, as long as you can apply the learning and reflection process required. It can also help to write any reflections soon after they have happened, and keep them until the paperwork is required. That way, it is less pressure when it comes to that revalidation time.
5. Reflect with another registered nurse
One final step is a peer-based discussion with another healthcare professional registered with the NMC. For Search Nursing, this is Elaine Alexander. Elaine helps nurses with this by discussing their five written reflection documents, and advising on any further steps to take.
Supporting nurses through revalidation with 5 tips
For time-poor nurses, revalidation paperwork and the process can cause a bit of a headache. At Search Nursing, with clinical experts in the team, we are well-versed in the requirements of revalidation, and are always happy to help nurses with the necessary paperwork to ensure that they can continue to practice within the profession they love.
1. Make sure you have an NMC Online account
You can register here. It’s free to register and all professional information will be stored within the online portal, making it quick and easy to fit around a busy schedule.
2. Make a note of your revalidation submission date
There is typically a 60-day window for renewal, so make sure to note the date and have all submissions entered by the deadline.
3. Collect and save evidence
Find a suitable place to store all the revalidation paperwork, and make sure that it fits in with the requirements of the scheme. Add in any recent coursework or new training certificates, and any reflective accounts or staff surveys that could count towards it.
4. Leave plenty of time
Although a worthwhile exercise, revalidation is time consuming and puts pressure on an already stressed workforce. There’s nothing worse than feeling like time is slipping away, and that the deadline is coming closer, without making progress with the paperwork. Always allow plenty of time to reach the revalidation goal.
5. Don’t be afraid to seek help
Revalidation can be a worry, so it often helps to reach out to the experts. At Search, we have a lot of experience helping our nurses through the revalidation process, guiding them through the system and assisting where it is needed.
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