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How to complete revalidation with the NMC: top tips


Nurse revalidation can feel like a huge time-consuming task but follow these simple tips and it will become much more manageable.

Quit the ostrich impersonation

Revalidation begins in April 2016. You will need to engage with revalidation – there is no way around it – unless you want to give up your nurse registration. So don’t stick your head in the sand. Embrace it.

Don’t build it into something it is not

The process of revalidation is not as big as you think. It’s a pooch, not an elephant. It’s not a huge thundering thing that will break down the walls of your living room. It is actually more like a domestic pet.

You can tame it and manage it quite easily. Register with NMC online as your first step.

Find out what you need to do

Stop looking for Colonel Mustard in the library. There is no mystery in revalidation. It is simply an extension of the PREP requirements. So it’s the same 35 hours Of CPD with 20 hours being participatory ie in a group. Five reflective accounts. Five pieces of practice-related feedback. A reflective discussion with an NMC registrant and sign off from a confirmer. It is all detailed in the NMC guidance.

Don’t develop feedback fear

Anecdotal reports suggest that nurses are most worried about the revalidation requirement of gathering five pieces of practice-related feedback. But be aware that feedback can come in all different shapes and sizes. It can come from patients, colleagues, managers. It can be verbal, cards, notes, surveys, an audit. It can range from a thank you card from a patient to a 70-page report about the organisation where you work. The variety makes it easy to gather.

You don’t need to learn how to reflect. You already know

The nurses that have gone through revalidation in the pilot have found it to be easier and more enjoyable than expected. In particular they enjoyed doing the five reflective accounts. Reflection is something that nurses do all the time.

Most days you will think about care that you have delivered. How you could have done it differently? Reflective accounts are simply a writing down of that process.

Get your ducks in a row

Revalidation is made easier if you start well ahead of time. You can fill in your online application 60 days before your revalidation date. And you can of course complete your revalidation activities across the three years. Confirmation can take place in the final year before revalidation.

The process is made easier by using the Nursing Times Learning Passport where you can store your CPD, reflective accounts and feedback. Go to to find the passport as well as high-quality online learning to use for your CPD.

Stop putting it off

The theory is that the more you turn down a task the more difficult it is to do that task as it just becomes bigger and bigger in your head. So if you keep turning down registering online with the NMC or finding out what the requirements are: do it today. Not tomorrow! It has to be today otherwise you will keep putting if off.

Share your experiences with other

Don’t treat revalidation as a secret. It is a subject that is best discussed and shared with your colleagues. You can share experiences and how you are getting on. With your work buddies, with your teams, with your manager. Sharing will be helpful to both you and them.

Build your CPD portfolio with your Nursing Times subscription

All Nursing Times subscribers, regardless of your subscription package, have access to our online tool for storing your CPD activity, plus our suite of double-blind peer reviewed learning units to help you improve your practice and reach the 35 hours minimum tagret set by the NMC.

Explore Nursing Times Learning here


Readers' comments (9)

  • Alternatively:
    1) Stand up.
    2) Walk out.
    3) Resign.
    4) Get a new career!
    "there is no way around it – unless you want to give up your nurse registration."
    Thanks for the suggestion, that's my option!
    (what a way to say goodbye to a 30 year career!)

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  • Here here Jon!
    Im doing the same after 31 years! Bye bye NMC...thanks for coming! Theres a better life for me out there and better jobs... im going self employed! :)

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  • Great thinking and good luck for the future. I can't wait fior the day when I can ditch nursing.

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  • Couldn't agree with you all more! I'm doing this revalidation (haven't got a new job yet) and then I'm out of here.

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  • Totally agree with you all, look forward to retiring soon and can't wait. Fed up of all these so called '' improvements'' by someone sat in an office with no idea of real life!

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  • Hate this bloody job, can't wait to retire. Its bad enough paying £120 a year, now I have got to perform like some dancing bear for the NMC not to mention the £40.00 monthly I need to find for my personal indemnity insurance. What a load of s---e.

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  • Nursing used to be enjoying but not any more. No supports at all and very difficult to improve yourself academically. I pray none of my kids go into nursing

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  • Would never recommend anyone become a nurse. It is a poorly paid job and I have never been in such financial debt as I am now. I am having to work 2 jobs and not only try and find the money to pay for my pin, I now have to find the time to do this revalidation. I think I will be applying for Tesco this year.

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  • I have been a nurse now for about 30 years and lately I have been off sick after a pulmonary operation. I have just had my revalidation date extended to May 14 but I do not think I can do all the training in such a short time. I am seriously thinking of leaving Nursing but I don't want to. I have just generally been more disolutioned with the whole thing lately.

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