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Congress rejects call for nurse revalidation training budgets

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Members of the Royal College of Nursing have rejected a call to provide nurses with individual training budgets in order to help them prepare for revalidation.

The emergency resolution, which was added to the agenda yesterday afternoon, had called for the RCN to lobby all employers to provide individual training budgets to registered nurses in the wake of the introduction of revalidation earlier this year.

“Personal training budgets would be a positive signal to nursing staff”

Gill Coverdale

However, after a well-balanced debate the resolution was defeated, the first time at this year’s congress in Glasgow that a motion has not been passed.

The vote itself was done by ballot box, rather than show of cards, to reflect the expected closeness of the outcome as indicated by the preceding debate.

The resolution was formally rejected with 49 abstentions and only 63 votes in favour.

Eirlys Thomas, from the RCN’s acute care forum, presented the issue to delegates and urged them to support the resolution.

She said there was a disparity of funding and protected study leave between different areas of the country, and that professional development was often cancelled because of staffing capacity issues.

Pamela Randall said giving nurses individual training budgets would be a “brilliant idea”.

But other speakers said that individual budgets were unnecessary. Former RCN president described revalidation as “easy” and told nurses to “stop worrying about it”.

Jane McCready, a former chair of RCN Scotland, said: “We have a responsibility through the code [of conduct] to make sure we’re up to date with our practice.

She noted that employers were currently reducing funding for continuing professional development, so were unlikely to fund additional training for revalidation.

“Let’s pick the battles that we really need to win,” she added.

Commenting on the tabling of the resolution, Gill Coverdale, professional lead for education at the RCN, said: “Revalidation is an opportunity to improve patient care and keep patients safe by providing a clear system for ensuring registered nurses remain fit to practice and up to date.

“However, although revalidation is the responsibility of each and every nurse and midwife, employers are encouraged to support them for this system to properly work,” she said.

“Personal training budgets would be a positive signal to nursing staff that they will receive this support, and that their continuing development at work is a priority for all providers of health care,” said Ms Coverdale.

She added: “Getting revalidation right is not only good news for nurses, it is good news for patients too.”

Resolution

That this meeting of RCN Congress calls on Council to lobby all employers to provide individual training budgets for registered nurses in light of the introduction of nursing revalidation

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