Over the past year, the word ‘revalidation’ has forced its way into most nurses’ vocabularies. It’s fairly safe to say it didn’t receive an enthusiastic welcome from a large proportion of the profession, or at least not based on the readers’ comments our news coverage attracted.
It’s a word that was shrouded in fear and mystery when it first hit the wards a year or so ago. But does revalidation now provoke no more reaction among nurses than “enema”, “fungating wound” or “night shift”?
Has it been downgraded from an 18 to a PG?
We spoke to two recently revalidated nurses who told us they initially felt daunted by the amount of work they anticipated the process to entail.
“Although I needed to get it done I kept putting off starting, thinking that I needed to have a huge chunk of time kept to one side,” said nurse consultant, Linda Holt.
“It turned out to be less complicated than I thought,” she added. “I ended up checking it all half a dozen times because I thought I’d missed something.”
Diane Hall, IBD clinical nurse specialist agrees: “The data was easy to load onto the NT Learning Passport web tool and revalidation on the NMC site was really easy to do.”
Our revalidated nurses were lucky enough to have Nursing Times subscriptions bought for them by their employers, meaning they had access to everything on the NT site including our learning units and e-portfolio: the Learning Passport.
”The Learning Passport was really easy to use and it kept all the info in one place online”
“I used the NT web tool and updated it when I attended meetings/study days. [It was] very easy to upload certificates,” said Ms Hall. “The Learning Passport was really easy to use and it kept all the info in one place online.”
Ms Holt also found it helpful to have all her revalidation evidence together. “[I liked] the fact I could keep going back into it, also that it was all in one place.”
We were pleased to hear that Ms Holt is getting her employer’s money’s worth by taking full advantage of her subscription, not just NT Learning.
”But the big question is will it make patient care safer?”
“I didn’t access anything through Nursing Times prior to this,” she said. “Now I’ve been on the website quite a few times and have been looking at what learning opportunities there are. [I use] clinical archives for assignments and I read the highlights and [On The] Pulse.”
So revalidation is easier than we thought and NT Learning is helping – great! But the big question is will it make patient care safer?
Ms Hall thinks it’s not as simple as that.
“I do not think the revalidation process will make nurses safer to care,” she explained. “But I do think it makes all nurses stop and reflect and employers will have to provide support to nurses to go through the process.”
”You reflect as a nurse anyway but it tends to be ‘on the go’ due to the busy nature of the job”
“You reflect as a nurse anyway but it tends to be ‘on the go’ due to the busy nature of the job,” Ms Holt added. “I think the structure of the requirements forces you to physically sit down and find the time to think things through more thoroughly.”
Whether this article has reassured you or not, all nurses will need to revalidate. So what advice did our panel offer up to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible?
“Don’t leave it till the last few weeks,” Ms Holt stressed. “It’s not that it’s time consuming, but you need the time to think and anxieties set in when deadlines approach.”
“I would advise them not to worry, it is not as hard as you think and it is really something we all do, but perhaps don’t do it in a systematic way,” said Ms Hall. “Once you start the process it flows very easily”.