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NMC says number of nurses and midwives not revalidating is ‘in line with expectation’

  • 22 Comments

Around 5,000 UK nurses have left the register in three months by choosing not to go through the revalidation process or by failing to meet its requirements, suggests latest data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

However, the regulator said the 5% drop off was “in line with previous years” before the introduction of the new system of competency checks.

“We knew that the second quarter would be challenging”

Emma Broadbent

The NMC has this week published its latest quarterly report on revalidation – the second since the system was introduced in April – covering the months of July, August and September.

It revealed that 75,513 nurses and midwives successfully revalidated during the three-month period out of 80,668 who were due to go through the process, representing 93.6%.

The number of nurses and midwives not revalidating was “in line with those not renewing in previous years at around 5%”, said the NMC’s report, published on Wednesday.

“Rates were the same for both nurses and midwives and there has been no increase in the proportion of nurses or midwives leaving the register,” added the report.

“I am pleased to say that figures for this period are extremely encouraging”

Emma Broadbent

The figures did not include nurses and midwives who submitted a revalidation application but had not had it fully processed by the end of their renewal month, noted the regulator.

Out of the 5,155 who were due to revalidate but did not, the NMC highlighted in a separate table that 4,658 were nurses or midwives who allowed their registration to lapse.

Most of the remaining 500 were still be going through our verification process, said an NMC spokesman, though he added that ”some will also be going through other checks and a few will not be allowed to have their registration lapse as they are currently going through an fitness to practise hearing”.

However, it is unclear from the report precisely how many people failed to meet the requirements of revalidation and left the register as a result.

Of those registrants who did revalidate from July to September, 92% were nurses, 7% were midwives and 1% were both. The percentages include specialist community public health nurses.

The majority of nurses and midwives revalidating were from England, followed by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:

  • England – 80%
  • Scotland – 11%
  • Wales – 5%
  • Northern Ireland – 3%
  • From outside the UK – 1%

There was little national difference between the percentage due to revalidate and actually revalidating:

  • England – 94.1%
  • Scotland – 94.6%
  • Wales – 94.6%
  • Northern Ireland – 94.8%
  • Not practicing in UK – 62.8%

Combining the figures for both quarters – around 30,000 went through revlidation during April, May and June – means over 110,000 nurses and midwives have now revalidated with the NMC since the process was introduced in April.

Revalidation rates across the four UK countries were “extremely positive” during the quarter, according to the NMC.

Emma Broadbent, the NMC’s director of registration and revalidation, said: “While the first quarter of revalidation was an overwhelming success, we knew that the second quarter would be challenging.

“September saw the largest number of nurses and midwives due to go through the process in a single month, with over 51,000 due to revalidate,” she said.

“I am pleased to say that figures for this period are extremely encouraging, with the majority of those due to revalidate doing so successfully,” said Ms Broadbent.

“Once again, numbers are in line with our expectations and there has been no increase in nurses and midwives leaving the register as a result of revalidation,” she added.

  • 22 Comments

Readers' comments (22)

  • Had I not been stuffed by the government on my pension age I doubt very much if I would have revalidated in November 2017 but now I'm going to have to as I can't afford to retire at 61

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  • I am one of the nurses who chose to let my registration lapse in September. Why? I'm 70 years old, still very fit, healthy and told I look at least 10 years younger and most important I've kept up to date in my chosen specialism as a nurse practioners. I love nursing with a passion and I could easily fulfil all the necessary requirements of Revalidation but I thought no, why should I complete a profile that no-one will probably every read just so the NMC could look as if they are doing something for nursing? So September 30th saw the end of my nursing career and I can't even call myself a nurse anymore!

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  • I would like to revalidate but the trying to contact the NMC from Australia by email is ludicrous. You have to have an NMC qualified person to validate what you have done, there are no NMC people here to validate my requirements. And no contact with the NMC itself to ask if there are alternatives. Frustration reigns supreme. Thanks NMC

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  • Sounds like AHPRA in Australia :) and the Government...I liked the comment about Government' looking like' they're doing something for nursing. Midwives in Australia have been 'given' the privilege of being able to have professional indemnity insurance...drawback 1 of 101...there is only one insurer approved by the federal Government..mmm is that a monopoly??? Oh yes and to have the 'privilege' of paying for this insurance, you can only access it if you have maintained professional practice in all areas of practice...pregnancy, labour and postnatal. physically after more than thirty years of nursing, my back has been fused, my knee was injured in a difficult delivery to ensure mums safe birth... but I and others must jump through ridiculous 'hoops' to prove to some office dwellers that I am 'safe' to advise a new mum how to put on a nappy...should I want to have a private business. Seems like midwives are still a threat...
    So now anyone can do an online weeks course in being a 'doula' or 'sleep consultant' basically 'housewives' running pregnancy, birth and own baby consultancies...No years of crucial experience..or specialist nursing and midwifery qualifications... but hey who cares as long as its not a midwife daring to charge for it. Certainly not our government.

    I trained in Manchester in 1979 when nursing was what it should be... for the profession and patients alike.
    Today it seems in the UK and Australia...we are a doomed 'profession' a sad conclusion after so many years as a nurse/midwife. Like so many it has been my life.

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  • Nurses only have themselves to blame for revalidation and should have protested long before the NMC made the process legal. However revalidation is not difficult. I found it tedious particularly as I have a life and other interests outside of nursing. I hope to retire in three years time so I won't have to go through this ridiculous charade again.

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  • I would dearly love not to have to go through the revalidation charade. Whilst it may be a simple process fro some nurses many that are in complex roles or don't have direct caring roles may struggle. For example I work full time for an agency in a specialist role. The agencies initial response to revalidation was that we could all go through the process with our NHS employers! They did not recognise their full time workers at all! As soon as I can afford to leave this profession I will, the NMC is constantly trying to put nurses off their chosen career! I so don't want to revalidate that I have considered on what grounds I can take medical retirement. I love nursing and have an extensive career but the attitude of our oppressive overlords makes me want to do anything but nursing

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  • This is potentially great news for nurses that do want to stick with the profession. If the government ever had the balls to follow Brexit through and control immigration and 5% of people leave then eventually there will be such a shortage that employers have to treat staff with respect, help with a work life balance and improve wages and conditions

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  • Regarding the above comment, there have been opportunities to demand better pay and conditions during nursing shortages in the past. Nurses are pathetically bad at activism and don't have a good Union behind them.
    I think Brexit will only make things worse so thank you for helping to turn the clock back 50 years.

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  • I am a final year Student Nurse. I have yet to see the relevance or value of the NMC. My degree seems to have been largely based on rote learning the NMC's mantras as opposed to learning about things of practical value such as pharmacology or clinical skills. The organisation seems to exist in order to justify its own existence rather than positively impact on the lives of nursing professionals, students and patients.

    The revalidation process appears to be an absolute exercise in futility from my understanding of it. How somebody sat in the NMC's office is supposed to make a decision about your professional suitability on account of some meaningless 'reflective accounts' is beyond me?

    The NMC is failing nursing students.

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  • It is not late to protest against revalidation at any time,other than the pathetic state of UK nurses who think they are holier than thou, cannot even protest against the 1% caps on salaries until it is increased ,no wonder we are such a redicule to other professions.

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