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”
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”
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.
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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.