Obtaining feedback and writing reflective accounts on practice are the areas of revalidation worrying nurses and midwives the most, according to a snap shot survey ahead of the system’s introduction.
With just weeks to go before revalidation comes into force on 1 April, Nursing Times surveyed registrants on their views and preparation for the new system that is replacing post-registration education and practice (PREP).
“The feedback we’ve had that nurses and midwives believe revalidation is do-able”
To successfully revalidate, registrants will have to complete at least 450 hours of practice, compile five pieces of practice-related feedback and prepare five written reflective accounts.
The completion of a minimum of 35 hours of continuing professional development is also required and they must have all of the requirements “confirmed” by a third party – preferably their line manager.
Asked which part of the revalidation process they were most concerned about, the most common answer among respondents was obtaining a minimum of five pieces of practice-related feedback followed by writing five reflective accounts and having a reflective discussion with another registrant.
Unsurprisingly, these requirements were also the two parts of the process that the over 500 survey respondents wanted more support with.
If they wanted more support with the revalidation process overall, around half wanted it from their employer and just over a quarter from the NMC itself.
Asked to rate the amount of support they had received from their employer to meet the requirements of revalidation, 33% said it was either “excellent” or “adequate”, but 31% thought their employer could do more and 25% reported receiving no support at all.
Meanwhile, awareness of revalidation has remained fairly constant since we asked about it in our annual survey in November, with around 70% of respondents said they were either “very aware” or “fairly aware” of it.
No respondents said they had not heard of revalidation but 15% said that, while they aware of it, they were ignoring the process “until I absolutely have to deal with it”.
Asked about their perception of revalidation, 35% said it would be good for patient safety and the status of nursing – an increase from 28% in our 2015 annual survey.
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However, a quarter thought it would have no impact on patient safety or the status of nursing, similar to our last survey findings.
Concerns have been raised by some that the introduction of revalidation could dissuade nurses nearing retirement or dissatisfied with their career from staying on the register.
Among those respondents due to renew their registration in the next 12 months, two-thirds said they were renewing as usual and the introduction of revalidation had not affected their decision to do so.
Around 20% said they had thought about not renewing because of revalidation but decided to do so after all – just 6% said they were taking early retirement as a result of revalidation.
The survey comes as the NMC itself released a statement last week saying that over 60% of nurses and midwives due to revalidate in April had “either started or completed their applications”.
According to the NMC’s figures, 15,800 people have a revalidation date in April – suggesting around 9,500 have started or completed the process but still leaving over 6,000 that have done nothing.
The NMC also said that nearly a quarter of around 12,500 nurses and midwives due to revalidate in May had already started their applications.
Almost 5% of England’s health service nursing workforce – 30,000 registrants – are due to undergo revalidation in the first quarter of 2016-17, from April to June, according to a report published by the NHS Trust Development Authority in January.
The NMC called on registrants “not leave their revalidation until the last minute”.
Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar, said: “It’s encouraging to see that so many nurses and midwives from the first group to revalidate have already completed their applications.
“We know from the feedback we’ve had that nurses and midwives believe revalidation is do-able and the tools we have put in place to support them are really useful and easy to use,” she said.
“Nearly all those due to renew in April now have an NMC online account, which they will need to submit their applications,” she added.