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Exclusive: Survey pinpoints nurse concerns about revalidation system


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”

Jackie Smith

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.

Exclusive: Survey pinpoints revalidation concerns

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.

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.

jackie smith

jackie smith

Jackie Smith

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.



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Readers' comments (11)

  • Like any new project there will be teething troubles and the first cohort will be the Guinea pigs and a platform for new editions and gradual improvements from experience an feedback. If it really does increase patient safety patience will be required to ensure its e enteral success.

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  • Hi Anonymous 0834
    I suspect predictive text has sabotaged your comment unless you mean you predict patience will be needed before it is successful at a gut level. I do agree that the experiences of the first few will build in improvement to how employers support staff, and that the long term impact will be slow to show. At best, by putting in a regular checking process nurses will be more mindful of their practice, but many will observe that they are already very aware. The biggest influence on how nurses experience the scheme will be the level of support they receive from their organisation and the data in the article shows how variable this can be

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  • I am a student at the moment, so I naturally have no idea about the nitty gritty, however, from an outsider's perspective this seems to me a simple enough task to complete if we document and evidence properly. I don't think nurses will have must trouble adapting to this. :)

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  • I am due to revalidate 1st April so I (like many others) have had to complete my portfolio in a very short space of time, and ALL of it was done at home. Our LHB designated one person to provide a training session on revalidation' and 'writing reflective accounts'. The trainer is almost a stranger to me but is now obliged to be my confirmer, as my line manager, and his manager, not only have shown no interest in supporting me/looking at my portfolio, but neither are able to make themselves available in the whole of March to act as my confirmer. I had my reflective discussion with an ex-colleague. This process has been a lot of work, unnecessarily stressful and a lonely experience. I might have written a load of rubbish for all my managers know, but I suspect they will suddenly become very interested when their revalidation is due. I have already asked the NMC to seek my feedback as one of 'guinea pigs' in this nonsense process. I hope they do.

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  • A lot of bleating going on. How hard can it be; it can't be as hard as doing the actual job.

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  • It's not how hard its the worry to a lack of moral reasoning and effect that is not being discussed. This seemingly is just another behavioural cosh for those who don't toe with the management cost cutting strategy of Simon Stevens / Jeremy Hunt and their save money approach. And it is a concern the NMC is being used as a management / government weapon for those unable to attain or agree based on false subjective performance Quality improvement values. Look to what is happening with the PHSO at the moment any correlation? I suspect so. NURSES WAKE UP YOU ARE ON A PRECIPSE OF NO RETURN AND EVEN THE NT ARE IN MY VIEW COUNTING DOWN TO YOUR EXTINCTION. UNIONS WAKE UP AND LISTEN TO WHAT THE PSCU ARE DOING BECAUSE THEY HAVE LEARNT SOME GOOD LESSONS REGARDING THE GOVERNMENT. In the end everyone suffers if politics is used to inhibit the work force from caring in a better way.

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  • The hard part of revalidation is the lack of support in the process.
    NMC introduced revalidation without careful thought or consideration.

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  • Phil Noyes

    From Anonymous 0834

    Forgotten what that was supposed to be, but assume the intended word was 'eventual' judging by my context! It certainly wasn't 'enteral' even though predictive text is perhaps more intelligent and intuitive than we sometimes give it credit for! Must have hit the submit button in haste and failed to read my comment through properly before afterwards. Apologies for the omission which you kindly pointed out.

    As far as support in the NHS goes, I am not sure this will be forthcoming unless nurses very strongly voice their needs.

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  • I consistently kept my PREP folder up to date, the only difference I can see with re validation is getting someone to confirm it and I feel that as a professional I am responsible for my own acts and omissions and do not need to be treated as a student nurse once again. This did make me decide to retire.

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  • Oh for goodness sake, this isn't about how hard it is, I agree the process itself is relatively easy! It's the principle, why shoud we have to justify ourselves? We already have a job in which we have about a dozen people looking over our shoulders all the time (CQC, managers, case/care coordinators, Social Workers, NMC, families, etc,) let alone covering our own backsides. Surely that's enough?
    Thankfully mine isn't due until 2018 but by then I will not be nursing, this has been the final straw. I was a social worker for 15 years and have been a psychiatric nurse for 16 years but as I have said in other comments, "That's it, I'm done!"
    Good luck finding enough nurses to cover the inevitable shortfall this will cause. When you already have a flood of nurses leaving, why push more out?

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