Around 4,000 UK nurses and midwives lapsed their registration to practise in the last three months of 2016, representing a loss of 8% of the number of people who were due to revalidate, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has reported.
In its latest update on the new system of checks, the NMC said 43,445 people completed revalidation between October and December out of the 47,773 whose registrations were up for renewal.
The regulator noted the number of people completing revalidation for this period was lower than during previous months, but said this was “in line with our expectations” due to historical trends of when people were due to renew their registration.
- Around 5% of nurses and midwives opting not to revalidate
- Nine in 10 nurses complete revalidation in first phase
It said there was “no evidence of an increase in nurses and midwives leaving the register compared with previous years”, before the introduction of revalidation in April 2016.
Nursing Times has asked the NMC for data on registration renewals and lapses prior to revalidation being introduced, in order to provide comparison. The regulator said the information would be included in its first annual report on the new system, due in the spring.
The NMC’s latest report on revalidation, which was published yesterday, revealed the majority of the total 3,951 people who lapsed their registration at the end of 2016 were in England (2,845), representing 7.5% of the registrants in that part of the UK who were due to revalidate.
“Revalidation continues to go from strength to strength”
In Scotland, 349 people did not revalidate (7.6% of those due to renew their registration), in Wales it was 200 (8.2% of those expected) and in Northern Ireland 101 registrants did not complete the new process (5.4% of the number whose registration needed renewing).
Meanwhile, 39% of those registrants practising outside of the UK who were due to revalidate in the three months – or 456 people – allowed their registration to lapse.
The NMC noted there was also a continued pattern of people registered to practise in two roles – such as a nurse who is also qualified as a specialist community public health nurse – choosing to lapse one of their registrations.
“As with the previous period, the majority lapsed their nursing registration to become midwives,” it said.
“We are not complacent. Three quarters of the register still need go through revalidation for the first time”
In addition, a number of people – 377 – submitted a revalidation application that has not yet been processed due to various reasons, such as the NMC verifying their information or the person being subject to fitness to practise sanctions.
In total, since April 2016 when the new system came in, more than 154,000 nurses and midwives have successfully revalidated out of the near 690,000 people on the NMC register.
Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar, said: “Today’s figures show that revalidation continues to go from strength to strength with nurses, midwives and employers alike continuing to embracing the new process.
“But we are not complacent. We know that three quarters of the register still need go through revalidation for the first time and we will make sure that we support them through every step of the process,” she added.