Around 35,000 nurses and midwives have completed revalidation in the first three months since it was introduced in April, but more than 3,000 have left the register in that time, data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council has shown.
The NMC said its data showed that the introduction of revalidation – which requires nurses to meet a number of new requirements every three years to renew their registration – was not having an adverse effect on the size of the nursing workforce, contrary to suggestions raised by some before the system came in.
“This [data] demonstrates that nurses and midwives across the four countries are embracing revalidation”
The regulator also said the data showed renewal rates were “in line with expectations” based on normal trends, with 91% of the 38,700 people due to revalidate in April, May and June having done so.
A total of 3,616 registrants did not revalidate, including around 3,341 who are no longer on the register, according to the data contained in an NMC report published today.
Meanwhile, just under 300 people are still waiting for their revalidation application to be processed – due to reasons including their documentation being verified, a declaration of a conviction, or being subject to a fitness to practise complaint.
Commenting on today’s data, NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said: “This demonstrates that nurses and midwives across the four countries are embracing revalidation. Feedback so far is overwhelmingly positive.”
Earlier this year the regulator analysed data on historical trends, which led it to estimate that between 6,600 and 7,300 nurses and midwives would leave the register between April and the end of May due to reasons including retirement. This did not take into account the effect of revalidation.
Concerns have previously been raised that the number of new requirements that registrants now have to meet – compared with the previous post-registration education and practice (PREP) standards – would be off-putting for some nurses who would choose not to revalidate as a result.
Information released today shows that of the 3,341 people whose registration lapsed, the vast majority were based in England (2,324) followed by those in Scotland (292), in Wales (146) and in Northern Ireland (100). The figures represent around a 7% to 9% drop-off compared to the number due to revalidate.
A total of 479 nurse and midwives practising outside the UK left the register out of the 1,085 who were due to revalidate, representing a 44% reduction.
The NMC said it was unable to provide information on the spot checks it was carrying out on revalidation portfolios, because the process took several weeks and many registrants would not have completed it yet.
It said it would report back on this process of verification in annual reports it intends to produce, including the number of people selected for checking, plus whether they were able to stay on the register or not as a result.
Future annual reports will also include more detailed information, such as registrants’ scope of practice, reasons for lapsing their registration, their work setting, types of confirmers – who have signed off their revalidation requirements – and whether they receive regular appraisals.