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'Substantial drop off' in number of older nurses revalidating


The introduction of revalidation has led to a “substantial drop off” in the number of people aged 65 or over renewing their nursing registration, as well as a smaller reduction among those in their mid 50s to mid 60s, an independent report has revealed.

A team of researchers from Ipsos Mori compared registration renewals under the NMC’s old post-registration education and practice standards (PREP) system with those since revalidation was introduced last year.

“Renewal rates for registrants aged 56-65 decreased following the introduction of revalidation”

IPSOS Mori report

The increase in the number of people lapsing their registration in the oldest group is unlikely to worsen staffing shortages, because many may in any case be out of practice and are “effectively retired”, said the new report. There are also only a small number of people within this age range, it noted.

But the rise in the number of people between the ages of 56 and 65 leaving the register could have more serious consequences for the profession because a larger number of people are in this age group, warned the report – titled Independent evaluation of revalidation for nurses and midwives.

Potential reasons for the drop off could include nurses and midwives taking early retirement or lapsing registrations that they were not currently using, said the Ipsos Mori researchers.

But they warned that if a “substantial proportion” of registrants in this age group blamed an inability to meet the requirements of revalidation – whether this was real or just a perception – this would have “more serious negative ramifications for nursing and midwifery”.

The research team was commissioned by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to carry out an independent evaluation of the first year since revalidation was introduced in April 2016.

In their report, published earlier this month, the researchers said they were now conducting further work to explore registrants’ reasons for lapsing.

”Renewal rates for registrants aged 56-65 decreased following the introduction of revalidation. This is the subject of ongoing qualitative work being undertaken by the evaluation team, due to the potential negative impact on the register,” said the report.

It did not reveal the number of people who failed to renew their registration under revalidation, compared with those who did not do so under PREP.

But a separate report on revalidation by the NMC, also published earlier this month, provides an indication of the extent to which older registrants who were due to revalidate have now left the register.

Among nurses and midwives aged 51 to 60 years old, 90.6% – or 59,272 – of the 65,423 due to revalidate did so. But in the 61 to 70 year-old age group, just 70.5% – 10,430 – out of 14,795 completed the new system of checks.

Meanwhile, only around half of the 1,017 registrants aged 71 or older renewed their registration. Among nurses and midwives in all other younger age groups, 96% renewed their registrations.

A spokeswoman for the NMC said it was undertaking work to understand more about the reasons why nurses and midwives may lapse their registration.

”Early indications from this work have shown that, where the revalidation requirements were cited as a reason, it was often the inability to meet the practice hours requirement which resulted in the lapsed registration.

”To meet the practice hours requirement, nurses and midwives must undertake 450 hours practice over three years. This is requirement is set out in our legislation and is roughly the equivalent of three months full time work. It is also exactly the same as under the previous PREP renewal process,” she said.

“However, we are not complacent and we will continue work to further understand the reasons why nurses and midwives may lapse their registration,” she added.


Readers' comments (7)

  • I am 60 next year I have just revalidated. A substantial portion of my CPD was undertaken in my own time, unpaid. Compiling all the paperwork was also done in my own time unpaid. I have tried raising this with senior nurses at NHS England and they are unconcerned. I will not be revalidating again.

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  • I sympathise with the writer Anonynous, 26th July 6.21pm. I also have done my revalidation CPD and paperwork in my own time. The profession simply does not support nurses with protected time in which to do it. A good few of my nursing friends, who are dedicated, reliable nurses, who had chosen to stay in the hardest area in which to work, as in emotionally and physically - in elderly care, have not revalidated. The reality is stark - experienced nurses are leaving. Simple as. These are the ones needed to teach and support, guide the new ones, whose lifetimes` experiences and skills cannot be replaced as quickly as it is being lost. I am one. I have been in nursing 33 years so far, and have been back to uni time and again to update and add to my registrations, as I am interested in the human species, what makes it tick, mentally and physically, and also what causes it not to do so. I am a mentor also, as I have a passion for motivating new staff, explaining things - never had a mentor when I was a student - that would have been great! I have almost revalidated - but the ones who struggle to do it, are simply fed up to the back teeth of more and more hoops to jump through, to have the dubious privilege of being a nurse. I cannot blame Anonymous for planning to not revalidate - absolutely nothing is being done to stem the flow of nurses leaving - no support, no questions as to what would help them stay even just another year...message = not valued. The increase in nursing assistants, nurse assistants etc is just nurses on the cheap - they do not have the three years minimum clinical and theory hours training and cannot thus deliver the same accuracy of care - but - and this is the bit - what else can be done when nobody will ask nurses why they leave, or support them. GP surgeries use advanced nurse practitioners as they cannot recruit GP`s either nor retain them...where is the NHS and the private sector, for that matter, headed???

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  • Teddy

    But surly regardless of age and job we should be keeping up with the latest developments.Nurses should be full of curiosity and researching for updates , doing the best for their patients! This is CPD as I have always understood it .Just document what you have looked up and reading around the subject is part of re validation?? I am 61 and never tire of learning about the latest research especially dementia which is a very demanding area of expertise. I also have poor health but nursing makes me feel valued.

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  • To Teddy
    Have you looked a revalidation. Sorry, but just reading round a subject is not valid anymore you could do it with the old system. Not anymore.

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  • Jackie Smith head of the NMC and the person who oversees our revalidation process, received payment of £10,392 for 17 days of annual leave that she says she didn't take. This was in addition to a huge pay rise from £173,800 to £192,850 and also a bonus of £11, 921.

    The NMC have to send out the yearly report to its members which is where I found out the above information . Ironically the accompanying e mail acknowledges that we may not have time to read the full reports and suggests we read the short summary that they give a link to. This provides none of the above information. I wonder why? Thankfully I made the time to read the full report.

    If an enormously overpaid Jackie Smith can claim for leave not taken we nurses should be paid for the time it takes to satisfy her revalidation requirements she demands of us.

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  • Revalidation only exists to keep a bunch of overpaid jobsworth fools in position.
    Strike action for us nurses is out of the question.
    We could however have a mass refusal to pay our NMC fees until the likes of Jackie Smith take a massive pay decrease

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  • I regret I didn't become a lawyer instead.

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