New year will bring about some real challenges for nursing – but also some opportunities.
Revalidation – the new system of ensuring that nurses and midwives undertake CPD and reflective activities to maintain their skills – will be introduced in April 2016 by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Every nurse or midwife renewing their registration with the regulator from April 1 will have to do a number of things, such as provide five pieces of feedback, five reflective accounts, have a reflective discussion with another registrant and demonstrate they have done at least 35 hours of CPD in the past three years prior to re-registration.
The reflective discussion is a real opportunity to think about your practice and see it through someone else’s eyes. And make no mistake, that is enormously valuable.
”Nurses see patients at all stages of their care – and in every setting where care is delivered”
Nurses see patients at all stages of their care – and in every setting where care is delivered. No other clinical role has this comprehensive overview and insight. When the nursing numbers are depleted, we are therefore depleting the people who can provide this type of care and have a deeper understanding of the patient or service user need.
If you are revalidating this year and having that reflective discussion with another registrant, make sure you emphasise just how important your role is and what the nursing role means.
Take the opportunity to reflect with another registrant and think about the nursing contribution.
In my view, this is not done enough.
”In many ways, the public perception of nursing is still bedpans and bandages”
In many ways, the public perception of nursing is still bedpans and bandages, and this rather antiquated view of nursing still persists – although revalidation and the reflective discussion is private, and not public, it is an opportunity to reflect on and speak about the nursing contribution – to gather your thoughts about what you do, and what nurses do, albeit to another registrant.
No one will articulate how the profession has changed unless nurses do. If nurses are to overthrow their image as handmaidens to doctors or that of Carry On-style matrons, nurses must do that themselves.
So let’s start by having the reflective discussion and having conversations about how important nursing is with each other in the reflective discussion, and this will be good practice for when nurses need to spread the word about how fantastic nursing is to the public, media and other health professionals.
”I doubt very much that pay rises will be offered to NHS staff freely, and without a fight in 2016”
2016 will, as I say, be challenging.
Pay will no doubt be high on the agenda, as I doubt very much that pay rises will be offered to NHS staff freely, and without a fight in 2016.
Staffing numbers will again be the topic of conversation in trust boards and other organisations providing care. So, as I said earlier, practising vocalising the contribution of nursing will get people into the habit of arguing the case for why nurse staffing numbers are important.
In some areas, it seems nursing has lost the ability to articulate its value. A resolution for 2016 is that we find that ability again.
Post-Francis everyone understood the value of the nursing role and there was a clamour to recruit more nurses – it felt like we could at last see a world in which nurses were valued.
But now, with letters to provider directors of nursing from the regulators and NHS England suggesting that 1:8 as a nurse to patient ratio os a guide rather than a rule, that focus on nurse staffing seems to have dwindled. It is a shame we have lost that momentum. But we must not lose the nursing voice too.
Nursing needs to fight for nursing. The time is now.