Chief nursing officer for Northern Ireland Charlotte McArdle pointed out to me last week that 3.5 million reflective accounts would be collected in the first three years of revalidation, and that something should be done with those reflections to share the learning so it can be used to improve the profession – and the care it offers.
I can understand why overworked, under-resourced nurses feel revalidation is just one more tick-box exercise, but there is no alternative to completing it if you want to be a nurse or midwife. And if employers are supportive and colleagues are willing to be robust reflective discussion partners, this could represent a huge opportunity to influence standards of care, because such a huge amount of data and learning will be collected.
Our exclusive survey of over 500 nurses this week (read the story here) reveals that the majority feel ready for revalidation, but their biggest concerns are still around gathering feedback and writing reflections. “Daunting” is the word that has often been used by nurses who have expressed their opinions to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, but those who took part in last year’s pilot or have already gone through the process for real have managed to overcome those fears, and have embraced the benefits of both those aspects of revalidation.
At our recent Revalidation Conference, one of the pilots revealed its nurses were not exactly thrilled at the prospect. However, they soon realised how much they could learn from really thinking about practice-related feedback and the fact that they generally received it without having to ask for it. They also commented on how refreshing it was to share their feedback with colleagues and managers, and therefore how much what they were learning could be used to improve patient care.
If you are feeling daunted, Nursing Times can help. Subscribers have unlimited access to our clinical archive of over 5,000 double-blind peer-reviewed articles and our suite of 17 learning units that will count towards your individual continuing professional development and can be used as the subject of reflective accounts. You also have a personalised learning passport – your online portfolio to store your evidence to download as a PDF.
Continuous learning is the foundation of good clinical practice, and the profession is, or should be, embracing it.