It’s official - revalidation is happening.
Last Thursday the Nursing and Midwifery Council gave the green light to the system of competency checks for nurses and midwives. So,whether you are a manager or a registrant, it’s time to makesure you are ready. Organisations that aren’t will find themselves in a situation where they may not be able to retain their nursing staff. That doesn’t bear thinking about in light of the current workforce struggles. Employers need to retain every nurse they’ve currently got.
Revalidation was called for by Sir Robert Francis in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire care failings, but I don’t believe it will stop those kinds ofscandal. Poor practitioners and toxic cultures can’t be completely eradicated by revalidation. But savvy employers will take this opportunity to compel their nursing professionals to commit to their continuing professional development,gathering feedback and reflecting on the NMC code and what the four Ps of that code mean to them in their practice.
The series of events that Nursing Times has been running on revalidation (our next is on 13 November in London - see box below) has also highlighted the significance of the professional conversation. Many nurses who took part in the regulator’s revalidation pilot have told me they believe this part of the processis one of the most useful to them in their careers.
It’s not often nurses get a chance to articulate the contribution they make to healthcare and the patient or service user, and I hope that revalidation provides this opportunity. It will enable nurses to speak to each other about their impact, identify their value and then communicate this upwards to their boards and senior management teams. This could be an opportunity for nurses to express their views and what they need in terms of resources so they are compliant with the code. It could be a chance to increase the credibility of the profession and ensure nurses’ clinical and other skills are recognised by their colleagues.
If that happens, of course it should be welcomed. Registrants should be able to use revalidation to shape the way the profession is viewed and vocalise how nursing influences the quality and safety of the care provided to patients and service users. Anything that achieves that is fantastic for the 685,000 registrants and the people they care for.
Jenni Middleton, editor
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