This year heralds a new system for nurses, the process of revalidation. Liz Charalambous discusses how the nursing profession is reacting and what revalidation has to offer
It allows us to demonstrate that we have kept up to date with education and practice, engaged with others, received feedback, and it will serve to restore public faith in the profession.
It also allows us to reflect on, and live up to, the new code of conduct.
I was initially daunted by the prospect of revalidation but now have a plan and feel more confident after navigating the excellent resources on the NMC website.
Opinions are polarised. Some see it as an intelligent idea to further the profession, whereas others see it as another meaningless, bureaucratic exercise.
”Some see it as another hoop to jump through and have decided on early retirement”
It appears that some nurses have decided ‘enough is enough’ and their time is far too precious to ‘waste’ on their day off completing forms and reflecting on practice, let alone attending study days or undertaking online learning.Some see it as another hoop to jump through and have decided on early retirement.
There are others who say such attitudes are unwarranted and they should indeed just leave and save the profession from becoming a crowd of disenchanted moaners.
”How did these nurses become so disillusioned?”
But how did these nurses become so disillusioned? Whenever I meet a nurse who seems completely burnt out and totally uninspired by their role, complaining with such bitterly resentful rhetoric about the job, I wonder what this person was like years ago when they entered the profession?
I can’t remember ever meeting a new entrant to our profession who was not in awe of the role and job we do; the altruistic fresh young minds of the newly appointed are to be applauded and welcomed.
Yet, fast forward in time and we see nurses who appear to have neglected themselves both physically and psychologically. Possibly overweight, depressed, at the point of physical, mental and nervous exhaustion, their social and personal lives often shot to pieces in a lifetimes attempt at juggling child care, older parent care, financial worries and their own personal life choices.
”Nursing is a titanic behemoth that demands prioritisation”
A blame culture is hardly helpful.
Nursing is a titanic behemoth that demands prioritisation. It can be difficult to decide on the master or slave relationship we have with our role when we very often have to manage the expectations and demands of others. Nursing is a seductive, all-consuming job, engulfing personal lives to the extent that it eradicates all else.
Combine this with organisations experiencing tremendous pressure, and I begin to wonder how much more can nurses take?
Nurses need the support and guidance of peers and seniors at local and wider level to support those about to revalidate.
Revalidation is a good thing. It allows nurses to reflect on their practice, demonstrate that they have developed their intellect by taking on further study and kept up to date in their practice.
However, I wonder how many will decide that enough is enough and this is the last straw that will break their back? I am optimistic that with appropriate support it will benefit the profession as well as individuals.
Whatever nurses think about revalidation, it looks as though it is here to stay. Have you started your revalidation journey yet?
Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse and PhD. student at the University of Nottingham
Nursing Times is holding its second revalidation conference this March in Manchester to help nurses and their employers prepare. Find out more here.