“Concerning” gaps in awareness about the forthcoming system of revalidation have been identified, particularly among junior nurses, following a survey of pilot participants.
Only around a third of the registrants who tested revalidation this summer said they knew a “fair amount” about the new system of competency checks before becoming involved in piloting the process.
Meanwhile, 15% of band 5 nurses said before the pilots began that they knew “nothing at all” about the new system of three-yearly checks on competence, which is expected to launch in April 2016.
“The NMC needs to ensure we communicate in the best way via individual registrants and organisations. But if we see this only as the NMC’s responsibility we have missed a trick”
However, senior nurses were more aware, with only 3% to 4% of band 7 and 8 nurses having no knowledge at all ahead of the pilot.
Of the 2,300 pilot participants, around half took part in an Ipsos MORI survey – commissioned by the Nursing and Midwifery Council – about their experiences of revalidation.
The full findings are due to be published in NMC council papers later this week.
NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith told Nursing Times it was a “concern” that 15% of junior nurses had not known anything at all about revalidation prior to piloting the system.
However, the responsibility for ensuring every registrant was ready for its introduction next year did not lie solely with the regulator, she said.
She said: “We [the NMC] need to find a way of ensuring we communicate in the best way via individual registrants and organisations.
“But if we see this only as the NMC’s responsibility we have missed a trick,” she said. “We need to engage with the chief nursing officers, we need to involve senior nurse directors and midwives across all four countries and say: ‘help us get the message out there’.”
“I’m not surprised that some organisations are saying they are going to hold off [on implementing revalidation plans]”
However, she said she did not expect nurses and midwives in large organisations to be unaware of revalidation.
“In large organisations who have been actively engaged, I suspect that is not the issue. I suspect the issue is in smaller organisations or perhaps in some of the other sectors,” added Ms Smith.
Analysis of the pilots and other organisations by audit firm KPMG, also due to be published in NMC council papers this week, revealed only 20% of organisations had started to implement plans for supporting revalidation.
Ms Smith said it was “completely understandable” that a lot of organisations were waiting for the NMC to finalise standards and guidance, expected to take place at an NMC council meeting next week.
“I’m not surprised that some organisations are saying they are going to hold off,” Ms Smith told Nursing Times.
“The moment the NMC decides to launch it [revalidation] then I would expect organisations to gear up their plans pretty quickly,” she added.