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New system of checks on nurses will raise standards, says NMC chief

  • 35 Comments

The implementation of a new system of checks on nurses, called revalidation, will raise standards in the profession, the chief executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council has claimed.

In an interview following the publication of provisional revalidation requirements for nurses, NMC chief Jackie Smith said the regulator had to be “realistic” over what the new system would deliver when it is launched later this year.

Ms Smith said it was crucial individual nurses took responsibility for meeting the new standards, adding that “employers were vital” to its success.

“It is not about catching bad people – it is about raising standards and about individuals owning this and taking responsibility as professionals”

Jackie Smith

She said the NMC’s existing post-registration education and practice system, known as PREP, which requires nurses to keep a portfolio of their learning, was “not fit for purpose”.

“None of the nurses I have talked to in the last 18 months can say the NMC ever asked for their PREP,” she added.

Ms Smith said it was important the NMC brought in a system of “checks and balances”, but added: “We need something that does not become bureaucratic and that adds value.”

She stressed the process was not about identifying poorly performing nurses. She said: “This is considerably more than we do now, but we have to be realistic about this. It will not work if it is simply seen as a diktat.”

Ms Smith said: “It is not about catching bad people – it is about raising standards and about individuals owning this and taking responsibility as professionals. Most of them will do it and that has to be a good thing.”

Revalidation, a key recommendation from the Francis inquiry into failures of care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, is set to come into force on 31 December. It will require nurses to complete a series of checks every three years as part of renewing their NMC registration.

Among the requirements for revalidation, nurses must obtain five pieces of practice related feedback. This can be formal or informal, written or verbal, and the actual feedback will not need to be provided to the NMC.

Nurses must also complete five written reflections on the NMC code and discuss this with another registrant, but copies of the reflective pieces will not need to be submitted to the NMC.

A third party, usually a nurse’s line manager, will need to sign a confirmation that the nurse has met the revalidation standards. The NMC said this did not have to be a nurse and it was not essential they worked with them.

Ms Smith said the NMC would audit a sample of revalidation renewals but could not yet say how large that sample would be.

  • 35 Comments

Readers' comments (35)

  • Dammit! I've just got my portfolio looking nice, too...

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  • Well I can happily say that after 30 years of Nursing and Midwifery I will be taking early retirement, in part due to this latest reinvention of the wheel that the NMC has decided on. For an organisation that was only recently deemed unfit for purpose and had mismanaged our money that funds them, I wonder where they have found the time or finances to devise this new process for re-registration. Moreover where are the additional staff coming from that will surely be needed to implement it?

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  • oh dear at a time when there are lots of baby boomers already going into retirement. seems there will be lots more going earlier! very short sighted of the NMC.

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  • handing in my notice, not worth the stress without this , jsckie smith says it will not only be about rooting out the bad nurses but really it will be about rooting out any nurse

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  • Well that's great news....NOT!
    My line manager goes all out to make my life difficult, this will be all her birthdays and Christmas's come at once.
    I can see her face and hear her voice now...
    Deep joy :(

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  • Anon 03-02-15 @ 5:33 pm
    "jsckie smith says it will not only be about rooting out the bad nurses but really it will be about rooting out any nurse"

    Totally agree

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  • HCSW

    I am a little confused now, Are RGN with degree, better than those with diplomas only? Diploma nursing courses has been stopped two years ago, so why not to expect from all nurses to do the degree? It is sad, that nobody really has got a long term vision how the NHS should look like..

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  • Why are people so worried about this, if you have a degree you shouldn't have a problem to present 5 pieces of written reflection every 3 years. If you don't - there is nothing wrong with asking diploma nurses to do a little research and write a piece of work. This already exists in other professions like radiographers who have to keep a record of CPD ( going to study days, research etc ), at least it keeps them up to date with all advances in their field.

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  • Will be used by the bullies in management to get rid of the staff nurse who are not in their little clicks.The ones who do not praise every comment they make on FB etc...This will happen to the genuine good nurses who DO NOT sit with their backsides glued to a chair at the nurses station writing notes on patients they have not looked after,but no doubt have received the info required from the HCA who did the work...they will talk the talk on handover though and Sister will think they are wonderful.....What a load of c...

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  • So how do 'just bank nurses' become revalidated?

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