Only a couple of decades ago you could, in theory, qualify as a nurse and spend 40 years in the profession without undertaking any form of study or updating. And while examples of nurses who did that may be few and far between I’m long enough in the tooth to remember the introduction of PREP in the 1990s, and I know a few did exist.
“I’ve been nursing for over 30 years and never needed to do any more studying, so I don’t see why I should start now,” one nurse told me furiously when I visited her hospital to canvass opinions on what kind of support nurses might need in fulfilling their forthcoming PREP requirements. She then proceeded to give full vent to her feelings about “reflective claptrap” and “clever-clever nurses” who “went on” about this article or that new technique. That nurse was an extreme example, but at the time mandatory CPD did seem pretty radical.
It’s no secret that PREP hasn’t been fit for purpose for some time. Early promises to audit individual professional portfolios fell by the wayside, and currently there is no system of checking NMC registrants have fulfilled their CPD or practice requirements. But that’s set to change, and you have a chance to influence what comes next.
The NMC has initiated a six-month consultation on revalidation, and is inviting all interested parties to give their views via an online survey. Anyone can give their views, and whether or not nurses and midwives take part in the consultation you can bet your bottom dollar that many of your most strident critics will.
It will be impossible to come up with a revalidation system that pleases all of the people all of the time. However, we can only hope the NMC do better than the General Medical Council appears to have done, according to a survey by Doctors.net.uk and come up an effective system that takes account of the realities of day-to-day nursing and midwifery practice.
I can’t promise you that completing the survey will result in the perfect revalidation system, but if you don’t, you can’t complain if you don’t like what’s imposed.