It’s been talked about for so long that nurses could be forgiven for thinking nurse revalidation would never happen. But it is happening – and it’s happening soon.
From April 2016 all nurses will be required to undertake a range of revalidation activities including CPD, reflections and collating feedback.
In the current system, few nurses are asked to prove they have done 35 hours’ CPD when renewing their registration every three years. However, with revalidation, managers will have to confirm nurses have completed all their revalidation activities, so employers are now getting actively involved.
At last week’s Nursing Times Deputies’ Congress, half a day was spent helping deputy chief nurses get their organisations ready for revalidation.
Probably the most eagerly awaited session was a report from the organisations that have piloted the proposed new system. I suspect most people in the room were expecting to hear of some painful experiences.
But that’s not what happened.
The pilot sites acknowledged the challenges they had encountered - that’s to be expected in a pilot. But the sites not only survived the experience – they seemed positively energised by it. They spoke of revalidation as more than just a way of protecting patients by ensuring nurses are fit to practise. It is also a way for the profession to demonstrate its worth, and for individual nurses to embrace a culture of continual learning.
And the individual nurses in the pilot sites also seemed to have embraced revalidation.
While they may have had their doubts in the early stages, in practice they realised they were already doing most of the revalidation activities. As one said: “We’re already doing this – we just weren’t writing it down before”.
For the vast majority of nurses, revalidation won’t require many new activities – it will mainly involve keeping track of them and their impact on patient care. If you do that as you go along, you’ll find revalidation painless.
You may even start to value it as you realise the benefits it can bring to you and your practice.