Revalidation for nurses and midwives is achievable, desirable and realistic, according to initial findings from 19 revalidation pilot sites across the UK. More than 2,100 participants from a range of health and social care settings took part in the pilots earlier this year and many felt that revalidation was a positive experience.
Early indicators suggested that nurses and midwives found revalidation straight-forward and that reflection against the Code provided an opportunity for individuals to think about their professional behaviour.
Provisional evaluation of the pilots also showed that taking part in the pilots reduced concerns, and respondents acknowledged that revalidation builds on the work nurses and midwives are already doing. A majority of those who responded felt that it would be either very or fairly easy to achieve each of the requirements – practice hours, continuing professional development, reflective accounts, the professional development discussion and confirmation.
Commenting on the early findings, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Jackie Smith said:
“I am pleased with the feedback received. What’s being said is that revalidation is achievable, desirable, and realistic. Of course, there is a range of things that need ironing out and clarifying, and we will respond positively to this.
“We now know that nurses and midwives across practice settings have tested the revalidation model and they say it works.”
Reflecting on her experience of taking part in one of the pilots, Julie Perry, a band 5 RGN at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, said:
“I was apprehensive initially but after attending a revalidation session I felt that I understood what I needed to do. I enjoyed the process, funny as that sounds. I enjoyed being organised and revisiting educational experiences to reflect upon. I think this has helped me and my manager see the real benefits of the learning I have undertaken.
“The whole process was a valuable experience. I feel much more confident and prepared to do this again when revalidation goes live.”
The feedback from the pilots showed that the NMC needs to simplify the guidance for nurses and midwives. Other areas for improvement include clarifying the role of the confirmer, developing additional materials for employers, and raising awareness of revalidation across all areas where nurses and midwives work; particularly within primary care, social care and the independent sector. The NMC is committed to doing this work to make sure revalidation is a success.
Final reports on the evaluation of the pilots will be published in September. NMC Council will be making a final decision about proceeding with revalidation in October, with the first nurses and midwives expected to go through the process in April 2016.