Miranda is a self-employed aesthetic nurse who runs her own clinic in Scotland
When Miranda first heard about revalidation she saw it as an opportunity. Being self-employed can be isolating, she says, and she felt that revalidation would encourage aesthetic nurses to make connections, learn from each other and support one another. Not only that, but she thought it would also give her, and others in her field, the opportunity to demonstrate professionalism.
"At the end of the day I want to deliver the best results to my clients," she says. Being revalidated every three years lets them know she is keeping her knowledge and skills up to date.
One of the first challenges for Miranda as an independent practitioner was providing evidence of her practice hours. "I've got a paper diary I scribble all my appointments in, but I now also use an electronic diary in my clinic. That means I can easily demonstrate to my confirmer how I meet my practice hours."
You may think that because she has to fund all of her own learning opportunities, Miranda would have found the CPD requirement challenging. But as she explains, this wasn't the case. "In the first six months I'd already completed the necessary number of hours, and I think that's the nature of this role," she says. "Technology and treatments are changing all the time and you need to keep ahead to offer the best treatments."
Obtaining feedback was also something Miranda took in her stride. After a treatment she will often ask clients to go online and write a review, and she uses questionnaires to find out what she's doing right or wrong. "Being self-employed, you have to be conscientious about all these things," she says.
When it came to writing her reflective accounts, Miranda found this helpful in identifying areas where she needed more development. "When you're writing those accounts you're mainly reflecting on things that you need to improve," she says. "They're real situations and it's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's just learning."
Reflective discussion and confirmation
Miranda is part of a professional network of aesthetic nurses, and it was through this network that she found the nurse who acted as both her reflective discussion partner and her confirmer. They talked through Miranda's reflective accounts, discussing how Miranda had managed certain situations, what she'd learnt, and what steps she could take to develop further. They realised this discussion was actually a good opportunity for both of them to learn and reflect, and it's something they will continue to do regularly. Miranda ensured she recorded the reflective discussion and confirmation on the mandatory NMC forms and kept them in her portfolio.
Miranda's best advice for anyone preparing for revalidation, but especially for nurses who work independently, is to buddy up with someone. "There are challenges of being isolated, and especially when you are self-employed, you have to be conscientious," she says. "It's very important to have someone to reflect with and to share examples of your practice with. If you have that then revalidation is not frightening."