The first anniversary of revalidation gives us the opportunity to reflect and take stock. While I may be biased, I think the first year has been a tremendous success with more than 200,000 nurses and midwives having now successfully revalidated with NMC.
I’ve met with thousands of nurses and midwives from across the UK during the past year. From my conversations and on social media, there’s a very strong sense that the nursing and midwifery professions have responded positively to revalidation; embracing the new process and really seeing it as a means of supporting and developing their practise.
It’s fair to say that there were some concerns when we first announced that we would be introducing revalidation. Nurses and midwives were unsure if they would have the time to meet the new requirements and employers were concerned about how they could support nurses and midwives through the process. But since then feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with nurses, midwives and employers alike praising the new process for being simple, straightforward and beneficial. I’d like to thank employers for their contribution in getting revalidation off the ground, particularly how they’ve supported line managers to undertake multiple confirmations.
I often hear that the element of revalidation which is proving most valuable to nurses and midwives is reflection. As part of this process nurses and midwives must produce five written reflections on elements of their practice, professional development or feedback they have received and discuss these with another nurse or midwife. Setting aside the time to take stock and share experiences in this way is clearly proving a vital tool. This also places public protection at the heart of revalidation as nurses and midwives now have to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are able to deliver care in a safe, effective and professional way.
Here at the NMC we are committed to supporting nurses and midwives through every stage of their revalidation. We will continue to work closely with employers, professional bodies and other stakeholders to communicate with nurses and midwives about the process and provide them with all the supporting materials they need.
But the process has only just begun. While we welcome success there is always more to do and almost three-quarters of our register still need to go through revalidation for the first time over the next two years. We will be producing an annual report which will provide further details of how the process has worked and where we have identified areas of improvement.
One year on from its introduction, I am proud revalidation has been so overwhelmingly embraced by the professions. It shows how much nurses and midwives value the importance of living the values and standards set out in the Code.
Jackie Smith is the Chief Executive and Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.