It’s been nearly three years since you last revalidated as a UK Nurse. Now you’re due again for another revalidation as per Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements for all qualified nurses in the UK. But why do we have to do this? It is your responsibility as a nurse to plan ahead and meet the requirements set by the NMC within the three-year period of renewal. Revalidation is a must for nurses to continually practise in their careers. It ensures that you’re taking necessary steps to practise safely and effectively by meeting the practise hours, reflecting on your practise and continually learning through continuing professional development. It isn’t a linear task but a process that will engage you throughout your career. The NMC guidelines and requirements may seem a lot, but planning and preparation is the key to a successful and stress-free revalidation.
1. Check the deadline of your revalidation date through NMC Online.
If you haven’t got an NMC online account, it’s time to create one. You will see various information about your registration, statement of entry, as well as your revalidation date. It is your responsibility to ensure you’ll revalidate on time. The deadline for submission of your revalidation application is the first day of the month in which your registration expires so if your registration is due on March 30 then your deadline for revalidation is March 1.
2. Find out all the requirements set by NMC for revalidation.
Revalidation ensures that we meet the standard requirements to maintain our safe and effective practice. Amongst the requirements are the following:
450 Practice Hours for each registration, 900 Hours if dual registration ie. nurse and midwife - You must indicate the dates of practice, number of hours you’ve done, name and address of the work setting, scope of practice, description of your work and evidence of practice hours
35 hours of Continuing Professional Development - 20 hours participatory meaning that the learning activity has an engagement and interaction with one or more professionals. It doesn’t have to be face to face, as it can be virtual like webinars or twitter discussion. The remaining 15 can be self-directed learning such as online courses and e-learning. You must indicate the date the learning took place, the description of the learning activity and how it relates to the Code and evidence of the learning you’ve done.
5 practice related feedback - Feedback can be taken from mentors, colleagues, students, doctors and patients. You must indicate the feedback and how you’ve used it to improve your practice. You can also incorporate this to your reflective accounts but always make sure that no personal data must be present in order to maintain confidentiality.
5 written reflective accounts - Reflection is the process of looking back and evaluating how your CPD activity, the feedback you’ve gained relating to your practice and/or an experience in your practise improved the way you work, what you’ve learned or how you’ve changed as a result of these situations. You can use reflective models to give structure and flow on your reflective account such as Driscoll’s What model, Kolb’s Experiential model, Gibb’s reflective cycle and the ERA cycle.
Reflective Discussion Form - You must discuss your five reflective accounts with another NMC registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate. NMC highlights the importance of not identifying any individual involved within your reflective account unless they have agreed to do so. Use this form to show evidence of discussion including the NMC pin of the person you’re discussing it with and the date it has taken place.
Declaration of your health and Character
Professional Indemnity Arrangement Evidence - you must tell NMC that you have a professional indemnity in place. Whether it’s from your employer,
3. Know the NMC Code by heart and align your practise with it.
Every step in the revalidation process asks you in which it is in line with the Code of conduct for nurses, midwives and nurse associates. The code is the professional standard and behaviour expected from us to practise effectively which has four themes - prioritise people, practise effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust.
4. Make time for writing reflective accounts.
I believe reflecting on a certain situation while it is fresh in your mind gives a better accuracy on the chain of events that happened and in turn gives a more reliable evaluation of what went wrong, what have you achieved, what you could’ve done better and what actions do you need to foster improvement in your practice.
5. Engage with your colleagues and manager about your professional development and ways you can improve your practice.
Take on board all the feedback that you get from colleagues and patients and reflect on how you can improve your practice or maintain high standards with your work as a health professional.
6. Choose your revalidation confirmer and schedule a date and time to do the revalidation.
This should be a protected time for both of you, so it’s better to discuss it ahead of time with your manager or rota coordinator to give you time to get out of work and complete the revalidation process.
7. Always keep your portfolio up to date.
Update it once a month to avoid cramming for dates you’ve done your CPD, practice related feedback and practice hours.
Once you have carried out all this steps, it's time to confirm your revalidation in the NMC online website and make sure you have set a payment for your annual registration fee. Remember that NMC has a comprehensive guidance on how to revalidate (click here to see the link for the NMC Guide for Revalidation). Being organised and planning ahead can go a long way so you can enjoy what truly matters in your life as a nurse.. patient care and making a difference to someone's life.