Revalidation is a new process that nurses and midwives have to go through before they can renew their registration with the Nurses and Midwives Council (NMC). It's designed to improve public protection by ensuring that healthcare professionals are fit to practice and that they're knowledgeable about the latest methods and techniques in the healthcare sector.
Nurses and midwives understandably feel nervous about revalidation. However, the pressure is even greater for agency staff, many of whom usually don't get as much training and support as permanent employees. Fortunately, if you're an agency nurse, take note that there are some things that you can do to make revalidation easier and less stressful. Here are a few tips you can use:
1. Create a free online account at the NMC's website. Having an account is greatly helpful since it lets you check your exact revalidation date and get a list of the requirements that you'll need to prepare. The NMC will also send you a notification 60 days before your revalidation is due, ensuring that you won't forget it.
2. Prepare for your revalidation at least 6 months in advance. As mentioned above, the NMC will remind you about your revalidation two months before the due date, but two months usually aren't enough. Remember: you won't only have to gather the required paperwork but you'll also need to do mental and emotional preparation and make yourself ready to write your reflective pieces.
3. Speak to friends and colleagues who have already gone through revalidation. Ask questions about their experience and take note of their tips so you'll have a clear idea of what you need to do. Of course, when the time comes to help someone else in the future, don't hesitate to share what you've learned.
4. Make the NMC code the center of your life. Whenever you write your reflections and have discussions, always link your experiences as well as the lessons you've learned to the code. Appraisers and Confirmers will look at how you have internalized the code and made it a part of your life as a healthcare professional.
5. Whenever you undergo training, write your insights about the things that you have learned on the back of the certificate that you'll receive. This way, you can express your thoughts while they're still fresh in your mind, and you can use these later on when you're preparing reflections for your revalidation portfolio. Make sure to keep your training certificates in a safe place!
6. Read nursing and medical articles in magazines a few months before your revalidation is due. This way, you'll have enough time to digest their content and think of how you can apply them to your work. You can even make it a habit to write notes as you read so you can have more details to add to your reflections portfolio.
7. Before asking a patient for their feedback, make sure that you have built a good rapport with them first. Doing this is important so they won't feel like you're intruding into their privacy. Don't forget to obtain their consent and explain that you need the feedback for your revalidation.
8. Search for forums, support groups, and interactive sessions that are organized by senior nurses or revalidation experts. This way, you can speak with people who have gone through the process and/or know it inside out and can give you helpful tips.
9. Look for free or discounted courses that will help you complete the required number of hours of continuing professional development without paying too much. The NMC doesn't have a list of prescribed activities, so it's up to you to choose those that are relevant to your professional development
10. Enjoy the process! Think of your revalidation as a way of doing your part to improve the nursing community and the healthcare sector as a whole.
These are just some tips that agency nurses can use when undergoing revalidation. Do you have any advice to add to this list? Share them with us!