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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!

7% difference in death rates have been linked to staffing alone. In a five-year investigation into the number of deaths in NHS hospitals, research suggests that:

  • Health care facilities with the highest staffing levels have the lowest death rates
  • The lack of nurses in a healthcare facility is considered one of the leading causes of hundreds of patients’ death after an emergency surgery.
  • The chance of surviving within 30 days of being admitted for an emergency operation is low in hospitals with fewer nurses, doctors and surgeons.

This only shows that nurses play a vital role in the health care industry, and the lack of them may account for a lot of patient’s death.

Based on the same research, the reason that many die after emergency surgery is because there is not enough nurses to care for them. An insufficient number of staff to spot and manage complications is also a key factor in determining whether a patient lives or dies in a particular facility.

Unfortunately, shortage of nursing is prevalent that NHS have to recruit from different parts of the world to fill gaps on rotas. These include nurses from India, Portugal, Philippines and Spain.

The problem is also foreseen to worsen with plans to scrap bursaries for future nurses and midwives. Taking out the bursaries of up to £20,000 could make the profession less enticing for a lot of people.

Still, there are ways to overcome nursing shortage.

1. Partner with providers of staffing solutions

Secure Healthcare Solutions is a specialist in health care staffing, supplying organisations with temporary and permanent solutions in the sector. They are hiring plenty of nurses that could become part of a clinic or hospital’s team, provided that you register with them. The agency also runs a referral program that are sure to encourage nurses to bring their peers into the organisation, and help eradicate shortage.

2. Create the right atmosphere

Secure Healthcare Solutions would take care of recruitment, but it is your responsibility to retain nurses within your employment. The best way to do this is to create an atmosphere that appreciates anything and everything a nurse does.

  • Keep work schedules flexible

Being overworked and stressed do not make happy nurses. Although nursing jobs are hardly easy and stress-free, it doesn’t have to be the cause of quick turnovers. You can offer relief by allowing nurses to juggle between work, home life and educational opportunities. Flexible scheduling would help create a working atmosphere that is productive and positive. 

  • Offer opportunities for career development

There is a call for 80% of nurses to have a bachelor’s degree come 2020. If anyone in your nursing staff doesn’t have a degree, help them achieve the highest level education possible. Doing so will make nursing staff feel more satisfied with their job. When this happens, expect them to stay within the organisation and to work with excellence, and not out of gratitude for the opportunity given.

  • Listen to their needs

No one knows better how to improve workflow than those in the field. In the case of healthcare facilities, input and insights from nurses should be considered vital information, as they are the ones directly interacting with patients. So make sure they are given ample face time. It is also important to implement their suggestions to show that their opinions and input did not go to waste.