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MAR 24/2016

My revalidation application – “It’s not as hard as you think it is”

To dispel the uncertainty regarding the application process and to provide some guidance on what to expect, we interviewed Thulani Mahlangu, a registered mental health nurse specialising in Forensics, who has recently completed his revalidation. 
Thulani, who qualified in March 2001, has been working with Medacs Healthcare on a full-time basis since 2015 and has been predominantly working at the Redwoods Centre and at St George’s hospital in Stafford.
When did you start thinking about revalidation?
In June last year revalidation was mentioned at Reaside Clinic in a senior nurse management meeting. However, it was in November last year that I started to seriously think about doing my revalidation. 
How did you start the revalidation process? 
I met with one of my friends that I regularly have peer supervision with. We discussed revalidation and in actual fact it didn’t seem as difficult as I thought it was. 
Do you have an e-portfolio?
I did not use an e-portfolio before I started my revalidation, but I did keep some of my documents electronically. 
When collecting my evidence, I decided to get an e-portfolio for ease of use and access. I received a free RCNi Portfolio through Medacs Healthcare and have found it very useful for completing my application.
How did you feel before the process? Were you nervous or worried?
Naturally I was anxious and nervous. There’s a lot of paperwork that we do as nurses and I had this feeling that revalidation would mean more work outside my working hours. I knew that it would be impossible to do revalidation work during work time as we hardly get enough time to take breaks on most days due to staffing shortages. 
Is there any part of the process that has surprised you and if so, why?
Truthfully speaking there haven’t been any surprises. It is however extremely important to be organised and structured throughout this process. 
Have any of the requirements been challenging?
All the requirements have been reasonably okay to achieve. With regards to practice-related feedback, whenever I received a compliment about any aspect of my practise, I would then request written feedback to go in my portfolio.
Is there anything you wish you had known before you started the revalidation process?
I think having peer supervision with an experienced practitioner did help. The Royal College of Nursing website explains revalidation in simple language and I found their site very useful. In a way I’ve been well prepared.
What did you have to do to complete the online application? 
I collected all my evidence for revalidation which I’ve kept electronically on the RCNi Portfolio. I then logged on to my NMC Online account to finalise the revalidation process. 
When completing the process online please make sure you have all of your evidence with you and if you haven’t registered for the NMC Online, please do so. You cannot revalidate without an NMC Online account and you won’t receive the reminders leading up to your revalidation date.
What would you tell someone who hasn’t started the process yet?
Don’t leave things to the last minute. Revalidation is not something you can do in a day or even in a week. Gathering supporting information is a cumulative process over the three year period, and not one that should be left until the last minute. 
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Revalidation is not as hard as you think it is. As long as you prepare well in advance, it is a doable process. 
Need more information about revalidation?
Take a look at the Agency Nurse Revalidation Portal, where you can find details of each element in addition to a step-by-step guide to completing your revalidation application.
For those of you who are on social media, visit the Agency Nurses Revalidation group on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Good luck!

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