Finding the time to collect and reflect on revalidation evidence could prove challenging whilst juggling a hectic work and family life, but for agency nurses, that challenge could look like an even bigger mountain to climb.
Whilst managing the Facebook group, Agency Nurses Revalidation
, I’ve come into contact with many agency nurses from across the UK.
I’ve found that the general consensus from nurses working with agencies, whether full or part-time, is that they are unsure of where they can access the required support in order to complete their revalidation.
For those working in just a few locations on a regular basis, it may be easier to take part in workshops, find a colleague to have a reflective discussion with, or locate a line manager to complete the confirmation meeting with. However, agency nurses may struggle more than their permanent counterparts to complete their revalidation, as they can work in multiple locations every week and tend to travel further afield for work.
My recommendations to you
Last year, I wrote an article featuring some of my top tips for agency nurses. You can read that article here
Having more experience, especially in my role as Revalidation Champion for Medacs Healthcare, I’m now in a position to offer more guidance on completing your revalidation application. Here are my eight steps to revalidation…
Step One: Sign up or Login to the NMC Online
This will always be my first recommendation, simply because it’s so important – sign up or login to your NMC Online account
. Here you will find your renewal and reregistration date which will confirm the date you are due to revalidate. Remember, your revalidation date is the first day of the month you re-register (every three years). So if you are due to re-register on the 30 September 2016, your revalidation date will be 1 September 2016.
Step Two: Start now
Start your revalidation now. Don’t wait until you are months away from your revalidation date. You need to secure your reflective discussion and confirmation, so give yourself plenty of time to find someone who can help.
Step Three: Ask your agency how they are supporting you
Many agencies offer support to their agency nurses, whether that’s a guidance booklet, verbal support or access to CPD. Medacs Healthcare offers all agency nurses a free RCNi Portfolio
account where they can store evidence, read articles for reflection and take part in interactive knowledge quizzes. We’re also offering eight free revalidation sessions within 2016. These sessions count towards six hours of your required 35 CPD hours.
Step Four: Do your research
If your agency doesn’t offer much in the way of revalidation support, you can use the NMC’s Revalidation Portal
which consists of templates, videos and case studies which provide a step-by-step guide to revalidation. Join groups and forums, like the Agency Nurse Revalidation group, where you can get direct answers through an instant messenger and connect with other agency nurses who are in the same situation as you.
Step Five: Think about how you are going to record your evidence
This part is up to you. You can print your evidence, templates and forms to store in paper format, or you can store everything online in an e-portfolio, just like the one offered by the RCNi.
You must keep this portfolio up-to-date. Save copies of payslips, timesheets and certificates – anything that will show evidence for your revalidation requirements. Leaving this part until the last minute will cause you a whole lot of unnecessary stress.
Step Six: Look our for free CPD
You need to prove that you have learnt something from a training session, an event, or discussion, in order for it to contribute towards your 35 CPD hours.
Many people don’t realise that taking part in a Twitter discussion, (that relates to your practice), can count towards your CPD, as can attending a seminar at an event similar to those offered by the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair. Book your free ticket now
for the revalidation seminars at the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair in London.
Mandatory training will remain a grey area. Whilst the NMC have not specified that you cannot count this towards your 35 hours of CPD, many Confirmers will not accept it as part of your evidence. This type of training is viewed as an update and is not classed as development.
Step Seven: Understand where and how you can collect feedback
Feedback can be positive, constructive, formal, informal, verbal, written, individual or team related. If you complete staff evaluations at your agency, then that is a form of feedback that you can use. Also, don’t be afraid to use a complaint as part of feedback. Your Confirmer and the NMC are not judging your fitness to practice in your revalidation application, they are simply trying to encourage nurses to reflect and learn by their actions in relation to the Code. If you write a reflection on your complaint, you can use this towards your five reflective accounts too.
Having spoken to many Confirmers as an employee NMC session, I can confirm that many believe that constructive feedback and reflections are the best approach – they prove that you are developing and actively seeking ways to further improve your practice.
Step Eight: Talk about your revalidation
Don’t be afraid to talk about your revalidation progress with your agency or colleagues. You could even consider organising group meetings where you could informally discuss your evidence with other agency nurses.
It’s important to not suffer or stress in silence. There is a huge amount of information and guidance available online and offline, sometimes it’s just a question of asking for support
Written by Hayley Boulton
The Agency Nurse Revalidation Champion at Medacs Healthcare
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