Finding the time to collect and reflect on revalidation evidence can prove challenging whilst juggling a hectic work and family life; but for agency nurses, that challenge might seem like an even bigger mountain to climb.
Whilst managing the Facebook group, Agency Nurses Revalidation, I came into contact with agency nurses from across the UK.
I found that the general consensus from nurses working with agencies, whether full or part-time, was 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 with whom the confirmation meeting can be completed. 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 Revalidation Recommendations
In 2015, I wrote an article highlighting the top 10 revalidation tips for agency nurses.
Since then, I have gained a greater insight into the revalidation process, especially in my role as Revalidation Champion for Medacs Healthcare. Now I’m in a position to offer more guidance on how to complete your revalidation application.
Eight Steps to Revalidation
Step One: Sign up or Login to the NMC Online
This will always be my first recommendation as it is so important. Simply sign up or login to your NMC Online account.
Here you will find your renewal and re-registration date which will confirm the date you are due to revalidate.
Remember, your revalidation date is the first day of the month in which you re-registered, and occurs once every three years. So, for example, if you are due to re-register on the 30 January, your revalidation date will be 1 January.
Step Two: Start Now
Start your revalidation now. Do not wait until you are months away from your revalidation date before taking action. 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 for Support
Many agencies offer support to their agency nurses, whether it is in the form of a guidance booklet, verbal support or access to CPD. It is worth consulting your agency to ascertain what kind of support is available.
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. This consists of templates, videos and case studies which provide a step-by-step guide to revalidation.
You can also join groups and forums, like the Agency Nurse Revalidation group, where you can get direct answers through instant messenger. This service allows you to connect with other agency nurses who find themselves in similar situations regarding revalidation.
Step Five: Recording Your Evidence
This part is up to you. You can print your revalidation forms, templates and any evidence to store in paper format. Alternatively, you can store everything online in an e-portfolio.
Regardless of how you choose to store your revalidation information, you must keep this portfolio up-to-date. Save copies of payslips, timesheets and certificates – anything that will show evidence for your revalidation requirements. To avoid any unnecessary stress, do not leave this part until the last minute.
Step Six: Look Out 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 can count towards your CPD, providing that it relates to your practice. Attending a seminar at an event similar to those offered by the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair counts, too.
To attend a revalidation seminar at the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair, book your free ticket now.
Step Seven: Understanding where and how to collect feedback
Feedback can be positive, constructive, formal, informal, verbal or written, and be 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 your 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.
Many confirmers believe that constructive feedback and reflections are the best forms of approach. It is widely believed that this demonstrates development and shows that you are 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 not to suffer 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.
Find Out More
If you are interested in finding out more about the revalidation process, we have a wide range of sources available. Visit our Revalidation Portal for Agency Nurses, download our Revalidation Guidance Sheet or contact our nursing team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, complete the form below:
*This post was originally published on 23/06/2016 and has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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