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Introduction of revalidation for nurses and midwives a ‘major success’

The introduction of revalidation for nurses and midwives has been a major success, with the majority of those due to renew their registration revalidating successfully.

Latest figures show 90.48% percent (14,362) of the 15,873 due to revalidate in April have successfully renewed their registration through revalidation and only 1,401 have left the register. This is in line with the number of registrants we would normally expect to leave the register in any given April.

Revalidation is the biggest change to the regulation of nurses and midwives in the NMC’s history and was introduced by the regulator in April, fulfilling a key recommendation from the Francis report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.  The new process means that the UK’s 692,000 nurses and midwives now have to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are able to deliver care in a safe, effective and professional way.

NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Jackie Smith, said:

“Nurses and midwives are clearly embracing revalidation, which should reassure patients and the public they are receiving safe care at the hands of professionals who regularly reflect on their practice.

“We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who have gone through the process, with nurses and midwives telling us that they find it realistic, achievable and beneficial.

“Importantly, statistics from the first month show that there has been no increase in the number of nurses and midwives leaving the register. This is contrary to concerns that revalidation might cause great numbers of registrants to leave. In fact, our register has seen a net increase of 31,000 people over the past six years.” 

Marcela Elkin, a practice nurse who works in a GP surgery as well as some band 5 shifts in A&E, was the first person on the register to revalidate. She said:

“Revalidation is the best thing that could have happened to nurses. It encourages them to push and be a bit braver. It will give nurses the power to say, ‘This is what needs to be done’.”

While the majority of the 15,873 due to revalidate in April have now completed the process, a small number of applications (106) have been granted an extension or are subject to additional checks by the NMC.

In addition to the high proportion of the April cohort submitting their revalidation applications, 96 percent of them now have an NMC Online account. NMC Online allows nurses and midwives to find out their renewal dates, as well as carry out other registration processes.