Historic decision boosts professional standards for nurses and midwives

nursing in the community - healthy communities - person-centred care

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today made the decision to introduce a process of revalidation for all nurses and midwives in the UK, fulfilling a key recommendation from the Francis report into the failings at Mid–Staffordshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The introduction of revalidation is the most significant change to the regulation of nurses and midwives in a generation and will mean that everyone on the NMC’s register will have to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are able to deliver care in a safe, effective and professional way.

To remain on the register, nurses and midwives will have to show that are staying up to date in their professional practice and living the values of their professional Code by seeking feedback from patients and colleagues and engaging in a regular process of reflection, learning and improvement. For the first time, they will also have to obtain confirmation from another professional that they have met all the requirements before they apply to renew their place on the register every three years.

NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Jackie Smith, said:

“The NMC holds one of the largest registers of healthcare professionals in the world, and the introduction of revalidation is the most significant regulatory change in our history.

“We believe that revalidation will give the public confidence that the people who care for them are continuously striving to improve their practice. Indeed, nurses and midwives who piloted the new model told us that they too believe it will deliver real benefits in raising standards and protecting the public.”

After piloting revalidation in 19 sites across the UK, the NMC is confident that it is achievable, effective and realistic and that it is a proportionate way to make sure that nurses and midwives keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their career.

Following the NMC’s decision today and confirmation that all four UK countries are ready to implement the new system, revalidation will be introduced from April 2016. All 685,000 nurses and midwives on the NMC’s register will go through the new process as their registration becomes due for renewal over the course of the next three years.

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