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Revalidation may seem time-consuming for a busy nurse, whether you’re working in mental health nursing, paediatric nursing or dental nursing, but it has clear benefits for career development in healthcare.

It is now two years since the revalidation process - which nurses and midwives in the UK must follow to maintain NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) registration - replaced the former PREP (Post Registration Education and Practice).

As a system with defined goals, it can be help you make the most of your CPD (continuing professional development) and deliver a renewed focus to your career.

However, to get the most out of revalidation, starting early and collecting evidence and feedback as you go along is key. Not only will it help make revalidation run more smoothly, but it can also be more rewarding.

Revalidation has clear goals

Revalidation will identify areas of practice you may wish to look at more closely. It encourages you to reflect on the NMC code in your practice, raising awareness of it and the professional standards expected of nurses; and it will demonstrate that you practise safely and effectively, strengthening public confidence in your profession.

It will motivate you to stay up to date in your professional practice by developing new skills and understanding changing needs within a healthcare environment whilst also nurturing a culture of sharing, reflection and improvement via engagement in professional networks and discussions about your practice, which can help to reduce professional isolation.

Keeping on top of the paperwork

Remember, as part of the need to revalidate every three years to renew registration, there are very specific requirements, such as details of the 35 hours of CPD including 20 hours of participatory learning, the five pieces of practice-related feedback or the five written reflective accounts. However, these will feel easier with regular note-taking, planning and record-keeping.

But if you feel are struggling to keep the revalidation paperwork in order, here’s some tips that could help keep you on track:

1. Keep a portfolio and add to it on a regular basis as you collect the evidence that will demonstrate that you have met your revalidation requirements;

2. As you receive feedback – positive or negative – treat it all as constructive and use it to show that you have evolved your practice as a result;

3. During the three years of the revalidation cycle, make regular notes, refer to them and build upon them:

4. Speak to colleagues about gaps in development;

5. Identify areas where you can improve

Becoming a better nurse

The NMC and RCN have produced guides for revalidation, including the RCN’s helpful ‘10 steps’ toward revalidation (

“It’s important to start thinking about revalidation now, even if your revalidation date seems a long time in the future,” says the RCN. “This includes being aware of all the revalidation requirements such as minimum hours of CPD and indemnity cover.”

Reflecting on your practice will identify changes from what you have learned…and help you become a better nurse.

If you have any tips you would like to share to demonstrate how you have successfully managed your revalidation portfolio, please let us know!
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