NMC revalidation continuing to support nurses and midwives so better, safer care can thrive

18 July 2019

More than 600,000 nurses and midwives registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have now been through revalidation at least once since it was first introduced three years ago.

Out today (Thursday 18 July), this year’s annual revalidation report shows that between April 2016 and March 2019, 611,462 nursing and midwifery professionals (93 per cent of those who were due to revalidate during this time) successfully demonstrated their continued ability to practise safely and effectively in health and care settings across the UK.

In the past year alone (April 2018 - March 2019), 204,545 (94 per cent) nurses and midwives have revalidated with the NMC.

This is the third report of its kind that the professional regulator has produced, this time sharing new information about where people are working and much improved data about the diversity of nurses and midwives.

The report reveals the majority of nurses and midwives revalidating are employed in direct clinical care – mainly in the fields of adult nursing and general care – with 56 per cent of roles in hospital or other secondary care settings and 18 per cent in community care.

At a time when nursing and midwifery professionals who are trained outside the UK continue to make up a vital and much valued part of the health and care workforce, the data shows certain work settings rely more heavily on this group than others. In the care home sector, 39 per cent of nurses and midwives were reported as having trained outside of the UK, while in hospitals and other secondary care settings this was 19 per cent.

When analysing differences in ethnicity, the fields of adult and mental health nursing were found to be the most diverse. People employed via an agency were also more ethnically diverse compared to those in direct employment.

Also published today is the NMC’s final independent evaluation report on the first three years of revalidation, conducted by Ipsos MORI.

This report contains much that is encouraging about the benefits being felt by nurses and midwives who have completed their revalidation.

In the evaluation, nurses and midwives cited revalidation as a way of embedding reflection, and revalidation also contributed to nurses and midwives seeing the Code as central to their everyday practice.

A positive effect on how nurses and midwives viewed the role of the NMC in supporting and maintaining individual practice following revalidation is also seen in the evaluation report.

The evaluation highlights that beyond this revaluation milestone, the next steps will be growing revalidation to sustain and improve effects.

Commenting on the experience of revalidating twice as a registered nurse, Dame Professor Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said:

“Having been through the revalidation process myself, I can tell you how valuable a process it is for ensuring your skills and knowledge as a nurse are up-to-date, as well as giving you an opportunity to reflect on your development.

“It is clearly a necessary process, and whilst we need to have a way of ensuring all our nurses continue to have the necessary skills, it should also be seen as one for learning and development rather than critical examination.

“With nursing developing all the time, the process is a hugely valuable tool to understand where you can develop and help you to give the best possible care.”

Emma Broadbent, Director of Registration and Revalidation at the NMC, said:

“At the end of our third year of revalidation, it’s a delight to see so many nurses and midwives choosing to revalidate across all four countries of the UK.

“Furthermore, the evidence showing that revalidation is really helping those on our register to reflect on their practice, as well as enhancing their professional pride and personal development, is great news for people who rely and depend on good quality nursing and midwifery care.

“As well as successes, the independent evaluation and our latest analysis identifies some interesting insights and welcome challenge. We look forward to using this information as part of our wider organisation strategy development work to ensure we continue to grow revalidation and help support and sustain further improvements now and for the future.”


Further background

Link to reports: www.nmc.org.uk/revalidation-reports

Technical details

The Ipsos MORI evaluation collected evidence over the first three years of revalidation from April 2016 to March 2019. This included stakeholder consultations, analysis of monitoring information, evidence and context reviews, a longitudinal process and outcomes survey among registrants carried out in each year of the evaluation, qualitative case studies, and qualitative interviews with registrants, confirmers, reflective discussion partners and employers.

In Year One, the first wave of the survey was conducted between November 2016 and March 2017; the second wave (Year Two) was conducted between November 2017 and March 2018; and the third and final wave (Year Three) was conducted between November 2018 and March 2019.

In Year One, a total of 35,981 registrants completed the survey across the three groups, representing a response rate of 21%.

Those who took part in the first survey and consented to being re-contacted were invited to take part in the second survey. In Year Two, a total of 11,242 registrants completed the survey across the three groups, representing a response rate of 44%.

Those who took part in the second survey and consented to being re-contacted were then invited to take part in the third and final survey. In Year Three, a total of 5,298 registrants completed the survey across the three groups, representing a response rate of 53%.

Data for each year were weighted to the known population profile for all registrants within each of the three cohorts.

Full methodological details for the survey and all evidence collection can be found in the Ipsos MORI final evaluation report.