Amanda and Claire are nursing associates (NAs) who work in community services at a trust in the Midlands. They both worked as community healthcare assistants before registering as NAs in 2022. Amanda and Claire spoke to us about their revalidation and what they have found useful so far.
First thoughts about revalidation
One year on from joining the register, Amanda and Claire are already thinking about how their continuing development can feed into their revalidation.
Claire knew from the beginning that she wanted to keep revalidation in mind as an ongoing reflective exercise and has created an electronic file for this purpose.
“I’m starting early so that when it’s time to revalidate I have all my evidence to hand. It’s easier to write everything down when it happens, rather than trying to recall what I will have done over three years.”
Amanda is also thinking about how she can use evidence from her day-to-day practice.
“We’ve done a lot of training and education in our preceptorship programme which we can use as evidence of our continuing professional development (CPD). In our first module, we were given the NMC’s CPD log and I have used this regularly as a record of my preceptorship training and education. I have also used the NMC reflection template to record my reflections on my CPD, events in practice and feedback.”
Claire recently wrote a reflective account and learnt about the value of reflective practice.
“I learnt the value of reflection from a recent experience when delivering care in the community. I was initially unsure if there was anything I could have learnt from my experience. My matron encouraged me to write a reflective account of everything that happened.
“Talking about an experience and reflecting that way is great but I found that writing the whole experience down helped me to draw out the potential learning opportunities and outcomes. I used the reflective accounts form which encouraged me to reflect on the Code and the standards of proficiency. When thinking about this particular episode of care, I realised how I could have communicated more effectively to my team. I looked at the Code and the standards to understand what effective communication would have looked like. Annexe A of the NA proficiencies and section eight of the Code speak directly to this. From these resources, I identified things I could do differently if I were in a similar situation or working with someone who was.”
Claire plans to use this reflective account for her revalidation but has also seen the benefit of continuous reflection. By reflecting and considering the Code and standards, Claire has been able to think about any education and training opportunities she can take to bridge the confidence gaps she identified early on in her role as an NA.
“This reflection has had a positive impact on the development of my practice. Most importantly, it highlighted how I can deliver better care to my patients which is our ultimate goal.”
Amanda and Claire have also been thinking about meeting the CPD requirements for revalidation. Amanda spoke about CPD activities she has documented so far.
“Claire and I facilitate an Action Learning Set (ALS). We sourced training to be able to facilitate these sets, which we have used in our own CPD logs. We chose the format of action learning sets, as it’s a form of participatory learning and counts towards the CPD hours for everyone who attends.”
“There’s a clear link between the standards and the ALS. For example, platform 4.8 talks about NAs contributing to team reflection activities to promote improvements in practice and service. This is exactly what the ALS intends to enable through group reflection.”
Amanda also emphasised how considering the standards of proficiency have helped frame the parameters of the ALS.
“It came from a project we headed up to help embed the role of NAs into our trust. We wanted NAs to have a support network to be able to discuss the issues arising from being in a new role. Platform 4.7 talks about supporting and acting as a role model to those new to care roles through reviewing the quality of care they provide, promoting reflection, and providing constructive feedback. The ALS has been a great way to see how what we do in our practice meets the standards in ways we may not have otherwise thought about."
Amanda and Claire both encourage other NAs in their trust to log their training and reflections as it happens. They find that it helps to consider the standards and the Code, especially when thinking about reflection and CPD.
Claire mentioned how she will continue to use the NMC revalidation resources to structure and log her reflection.
“I’ve found the templates and forms really useful and will continue to use them over the next two years until my revalidation and beyond.”
Amanda’s final reflection is that she won’t be leaving her revalidation preparation until the last minute.
“My revalidation is doing itself! It doesn’t need to be daunting. It’s about what you do in the day-to-day and collating it to better understand and improve your practice.”