Victoria is a senior consultant admiral nurse at Dementia UK.
Preparing for revalidation
Victoria is the national lead for the consultant admiral nurse team, giving guidance, support and consultancy to ensure the best care for people and families living with dementia. That means she must keep up-to-date with best practice and be able to offer that knowledge to nurses seeking advice.
For her, revalidation is an ongoing process rather than one to complete every three years. She’s constantly reflecting, writing case studies, and keeping records about practice development.
"I think preparation has to happen in two ways,” she says. “The first thing is that everyone should reflect on practice throughout the year. So much of everything we do can go into one’s revalidation file. The second thing is to keep everything in one place and to schedule time to pull everything together and get it signed off."
Admiral nurses at Dementia UK also benefit from regular opportunities to meet their CPD requirements.
"We run regular Masterclasses, attend conferences and learning events. I read books and journal articles on a regular basis, use social media to learn what others are doing and reflect on this,” Victoria explains. “It’d be difficult to be considered a dementia specialist if we didn’t do all those things."
Victoria says she met the feedback requirement by keeping emails and cards from clients and evaluations she received from talks she delivered at conferences and events.
"I asked a couple of peers for some 360-degree feedback as well,” she says. “I found that every helpful. All best practice should involve regular reflection, at least monthly. I frequently document these reflections and use them in my supervision, to learn and sometimes to develop case studies. I would like to see nurses using reflection in everyday practice everywhere. Doing these accounts should be the easiest part, a real chance to sit back, take stock and learn."
"I completed my reflective discussion and confirmation during a one-to-one session with my line manager. We booked the session in advance and I sent her my evidence before the meeting. It was a great opportunity to sit and talk about the work I was doing in a very focused way. It also made me feel valued, respected and appreciated for the skills and expertise I have. I enjoyed the process."
She said the biggest challenge about revalidation is making time to compile evidence.
"You really do have to keep revalidation in your mind and collect evidence. I’d recommend that people take photos of CPD certificates, and save them in a file. People should get into the practice of reflecting on a regular basis. Really people should just write things down and use this as part of their evidence. Revalidation is something people should enjoy. It’s a way to celebrate all you have achieved as a nurse without having to go for a job interview!"