More than half of nurses think they know little about what revalidation is and less than half of them think it will actually improve care.
In a survey carried out by Unite’s community nurses (CPHVA) just 27 per cent of the 1,100 nurses responding said they knew what revalidation would involve.
More than two thirds of them (68 per cent) said they had not been given enough information about revalidation.
The NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) is replacing the current system of post registration education and practise (PREP) with this revalidation system.
Nurses and Midwives will still have to complete 450 hours of practice as well as a minimum of 40 hours of continuing professional development.
But they will also now be required to collect five pieces of feedback from patients and colleagues and give five written reflections concerning the NMC code of conduct with a third party ‘confirmer’ signing them off.
Over half of survey respondents said that they were anxious about finding the time to complete the process and only a third were confident that their employer would support them meeting the requirements.
“Change, even when welcomed, still creates a certain anxiety and apprehension,” said Obi Amadi, Unite lead professional officer.
“This is understandable, but if registrants act now and prepare at a steady pace, the impact will be less,” Obi added.
The revalidation model has been piloted across 19 sites and organisations across the UK and an NMC spokeswoman said early results showed that people found the process ‘quite straightforward’.
The new system is expected to be up and running by April 2016 with the first set of registrants going through the process then.
Previously, NMC registrants were able to self-validate by ticking the appropriate boxes to say that they were ‘fit to practice’.
Now they will have to validate every three years to remain on the NMC register, which is a compulsory requirement to keep their registration to work in health and social care.
The purpose of upgrading the validation process is to help improve public confidence in how they’re protected by nursing professions.
Managing already heavy workloads, making extra time to revalidate is a big concern for those surveyed with more than half anxious about finding enough time and 27 per cent worried about making errors.
“Although revalidation is the individual’s responsibility, they need support and the time from their employers for the process to be effective,” added Obi.
“Employers want staff working to a high standard, so they have to do what is needed to ensure that happens,” she added.
The NMC have already started publishing a comprehensive range of materials to support both nurses and midwives and their employers through the process.