The incoming revalidation process has 'enormous potential as a force for good', a leading nursing figure said.
Howard Catton, the RCN's director of policy, made the comments at the RCN's School Nurses Conference in London on 24 August while giving school nursing delegates an update on the process. He said that revalidation could be 'one of the most significant recommendations to have come out of the Francis Review if it genuinely encourages and supports the profession to reflect on its practice'.
However, he also said that there were certain aspects of revalidation that need to be clarified by the NMC. In particular, he spoke about suggestions that some organisations could levy a fee on those who undergo revalidation. The RCN and the NMC, he said, saw no reason a nurse or midwife will have to pay to revalidate. Mr Catton also raised the issue of what the NMC considers appropriate as CPD required to revalidate.
The NMC is preparing to launch the new model of revalidation in early 2016. Nurses will have to undergo the process every three years to maintain their place on the NMC's register. Early findings from revalidation pilot sites suggest that nurses regard the process positively, particularly when they are adequately informed about how to under go revalidation.
He also stated it was essential that the model of revalidation worked for 'every nurse in every setting', not just those working in large trusts and acute hospitals. He reminded the audience that revalidation will be conducted in line with the new NMC Code, which was written to cover nurses in a 'myriad of settings' including schools.
The School Nurses' Conference was held at the Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch in London to support school nurses, and provide more information about professional and practical issues.
Other speakers included Dr Gemma Trainor, a consultant nurse at Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust, and Keith Chambers, the programme manager at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. They spoke about the MindEd resource, which was designed to support anyone who works or comes into contact with a child in a professional capacity, including school nurses. The resource is designed to give training on children's mental health.
The treatment and management of long-term conditions in school settings was also discussed at the conference. Ann Brown, clinical nurse specialist for paediatric epilepsies at Nottingham Children's hospital discuss the importance of good communication between school nurses and teachers when managing epilepsy the classroom, while Libby Dowling, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, spoke about the need for training on diabetes in schools, so children could be supported to manage the condition when they are in school.