How to write reflective accounts for NMC revalidation

When putting together reflective accounts for your nursing revalidation, there are specific requirements to meet. In this guide, we will provide you with information on what to include and advice on writing your reflective accounts so that the process remains as straightforward as possible.

With Pulse as your main employer, we can provide you with a full revalidation service, which includes reviewing your reflective accounts as well as supporting you with the completion of your reflective discussion and confirmation. And for nurses that work with us but where we aren’t your main employer, we can offer valuable support and knowledge during the revalidation process.

Read on for advice and information on how to write your reflective accounts and to see how we can support you with your revalidation as you work with Pulse.

Requirements for your reflective accounts

Revalidation, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) compliance process for nurses, requires you to write five reflective accounts, which must then be used to form your reflective discussion with another NMC-registered nurse, midwife, or nursing associate. 

These reflections encourage a culture of sharing and open discussion so that you can identify changes and/or improvements that you can make to your practice. They also help to raise awareness of the Code and encourage you to consider the Code in your practice and professional development.  

When putting together your NMC reflective accounts, they should focus on your real-world experiences as a nursing professional, which have occurred within the last three years (within the current revalidation period). They can be around any of the following: 

  1. One of your continuous professional development (CPD) focus areas
  2. Practice-related feedback you’ve been given on your work
  3. An event or experience you’ve had
  4. An incident or complaint
  5. A combination of the above

The reflective accounts for revalidation must be entered into the official template form provided by the NMC. Each form contains four sections, all to be completed by yourself.

When completing the form, it is important to note that you must refer only to yourself in the reflective accounts, without mentioning anyone else by name or other identifying details.

How to write your reflective accounts

Putting together your reflective accounts provides you with the opportunity to analyse and evaluate your experiences and achievements. This can help to solidify your sense of purpose both professionally and personally, renewing your passion for your work. Many people find that this time for reflection gives them fresh motivation in their day-to-day roles.

It is good practice to become accustomed to reflecting as part of your weekly routine. Most nurses reflect on their everyday practice all the time, either on their own or through discussions with colleagues. Regularly writing down notes around your work will help you to accurately recall details and save time later.

When completing your NMC reflective accounts template, you are asked to outline the nature of the CPD activity and/or practice-related feedback and/or event or experience in your practice. You then need to expand further on your chosen examples and talk about:

What you learned

Here you can talk about how your chosen activity or piece of feedback led to you developing a new understanding of your work and a new approach. For example, you may want to outline the impact that a chosen event had on you to show how and why you developed a different strategy or have a different perspective following on from it.

How it changed and improved your practice

In this section, you must document how it changed and improved your practice. Never write that it has not changed your practice. Essentially, this section needs to highlight how you have applied actionable learnings from the first section.

How it relates to the Code

At the final stage of the form, you have to demonstrate how your chosen example meets one or more of the principles within the Code:

  1. Prioritise people
  2. Practise effectively
  3. Preserve safety
  4. Promote professionalism and trust

You first need to specify which principle the experience is relevant to and then talk about the most relevant guiding statement from within that principle.

Across the five reflective accounts, you must refer to each theme of the Code at least once.

Writing style tips for your reflective accounts

Your NMC reflective accounts don’t need to be extensive in length, so there’s no need to be overwhelmed by the various sections that you need to complete. Also, try not to make your answers too brief. Be sure to carefully answer all the questions and demonstrate your understanding of the standards required within the nursing profession.

You can use bullet points to format key information in a way that’s easy to digest. Just take care to write in full sentences within and/or around this so that you properly convey what you have experienced and learned. The nursing reflective accounts don’t need to be written academically or professionally. Simply give honest and thoughtful responses, and this should fulfil what is required.

How Pulse can support your revalidation

At Pulse, we have supported hundreds of nursing professionals through their revalidation with our tried-and-tested process.

Once you identify that you would like to revalidate with Pulse and that we are your main employer, we’ll make sure you never miss a deadline, taking off the pressure as you focus on work by sending forms and templates to you ahead of time. We can also offer guidance related to your reflective accounts and make sure that you have the support you need before your reflective discussion. We will carry out your reflective discussion with you and act as your confirmer too.

If we aren’t your main employer, but you are cleared to work with us, we can also provide valuable support by sending you your required reports containing your hours, CPD information, and other details needed to inform your documents.

Contact us today to find out how Pulse can support you during your revalidation. 

If you are looking to join Pulse, take a look at the nursing job vacancies that we currently have available or register your interest, and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.    

Leave a comment