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Why is becoming a nurse in the UK a big deal?

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​A frustrated nurse writes

"I recently took the OSCE and failed the skills section for absolutely bogus and arbitrary reasons. But before finding out that I had a "partial fail", I initially came out of that test feeling confident, like I had done well, and there is no way they would judge me to be an incompetent nurse. But despite my feeling that I performed well, I also emerged from the test simultaneously angry and frustrated, for having just committed 5 weeks of my life to stressing, floundering through disorganized, overabundant study materials on the Nile website, and traveling across the world... all for a test that clearly has nothing to do with assessing a nurse's competence. All the OSCE succeeds in testing is our willingness to jump through meaningless hoops and pay excessive fees!"

Why is everybody considering NMC competancy tests a big deal? Well, the reasons are obvious.

  • Pass not one but three tests (IELTS, CBT & OSCE)

  • Costs a fortune

  • Mentally and physically stressful

  • Meager pass rates

The competancy tests are so that governing body like the NMC wanting to safeguard the public, and it is their duty to do so. According to Northampton University, that responsible for OSCE test, the competence tests are designed to assess one's ability to competently apply his/her professional nursing or midwifery skills and knowledge in the UK. It is set at the level expected of nurses and midwives as they enter the profession (at the point of registration). This means one must show that he/she is capable of applying knowledge to the care of patients at the level expected of a newly registered nurse or midwife.

The examination tests your ability to apply knowledge to the care of patients rather than how well you can remember and recite facts. All of the test scenarios and any questions relate to current best practice and you should answer them in relation to published evidence and not according to local arrangements.

Now, passing the first two steps are rather easy for nurses who have atleast had a couple of years of practice. But, the last and final step- OSCE is deemed the most difficult of all.

  • You will be physically and mentally exhausted.

  • Your time is running fast and is not enough.

  • Some SPs will be challenging you intentionally and waste your time.

  • You will be nervous, irritable and cannot think straight.

  • You need to be organized and manage your time effectively.

  • You need to know in advance what to ask, as there is no time to think.

  • You need to be careful about how to phrase your questions and comments in order to be respectful and empathic. Remember, no time to think.

  • You need to ask your questions intelligently in order not to lead the patient or trigger time wasting and problem evoking conversations.

  • You need to be and appear confident, organized, and professional.

Well, thats a lot! But is it impossible? No, not at all.

A huge number of medicinal understudies, inhabitants, and graduates have done it. Alright, so it is difficult and in the meantime not unimaginable. You have to allot the required time and push to set yourself up to the OSCE Exams and you'll do very well.

Thats why NursingjobsUK has come up with a tailormade three day OSCE test preparation course to make you equipped for the test day.  

The session is led by experienced trainers covering all aspects of skills & assessment along with mock assessments. With our intensive training session, the candidates expressed interest saying they felt incredibly confident & well-prepared. We are only delivering the OSCE session to groups of no more than 6 participants to ensure that every candidate gets individual attention & support. Trained over 160 nurses, we have a proven track record of 92% pass including first-time takers and last time attempters.

Fill out this registeration form if you wish to participate.

NMC Registration and the OSCE test need not be a headache – 

NursingjobsUK will guide you through the process and following a successful registration, guarantee you a great position with a great employer anywhere in the UK.

We currently have vacancies & work permits available for Overseas Nurses. Please contact for more details or click here to apply for a job.

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