What is the OSCE Test?  

The OSCE test is the second element of the competency test oversee nurses need to complete in order to regiser with the NMC.  
The NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council) have stated nurses need to pass two legacy tests in order to register as a nurse in the UK. The OSCE is the practical test looking at communication, holistic care and clinical skills.  
This article will cover (click on the sentence to head straight there): 
What is the OSCE test? 
The OSCE or Objective Structured Clinical Examination test is not about remembering facts, thats what the CBT is for. The OSCE looks at the clinical side of nursing and how you're relating knowledge into practice; arguably the most important aspect of nursing. 
Why do I need to do the OSCE test? 
When in a real-life situation, knowing information is not enough. Its good to know what the safe ranges of someone's blood pressure is, but what to do about it and the physical action required is whats really required. 
This is why every oversees nurse (except from Switzland) needs to undertake this OSCE test prior to receiving their pin number and being registered with the NMC. 
Is the OSCE test difficult? 
Good question! And of course the answer is....it depends! 
The OSCE test is set at the level of a newly qualified nurse; someone who is just entering the nursing profession. 
If you've been nursing for a while, then theoretically it should be easy, however on the day nerves could cause you problems, such as the dreaded memory blank! However, going through the training and practicing what to expect is a great way to properly prepare yourself to ensure you not only pass, but pass first time so you don't spend extra money on re-sitting the exam. 
You can find out more of what happens on the day here: What happens on the day of the OSCE test? 
Where can I take the OSCE exam? 
There are only three places in the UK which are registered to do the OSCE test. These are: 
Oxford Brookes University in England. They have two campuses in England, one in Oxford and one in Swindon. Click the link to go to their website: https://www.brookes.ac.uk/about-brookes/contacts-maps-and-campuses/ 
Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Click the link to go to their website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/nmc-competence-test-centre/location 
University of Northampton in England. Click the link to go to their website: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/about-us/services-and-facilities/nmc-test-of-competence/ 
The cost of the OSCE exam and the duration doesn't change depending on the location. Each site has the same level of difficultly and same scenario types so you aren't missing out by going to one university instead of another. 
For more information about booking an OSCE test, follow this link: How do I book an OSCE test? 
How long does the OSCE test take? 
Most people are at the test site for approximately three hours. There are only so many people booked into one day and each of the six stations have time limits, which means the day should run pretty smoothly, regardless of the location you choose. 
You can find out more of what happens on the day here: What happens on the day of the OSCE test? 
How much does the OSCE test cost? 
The OSCE test costs £794 per person at any of the above sites. If you need to do a re-sit there are extra costs; these are detailed below. 
To find out how to book an OSCE test, follow this link: How do I book an OSCE test? 
What happens if I fail the OSCE test? 
Great question! It's always on someone's mind when they are preparing for, or during an exam; we can't help it. So if you are unfortunate enough to have failed, you can re-sit the OSCE test again. However you're only allow three attempts at passing and you need to allow a minimum of 10 days before each re-sit. 
There is a cost to re-sitting the exam that you need to be aware of. If you need to re-sit stations 1-4, the cost is £397 per attempt. If you need to re-sit stations 5-6 it will cost the full £794 again. If you fail both stations 1-4 & stations 5-6 then you will only need to pay £794 to re-sit everything again. 
If you have tried the OSCE test and failed three times, you'll need to make a new application to the NMC prior to booking another OSCE test. 
Please do be aware that the scenarios and tests will change periodically and so there is a chance you will face a new scenario and practical tests when you re-sit your OSCE test. 
You can find more out about results and marking here: How To Pass the OSCE Test For Nursing? 
What happens if I have special requirements for the OSCE test? 
Firstly, you'll need to inform the university that you're going to book with. Each place will make adaptations to help support you through the OSCE test. You'll need to contact them directly of your requirement to find out what support they can offer. 
How do I book an OSCE test? 
Finally, now you know all about the OSCE test, how do you go about booking one? 
The NMC have kept the process nice and simple. 
1. Firstly you will need to login to your NMC online account: https://www.nmc.org.uk/registration/nmc-online/, 
2. Request to do the OSCE test from your portal, 
3. Once you have received your decision letter to state you can book it, you need to contact one of the test sites above to pick a date and pay the fee. 
And that's it! 
We wish you all the best with your OSCE test! 
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