It is vital to have a structured programme of support for nurses when they arrive in England.

Candidates will have passed the relevant English language exams (IELTS or OET) but will need to pass the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination).

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is required for most nurses who have trained overseas and who are moving to work in the UK. There are currently three approved centres where new arrivals can take the OSCE though this will soon be expanded to five centres. Full information about the centres is on the NMC website here:

It is important to support all potential candidates with up to date information about the exam requirements, as these are frequently updated. The Royal College of Nursing has some useful guidelines about the OSCE and other exams: ;

There are various models being used to support nurses with their preparation for the OSCE; robust preparation is absolutely necessary. Some employers do this in-house, or collaborate with neighbouring organisations in a hub model, or contract the work to specialist providers. A ‘boot camp’ model is an intensive period of exam preparation that is used in some areas.

University Hospitals Sussex says, ‘The robust induction… includes sharing material about the local area and the trust before candidates arrive, airport pickup, providing 24/7 support with accommodation [in the early period], intensive OSCE training, lunch with previous cohorts of overseas nurses and a local induction to help them find a GP, a dentist, local supermarkets and places of worship.’

The NHS Futures Hub is a ‘one stop shop’ where people can gain and share information that is up to date and reliable. Create an account or log in here:

The NHS England/Improvement Support Offer:

Additional Resources

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust have produced a Professional Workbook for Internationally Educated Nurses (October 2021 version below).

Sample job descriptions of support and ambassador staff are also provided for useful reference.

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