On 2nd July 2020, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) announced the reopening of the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) test centers. This will allow midwives and nurses from outside the EEA to take their tests safely as per COVID-19 requirements.
About the OSCE Tests
The OSCE is part of the NMC’s test of competence (ToC). It is how midwives, nurses and nursing associates trained outside the European Union can acquire the right knowledge and skills to offer the best services in the UK.
There are three OSCE test centers in the UK, and candidates can take their tests at any of them. The centers reopened after being closed for close to six months since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OSCE as a Key to Work Unsupervised
There are nurses and midwives who provide support to the UK’s COVID-19 response on a temporary basis. After taking their OSCE test, they can join the NMC register on a permanent basis. They will also receive priority booking.
The OSCE is a vital test that ensures that those who join the permanent register can work without supervision, which was initially necessary for those who were registered temporarily. To earn the NMC’s trust, the professionals trained outside the EEA have to pass their tests, after which the supervisory conditions will be eliminated.
After considering various options to allow those trained outside the EEA to join its register, the NMC concluded that the OSCE is the fastest way to meet UK healthcare standards. It provides reliable grounds for permanent registration.
Overseas Nursing and Midwifery Professionals Integral to the NMC
Additionally, the NMC acknowledges that most of those taking the OSCE are from black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds, who have been particularly hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. The NMC would like these minority groups to feel protected as they take their OSCE tests.
According to Emma Broadbent, Director of Professional Regulation for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, overseas nursing and midwifery professionals are an integral part of the UK’s healthcare workforce. The OSCE, therefore, is key to ensuring that the UK acquires highly-skilled professionals fast.
In conjunction with its partners, the NMC will establish a working group to ensure that there is optimum capacity in test centers and that demand for tests is planned for and met in the future.
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