The first step for international nurses moving to UK

The first step for international nurses moving to UK

First step for international nurses moving to UK

You may wonder what is the first step to take on a journey to move to the UK and start working for the NHS: pass your English language test!

The Nursing and Midwifery Council requires any nurse coming from a non-English speaking country to complete either The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the recently established Occupational English Test (OET).

You may be more familiar with IELTS so let us introduce you to OET. We think this newcomer is a great alternative you do not want to miss out.

What will you be tested by OET?

This exam tests your Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing in a professional medical context. If you have practised as a doctor and want to opt for an exam that is intent on emulating your workplace, then this is the exam for you.

OET result will be in letter grade and the passing grade is B-B-B-B across one sitting.

Not only that you will be confident in your English after the test, you will also come across medical jargon and real-world nursing scenarios that are practical for your job. This way, your effort for the test is certainly not wasted.

How to prepare for OET?

The best place to start is understanding the structure and criteria of the test. For grade B, the band descriptor states that a candidate meeting this level ‘can communicate effectively with patients and health professionals using appropriate register, tone and lexis, with only occasional inaccuracies and hesitations as well as shows good understanding in a range of clinical contexts. Next is as the saying go, practice makes perfect.

Need guidance?

OET for nursing material may not be easy to find and having expert advice can make preparation less painful. At IELTS Medical, we provide professional training courses in central London. We cover all four skills so you will have plenty of opportunities to listen, speak, read and write. Our text books are packed with practice questions and OET writing sample.

We offer OET courses both in person (see and online (see:


Pass your OET for nurses with us… Call 02036376722!