For overseas qualified nurses, there are generally three examinations that you will need to pass in order to satisfy the NMC’s Registration requirements:
To satisfy the English language stage:
You can choose either the academic version of the International English Language Testing System aka IELTS or the Occupational English Test aka OET. You do not have to do both and which one you choose is a personal decision. Almost every day, we speak to nurses who choose IELTS or OET and they have sound reasons for their preferences.
- IELTS (Academic) tests your Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing in a generalized academic context. Generally if you need the IELTS for visa purposes, the best version of the IELTS to opt for is IELTS (Academic) UKVI. If, however, you do not need to apply for a visa at the same time, then you can save yourself approximately £40 and opt for regular IELTS (Academic). You’ll need a 7.0 overall and at least 7.0 each skill, except writing where you can score 6.5. The NMC allows you to achieve your score in two sittings.
You’re in the right place for tailored courses that aim to help you reach the high standards required by your regulator. We have IELTS courses in person and online.
- OET (Nursing) tests your Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing in a professional medical context. If you have practiced as a nurse and want to opt for an exam that is intent on emulating your workplace, then this is the exam for you. The NMC requires B-B-B-B across two sittings.
Once you’ve cleared the English language stage, if you’re an EU nurse, that’s it! If you’re an overseas qualified nurse, the next stage is the nursing theory stage:
The exam tests your ability to apply theory to patient care and the questions relate to best practice in the UK. This includes testing your knowledge acute and long term care, caring for healthy people, working within the community and caring for patients with complex needs and morbidity. The exam is multiple choice and features 120 questions.
Once you have received your decision letter from the NMC, the final stage is the nursing practical or Objective Structured Clinical Examination also known as:
The exam tests your ability to deliver practical care. It is made up of 6 stations that each last for fifteen minutes. The aim is to place you in scenario that mimics real life. The examination covers everything that a UK trained nurse would be exposed to in practice including: APIE, ANTT, Basic Life Support, Peak Flow, Removal of Foley Catheter, CSU Sample and IM Injections.