What are the top things that nurses fail on in the OSCE?


Have you been dreaming about working as a nurse in the UK? Can’t blame you. What’s not to like about the UK! The UK has so much to offer, from the vibrant culture, scenic views all around to employment opportunities across so many industries. As for nurses looking to move to the UK, this place offers a wide range of career opportunities. If you are dedicated, passionate and hardworking, a nursing job in the UK can turbocharge your career and help you reach heights you never imagined. 

In order to work in the UK, overseas educated nurses must be registered with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) and pass the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination).

The OSCE is designed to assess your ability to competently apply your professional nursing or midwifery skills and knowledge in the UK and work safely and effectively. It is set at the level expected of nurses and midwives as they enter the profession. Many nurses find this exam nerve-racking and unfortunately don’t succeed on their first attempt. This is not the case for nurses landing in the UK through Global Nurse Force.  All of our nurses receive a thorough OSCE training program that ensures success on this challenging clinical exam. 

Here are areas you must pay attention to when you are preparing for OSCE

  1. Lack of Communication: This is one of the most common things that go wrong in the OSCE. Candidates are marked on verbal and non-verbal communication. The invigilator will check if you can build a rapport with the patient in the assessment station. If you are shy, use too much jargon, or if your English isn’t clear, the examiner might reject you. When attending to the patient, you need to listen carefully and speak slowly and clearly. It is vital to hear out the patient’s concerns as well.
  2. Unable to Understand Instructions: Throughout the OSCE you will be given instructions. You will be required to listen to these instructions carefully and perform exactly that. Failing to follow instructions or read scenarios will only complicate things for you.
  3. Not Performing Hand Hygiene: Touching the patient without practising good hand hygiene is a red flag. Ensure you wash your hands before and after checking the patient. While this may seem basic and second nature to most people, many nurses forget to follow this step and end up having to reattempt the test.
  4. Not Checking the Patient’s Identity: Before you even ask the patient about the issues they are facing, you must check their identity. It is a very crucial process and missing it isn’t a good sign. When you attend to the actor patient, check the identity label on their chart or wristband. You can also ask the patient directly, whichever you are most comfortable with.
  5. Missing Out on Allergies: You cannot and should not miss out on checking if the patient has any allergies. This step is as crucial as checking the patient’s identity. So after you check the patient’s identity, check their chart or wristband for any allergies.
  6. Unable to Create a Safe Environment: The patient should always feel safe. When you are examining them, let them know what you are checking. This way, you will make the patient feel comforted and in safe hands.
  7. Unable to Finish Each Station Within the Timeframe: The time limit to complete each station is 15 minutes. It can be difficult to complete each station within that time, but you have to abide by it. The best way is to practice and get yourself familiar to complete the task or skill in the set time length.
  8. Failing to Complete Documentation on Time: One of the scenario-based stations is the evaluation station. In this station, you are required to fill out the transfer/discharge or other nursing form related to the scenario. You will have to complete this process in 15 minutes. While you ensure to complete the form in 15 minutes, you should also ensure your writing is clear and legible. Also, make sure you have filled in all the elements in the document and haven’t left out anything.

There are plenty of nursing jobs in the UK and if you are serious about your nursing career in the UK, then ensure you take note of these top things that nurses fail on in the OSCE exam. You should also practice the process and time yourself to get better at finishing tasks within 15 minutes. The OSCE exam is difficult, and preparing for it can be stressful, but if you are well prepared for it, you are sure to receive a congratulatory email. If you are looking for some guidance, then get in touch with the Global Nurse Force. We have successfully helped thousands of nurses to secure jobs in the UK. We can help you too.

For further advice and support on relocating to the UK, please email us at info@globalnurseforce.com and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Let Global Nurse Force help you find your dream job in the NHS!

What are the top things that nurses fail on in the OSCE?
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