University expands test centre for internationally trained nurses

University of Northampton creates larger testing facility for nurses trained overseas.
Competence test

The University of Northampton is expanding its centre to test the competency of internationally trained nurses and midwives.

Picture: Philip Reason

In order to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register, nurses and midwives trained outside the European Union and European Economic Area must pass a two-part test of competence.

The first part is computer-based and can be taken anywhere in the world. If successful, applicants can then take the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in the UK. 

Rising demand

The university set up an OSCE centre two years ago, and the organisation has created a larger testing facility based in Northampton town centre to meet increased demand.

The centre will be opened by Council of Deans of Health international lead Guy Daly on 17 March, and will officially begin testing on 20 March.

Dean of the university’s faculty of health and society Steve O’Brien, said: ‘Since we opened our competency test centre in 2014, more than 3,000 nurses have taken the test here at the University of Northampton. As a faculty, we are looking forward to continuing our support to the NMC over the next few years for candidates seeking registration to work in the UK.’

Another OSCE centre, which the NMC claimed would lead to shorter waiting times, opened at the end of last year at Oxford Brookes University.

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