3-OSCE Point Checklist: Your OSCE Guide for NCLEX Australia
Nursing graduates who wish to work as registered nurses in Australia must still pass a series of nursing tests in order to meet the country's strict healthcare standards and regulations.
A qualified foreign educated nurse must first take and pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) before completing the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), a practical exam.
What is Objective Structured Clinical Exam or OSCE?
The OSCE comprises ten stations or clinical scenarios designed to assess candidates' knowledge of the NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice. The regulatory OSCE is administered to all candidates in the same way.
- OSCE candidates will not receive any coaching, prompting, additional explanation of the task, or feedback from OSCE candidates during or after the OSCE.
- The OSCE runs strictly. 2 minutes of reading time and 8 minutes of performance time are allowed for each station.
- Candidates must move to the next station when the allocated time for the station is up, although they may not have completed everything required for that station under assessment.
- During the OSCE, candidates are not permitted to speak with one another.
What does the OSCE assess?
Each OSCE station evaluates a candidate’s ability to perform a specific clinical skill. It will also consider the candidate’s ability to manage the care of a patient in a holistic manner. As a result, it's critical that the care delivered within each station considers the patient's unique circumstances and is tailored to their specific needs.
Some examples of patient care considerations include, but are not limited to:
- a patient's ability to follow simple instructions,
- their physical capacity,
- the support that they have available to them,
- any vision or hearing impairments.
Based on their assessment findings or any other information deemed relevant to the patient, the OSCE examiner will assess a candidate's ability to formulate an accurate patient care plan. At all times throughout the OSCE stations, patient safety and the care they receive are prioritized. Please keep in mind that candidates must demonstrate their skills rather than merely talk about what they would accomplish or the care they would provide.
What skills will candidates be assessed on?
1. Practical Skills
Candidates will be evaluated on a variety of practical skills, including but not limited to:
- Physiological observations
- Vital signs
- Calculating drug dosages
- Subcutaneous/ Intramuscular injection
- Aseptic Non-Touch Technique (ANTT)
- In hospital resuscitation
- Safe disposal of sharps
- Medication administration
- Wound care
- Hand hygiene
- Therapeutic patient communication/consent
- Infection control practices
- Patient identification
- Intravenous therapy administration/management
- Risk management in the clinical environment
2. Communication Skills
Since communication is essential in nursing, candidates will be judged on their ability to communicate during the OSCE. The OSCE is designed to evaluate how candidates interact with patients and approach them when providing care. It includes the ability to explain the care and the candidates' ability to include the patient or family in their care appropriately. Candidates should be familiar with the Introduction, Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation (ISBAR) communication tool. They may be required to communicate clinical information about the patient to another health practitioner.
The OSCE exam is the final part of obtaining your NMBA Registration, so you must do all of your research and successfully prepare to ensure you get the desired result.
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