A new testing center opened today in Newcastle for overseas and returning nurses to practice the process of joining the UK Nurses Register.
The opening of the new center brings to four the number of sites across the UK where people can take the Structured Observed Clinical Examination (OSCE).
A fifth center will open in Leeds this spring, as the Nursing and Midwifery Council seeks to improve the availability and accessibility of OSCE tests.
The OSCE is the practical part of the Test of Competence (ToC) that all internationally educated nurses must pass before they can be registered to practice in the UK.
The ToC can also be taken by former nurses returning to practice after a career break.
Up to 7,000 aspiring nurses, midwives and associate nurses are expected to visit the Newcastle centre, which is run by Northumbria University, each year.
The new OSCE Center is based on the university’s Coach Lane campus, which also houses its nursing, midwifery and health department.
Among the newly appointed leaders of the center is Norman Franklin, an experienced pediatric critical care nurse and educator, who will oversee the clinical aspects of the center’s delivery.
“I am delighted that our new OSCE test center in Newcastle is up and running”
Mr. Franklin highlighted the “colossal effort” of everyone involved to get the center going.
Professor Debbie Porteous, Head of the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Northumbria University, added: “The opening of the center is now the start of the centre’s contribution to play a fundamental role to ensure safe patient care in the NHS.
The university worked in partnership with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as well as the NMC and the local city council to bring the center to life.
Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar of NMC, said: “I am delighted that our new OSCE test center in Newcastle is up and running, helping to create additional capacity that gives people more choice about where to take their test. test.
“We worked closely with the Northumbria Partnership to make this happen. This will help thousands more professionals with the right skills and knowledge to join our registry quickly and securely, benefiting people using health and care services.
Other existing OSCE Centers in the UK are run by Oxford Brookes University, University of Northampton and University of Ulster.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has won the contract for the next center which will open in the spring.