Trust amongst best in the country for overseas nurses’exam results
28 February 2019
All overseas qualified nurses from outside the EU are required to pass the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Observed Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) to achieve registered nurse qualifications. Southend boasts one of the best success rates in the country for the exam; at 95% it is significantly higher than the 73% national average.
Southend University Hospital started their OSCE preparation
programme in May 2017 and so far 33 nurses from Nigeria, Zimbabwe,
Philippines and India have successfully completed the programme and
are now working as registered nurses at the Trust, with two
recently becoming Band 6 deputy charge nurses.
Gillian Donohue, Senior Nurse and Lecturer Practitioner,
explained why the scheme has been so successful at Southend:
"It's great that our candidates are all so experienced and they
have all put in so much hard work studying, but the success is also
a real testament to all the hard work put in by those delivering
training here at the Trust. We have a team of seven and for all of
us I know it isn't just a job, it's a real passion for
training future nurses."
This influx of nursing staff has meant that wards and clinical
areas have benefited from the additional nurses providing patient
And it is anticipated that the scheme will continue to go from
strength to strength as word is spreading from these nurses to
their colleagues back in their home countries how Southend
University Hospital is a great place to work and live. So much so
that the Trust is now getting direct applications from overseas
nurses wanting to work at Southend.
In fact the scheme has been such a resounding success that the
team behind it are now looking to expand the international offer
even further. Nurses are being interviewed using Skype each week
and to date there have been 78 offers of employment to nurses
already interviewed. A number of nurses have also been
interviewed following referrals from existing staff working at the
Overseas nurses have always been an integral part of nursing
staff, so much so that OSCE nurses now form part of the nurse
teaching team. Of course all of it is part of the wider recruitment
strategy, which home and newly qualified nurses still play a major
Denise Townsend, Director of Nursing at Southend University
Hospital, said: "You can see that there is a lot of community
spirit within the group and they wear their nurse uniforms with
real pride and are proud to be doing what they are doing. It's
fantastic to see it is such a success story here in Southend."