Trust amongst best in the country for overseas nurses’ exam results
04 March 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 University Hospital boasts one of the best success
rates in the country for the exam; at 95% it is significantly
higher than the 73% national average.
The Trust started their OSCE preparation programme in May 2017
and so far 33 nurses from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, the 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
This influx of nursing staff has meant that wards and clinical
areas have benefited from the additional nurses providing patient
care. 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 that Southend 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
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
A number of nurses have also been interviewed following referral
from existing staff working at the Trust. Overseas nurses have
always been an integral part of nursing staff and OSCE nurses now
form part of the nurse teaching team.
Of course all of it is part of the wider recruitment strategy,
which UK and newly qualified nurses still play a major part in.
Denise Townsend, Director of Nursing at Southend University
Hospital, said: "You can see that there is a lot of community
spirit within the group, 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."