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IELTS, OET and OSCE exams

This guide will help nurses who qualified overseas prepare for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), OET (Occupational English Test) and OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) exams. It has details of key resources and useful books.

Last updated: 18/06/2021

IELTS, OSCE and OET

RCN Immigration Advice Service: Preparing for IELTS, OET and OSCE exams
  • Explains who needs to complete the IELTS, OET, CBT and OSCE exams. Links to practice tests and other helpful information.
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Nursing and Midwifery Council: Coronavirus (Covid-19): Information and advice for overseas candidates
Nursing and Midwifery Council: Accepted English language tests
Nursing and Midwifery Council - Register as a nurse or midwife if you trained outside the UK
Nursing and Midwifery Council - EU/EEA applications started before 1 January 2021

Career development

RCN: Careers resources for nurses and midwives
  • Includes advice for nurses on applying for jobs, CV writing, the interview process and career progression tips.
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RCN: Nursing careers resource
  • This careers resource, which has been jointly developed by the Royal College of Nursing and Health Education England, will help registered nurses and the clinical support workforce across the UK plan their health careers effectively
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RCN: Leadership skills. How to demonstrate leadership within your career
RCN forums and networks
  • RCN forums and networks are free to join as part of RCN membership. They cover a wide range of areas within nursing and are a great way to get involved with the profession.
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OSCE books

Bloomfield J, Pegram A and Jones C (2010) How to pass your OSCE: A guide to success in nursing and midwifery, Florence: Taylor and Francis. Bloomfield J, Pegram A and Jones C (2010) How to pass your OSCE: a guide to success in nursing and midwifery. Florence: Taylor and Francis.
Godson N (2011) Nursing & health: objective structured clinical examination survival guide, Harlow: Pearson Education. Godson N (2011) Nursing and health: objective structured clinical examination survival guide. Harlow: Pearson Education.
Harding D (2014) Deconstructing the OSCE, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Harding D (2014) Deconstructing the OSCE. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cabellero C (2012) Nursing OSCES: a complete guide to exam success. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cabellero C, Creed F, Gochmanski C and Lovegrove J (eds.) (2012) Nursing OSCEs: a complete guide to exam success. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lister S E, Hofland J, Grafton H (2020) The Royal Marsden manual of clinical nursing procedures. Professional edition. 10th ed. Wiley Blackwell: Hoboken. Lister S E, Hofland J, Grafton H (2020) The Royal Marsden manual of clinical nursing procedures. Professional edition. 10th edn. Wiley Blackwell: Hoboken.

IELTS books

Sorrenson M (2017) McGraw-Hill Education IELTS (second edition), New York: McGraw-Hill Education. Sorrenson M (2017) McGraw-Hill Education IELTS. 2nd edn. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Cambridge Assessment English (2020) IELTS 15: Academic with answers: authentic practice tests. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Assessment English (2020) IELTS 15: Academic with answers: authentic practice tests. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chong S W and Xuejun Y (2020) Developing writing skills for IELTS: a research-based approach. New York: Routledge. Chong S W and Xuejun Y (2020) Developing writing skills for IELTS: a research-based approach. New York: Routledge.
Cullen P, French A and Jakeman V (2014) The official Cambridge guide to IELTS: for academic & general training. Student's book with answers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cullen P, French A and Jakeman V (2014) The official Cambridge guide to IELTS: for academic and general training. Student's book with answers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Occupational English Test (OET) books

Cambridge Boxill Language Assessment (2018) OET nursing: official practice book 1. Melbourne: Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment.
Kaplan Publishing (2020) Official guide to OET. 2nd edn. New York: Kaplan. Publishing. Kaplan Publishing (2020) Official guide to OET. 2nd edn. New York: Kaplan. Publishing.
Khaira G (2018) Nurses' guide to the updated OET 2.0: speaking and writing modules. Chennai: Notion Press. Khaira G (2018) Nurses' guide to the updated OET 2.0: speaking and writing modules. Chennai: Notion Press.
Leyshon C, Khaira G and Allum V (2020) The Cambridge guide to OET nursing student’s book Student edition. Cambridge English. Leyshon C, Khaira G and Allum V (2020) The Cambridge guide to OET nursing. Student’s book. Cambridge English.
McNally B and Mackenzie A (2017) Grammar booster for OET nursing: language and grammar for effective communication in healthcare settings. Brisbane: ELTWorks. McNally B and Mackenzie A (2017) Grammar booster for OET nursing: language and grammar for effective communication in healthcare settings. Brisbane: ELTWorks.

Study skills books

Aveyard, H, Sharp, P and Woolliams, M. (2015) A beginner’s guide to critical thinking and writing in health and social care Aveyard H, Sharp, P and Woolliams M (2015) A beginner’s guide to critical thinking and writing in health and social care. 2nd edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Read S H (2018) Academic writing skills for international students. London: Macmillan Education Read S H (2018) Academic writing skills for international students. London: Macmillan Education.
  • This is book is aimed at non-native English speakers who need to write university assignments.
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Cottrell S (2019) The study skills handbook (5th edition), London: Macmillan International Higher Education. Cottrell S (2019) The study skills handbook. 5th edn. London: Macmillan International Higher Education.
Williams A (2013) Research: improve your reading and referencing skills. London: Collins Williams A (2013) Research: improve your reading and referencing skills. London: Collins.
  • This book is designed to help international students to achieve academic success at an English-speaking institution. Learn how to choose the right sources, access information, think critically when reading texts, make concise notes.
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Book subject searches

Use these links to see details of books the RCN libraries hold on each topic.
Nursing and Midwifery Council: Coronavirus (Covid-19): Information and advice for overseas candidates

Oxford Brookes University: OSCE resources

NMC competency test centre at Oxford Brookes University
About the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
Candidate information booklet

University of Northampton: OSCE resources

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Test of competence
Candidate information booklet
Preparing for your OSCE examination

University of Ulster: OSCE resources

NMC Competence Test Centre (CTC)
Preparing for the OSCE
RCN library staff

Caroline Lynch

Editor of this guide

RCN Library and Archive Service

Page last updated - 18/06/2021