OSCE Exam Handbook Published by AHPRA for December 2020

The Registered Nurse Objective Structured Clinical Examination (RN OSCE) is the practical examination for internationally qualified registered nurses seeking registration in Australia as a registered nurse. The RN OSCE exam consists of 10 stations (or clinical scenarios) that have been developed to test candidates against the NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice. The OSCE is set at the entry to practice level that is expected of a Registered Nurse in Australia. This blog has been prepared to assist eligible candidates who are required to complete the RN OSCE.

What does the OSCE assess?

Each RN OSCE station assesses your ability to perform a specific clinical skill, it will also take into consideration your ability to manage the care of a patient in a holistic manner. It is therefore important that the care you provide within each station takes into consideration the individual situation for that patient, and that the care provided is tailored to their individual needs. Examples of some considerations about patient care include, but are not limited to:

  • a patient’s ability to understand simple instructions,
  • their physical capacity,
  • the support that they have available to them,
  • any vision or hearing impairments.

What skills will the student be assessed on?

Practical Skills

Each candidate will be tested on a series of practical skills, these may include but are not limited to:

  • Physiological observations
  • Vital signs
  • Calculating drug dosages
  • Subcutaneous/ Intramuscular injection
  • Aseptic Non-Touch Technique (ANTT)
  • In hospital resuscitation (without defibrillation)
  • 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

What does the Examiner assess in relation to communication?

The RN OSCE Examiner will assess the  full range of communication skills (verbal, non-verbal and written) by observing the interaction between you and a simulated patient (this may be an actor or a manikin) and also by assessing your nursing documentation in each station. The RN OSCE Examiner may also look at your approach to the patient throughout the examination, and will assess your communication skills such as:

  • Clearly explaining care, diagnosis, investigations and/or treatments
  • Involving the patient in decision-making
  • Communicating with relatives and other health care professionals
  • Seeking and obtaining informed consent
  • Active listening
  • Dealing appropriately with an anxious person or anxious relatives
  • Providing clear instructions on discharge
  • Demonstrating compassion and care during communication
  • Clear documentation


Registering for the RN OSCE

Candidates who have been confirmed as passing the NCLEX-RN MCQ Examination, will be invited via their dashboard to submit a payment for the OSCE examination. Once payment has been confirmed as received by AHPRA, the IQNM exams team will contact the candidate to book them into the next available RN OSCE session.

OSCE Registration Fee

The OSCE registration fee for each examination sitting is $4000 AUD. This fee must be paid to AHPRA via the instructions on your IQNM dashboard before you can book your OSCE Examination date.

Examination cycles and Maximum Candidate Numbers

Examination cycles refers to the dates for each of the RN OSCE exams that will be coordinated. Each cycle will host up to 2 days of examinations including up to 4 exams sessions (2 sessions per day) and hosting a maximum of 40 candidates.

Candidate Booking Selection email

Once the IQNM exams team are notified that your payment has been received the next step is to select your preferred exam date. Within 5 days of being notified of your payment the IQNM exams team will send candidates a Booking selection email which will include the details of the next 1 or 2 exam dates that are available to book. Candidates may respond to this email within their own timeframe however, places for each cycle are limited and these spots are expected to fill up fast. Places will be given on a first come, first served basis, if you are delayed in replying to the booking selection email, you risk missing out on a place at the next RN OSCE.

Confirmation of your exam booking

A candidate is only confirmed for a particular exam date when they have received their RN OSCE

Candidate Confirmation communication from the IQNM exams team.

This communication will include information relating to venue location, date and time of examination, exam session allocated to the candidate and any details pertaining to the expectations of a candidate presenting to the examination.

It is imperative that candidates are familiar with the details of this communication before arriving at the examination centre in Adelaide on their confirmed examination day. A copy of the RN OSCE terms of agreement for candidates and RN OSCE Video and Audio consent form will be provided attached to this communication for your reference.

The IQNM exams team will email candidates a reminder email two (2) weeks prior to your scheduled examination date.


There will be no refund of examination fee for any reason, including but not limited to:

  • Failure to reschedule and/or cancel an exam appointment more than three full business days before the confirmed exam date
  • Failure to appear for an exam appointment


Where is the exam held?

Adelaide Health Simulation is located within the University of Adelaide. AHS have two (2) separate locations where the exams may be hosted, your confirmation email will provide you with specific details on where the exam is located and which building/address location you will need to present to. Each exam centre location may have slightly different registration locations however, the processes will remain the same.


Tips for completing the OSCE

Before the OSCE
  • Familiarise yourself with the location of the OSCE, including travel times and parking information;
  • Familiarise yourself with the expectations for the day;
  • Ensure you get a good sleep the night before the OSCE;
  • Ensure you review each section of this information module so that you understand the requirements
  • for the day, particularly in regard to what to bring and what to wear;
  • Review the information provided about the format of the OSCE and how to conduct yourself during
  • the OSCE;
  • Review the Registered nurse standards for practice;
  • Review the Professional standards – Code of conduct for nurses and Code of ethics for nurses;
  • Review the reference list and recommended readings;
  • Review the list of examples of potential skills to be examined and utilise appropriate references to
  • review skills as deemed necessary.
On the day of the Exam:
  • Ensure you adhere to the appropriate dress requirements;
  • Ensure you bring photo identification with you;
  • Ensure you arrive on time;
  • Ensure you allow enough time for travelling should there be any unanticipated delays in traffic or other
  • modes of transport and to park;
  • Ensure you have eaten prior to arriving for your session;
  • Ensure you have notified the AHPRA Invigilator of any special considerations you may require during
  • the OSCE (e.g. access to medications or food whilst in the OSCE area);
During the OSCE
  • Remember you will be assessed against that expected of an entry level registered nurse;
  • Ensure you utilise the two (2) minute reading time to thoroughly read the station instructions;
  • Be prepared for the use of manikins, simulated patients and part-task trainers in the examination
  • process and ensure you treat them as you would real patients;
  • Be sure to listen carefully to all instructions provided and adhere to these;
  • Avoid focusing on the completing a task alone, rather consider the clinical scenario as a whole.

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