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RCSI Overseas Aptitude Test

Have you registered with the NMBI? When you receive your decision letter you have two options to support you to gain your full NMBI pin in order to work as a nurse in Ireland. This blog is here to give you a detailed outline if you have chosen to take the Overseas Aptitude Test.

Both parts of the test are based on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland's Standards and Requirements for Nurse Registration Programmes and are what newly qualified general nurses in Ireland must be able to achieve. The NMBI approves an exam with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RCSI: The Overseas Aptitude Test. The ‘test’ takes place over two days in Dublin.

The test is not to be feared or scared! The worst part is the fees. Unfortunately if you decide to go down this route the cost is €2,800. If you are lucky some clients are willing to pay for you to complete the exam as part of your contract and relocation package.

However, completing the test means you are automatically fully pinned with the NMBI and able to work in Ireland in many different healthcare settings. It allows you to be able to pick and choose the best setting for what matters most to you, whether it is location, salary, career development, etc.

Part 1: Concentrates on Theory and Knowledge

Talk and Discussion

Completion of two cases (15 minutes) in preparation for OSCEs as follows (it is recommended you practice different scenarios in advance):

  • Recording & scoring & tracing (connecting) on the INEWS chart: one case with two sets of vital signs/observations & then recording the escalation & Response Protocol on the worksheet.
  • Recording on the INEWS chart: one case with neurological observations / GCS & then record on the worksheet the action you would take and why you would take that action if you make an error in any documentation, follow the NMBI instructions in their publication: Recording Clinical Practice

MCQ: 150 questions

This part consists of a supervised online assessment of professional knowledge and understanding. A method of assessment known as multiple-choice questions (MCQs) is used. You are required to answer 150 questions over a three-hour period. Each question has four possible answers and you are required to give only one answer to each question. Questions change from test to test. A minimum pass mark of 50% must be achieved in the Theory/MCQ part. You are not be permitted to leave the test until 60 minutes has passed. You must pass the Theory/MCQ part of the test before taking the Practical/OSCE part.

Part Two: The Practical or OSCE test

A methodology known as Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is used.

Assessment of competence for practice through a range of OSCEs includes a number of different simulated stations.

A station is set up as a clinical setting and has all the necessary equipment. You are required to complete 14 stations. Each station assesses different competencies pertaining to general nursing. Each station has a descriptor Sheet and this is displayed both outside and inside the station and is available for you to refer to as you need. You must pass all competencies at each station.

The station flow is as follows:

  • Start Bell: Wait for assessor who will bring you to the station. Introduction; Checking identity; Establish where station descriptor and clock are (1 minute); Carry out what is required: You are fully responsible for your time management (10.5 minutes); There is a station descriptor outside the station for you to read; When the start bell rings, wait for assessor to collect you; Everything you need is at the station; If you need something and cannot see it, ask the assessor; You are in control of the station; You are fully responsible for managing your own time; You have access to the station descriptor at the station; You must deal with everything listed in the section “YOU ARE REQUIRED TO” You are responsible for moving from one requirement to the next; Do not expect any guiding or prompting from the assessor; Anything you say or do after the time is up (finish bell) will not be considered in the marking of this station.
  • Finish Bell: Assessor brings you to next station; Read next station: Time (3.5 minutes) may be more or less depending on how you used the above allocated minutes. When the time is up for a station you must finish and cannot return to that station.

You are allowed two attempts (that is, one repeat) at the Practical/OSCE part.

How Clarity Can Help

Here at Clarity we are proud to support all candidates who wish to work in Ireland as a Nurse, which is why we have partnered with AIM Aptitude Training to support Non-EU nurses in securing job opportunities in Ireland.

"AIM Aptitude Training" provides training for overseas nurses looking to get through their last hurdle, the 'RCSI Aptitude Test', in achieving NMBI registration. We had been training candidates in Dublin over the past 4 years now extending it to those examinees looking to do the same online, via ZOOM. Our candidates have a 100% pass rate, adhering to the structured and interactive online training. We regularly update our academic content in-line with changes in RCSI and by taking feedback from the examinees.

Read more about AIM Aptitude Training here


Posted on 02 December 2022 by Laura Mulchrone
Author Info

Laura Mulchrone

01 567 3123
[email protected]

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