Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE)
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Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE)

What is the OSCE?

The Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) is a clinical exam to assess the candidate’s knowledge, skills and competence at the graduate-level nurse or midwife from an Australian NMBA-approved program of study.

Stream B candidates – Candidates (who have successfully completed the Orientation Part 1, Portfolio and MCQ exam stages) must pass the OSCE before they are eligible to apply for registration in Australia.

There are separate OSCEs for IQNMs intending to register in Australia as a registered nurse (RN), enrolled nurse (EN), or midwife.

The NMBA does not run preparation programs for the MCQ exams or the OSCEs.

All OSCE candidates should ensure they are well prepared before sitting the exam. This may include revising nursing or midwifery theory and practice and becoming familiar with the format of regulatory OSCEs. The content in Orientation Part 1 contains information about practice in the Australian healthcare context.

It is recommended that candidates read the relevant handbook (soon to be published) and the relevant NMBA standards for practice.

The NMBA and Ahpra currently schedule OSCEs up to five (5) times per year. The NMBA and Ahpra continue to monitor the number of OSCE candidates wishing to sit the OSCEs and will make days available, as able, to meet the demand.

Exam sessions are planned for the following time of the year:

  • Early February
  • Mid April
  • Early July
  • Late September
  • Late November

Once you have completed all the requirements to be eligible for the OSCE, the IQNM Exam team will contact you when the next exam session is available.

No, the OSCE is an in-person clinical assessment held in Adelaide. The OSCE is completed in a clinical simulation environment to ensure that IQNMs can meet the standard of practice expected in Australia. This is a matter of public safety and ensures a rigorous evidence-based assessment of clinical skills

We acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of some components of the OBA pathway, including access to Australia and South Australia, which is controlled by Australian governments.

A pass result of the OSCE is valid for a period of five years, however:

  • Passing the OSCE only satisfies the NMBA’s recency of practice registration standard for a maximum of two years.
  • If the application for registration is made more than two years from receiving the OSCE pass result you will need to provide additional evidence to meet the NMBA recency of practice registration standard.

A pass result of the OSCE will expire after a period of five or more years and you will be required to retake the relevant OSCE. You will not be required to retake the relevant Multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam.

If you have received registration with the NMBA you will not need to resit the relevant OSCE.


Enrolled nurses

Information for internationally qualified enrolled nurses

Find out more »

Registered nurses

Information for internationally qualified registered nurses

Find out more »


Information for internationally qualified midwives

Find out more »

For more information regarding Covid-19 Safety during OSCE’s please refer to the below linked document:

IQNM OSCE Exam day Covid-19 Safety  (90.4 KB,PDF) 

Page reviewed 1/08/2023