AIREDALE NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating its 100 per cent Objective Structural Clinical Examination (OSCE) pass rate ahead of Overseas NHS Workers Day, on March 3.

Since the OSCE training programme began at Airedale in 2019, the Trust has welcomed 15 cohorts of international nurses looking to develop their careers within the United Kingdom.

All 161 of Airedale’s OSCE students have since passed the exam.

Before registering as a nurse in the UK, overseas nurses are required to pass the OSCE.

Liz Golden, practice educator at Airedale, left her role as an ICU nurse to develop the bespoke training programme. She said: “I’ve been an ICU Nurse at Airedale for over 23 years and, in 2019, I left that role to become a practice educator and set up the training programme.”

Mark Stebbings, a retired charge nurse, later joined the programme as a support trainer. Both Liz and Mark were committed to providing hands on training and continued with in-person sessions throughout the pandemic at The HUB in Steeton.

Liz said: “Colleagues from across the Trust have been very supportive and clinical specialists from different departments all came to deliver sessions to the students either virtually or face-to-face, dependent on government guidance.”

“Many of the candidates left their family back home to undertake this demanding programme and work as a Healthcare Support Worker at the Trust alongside their training. During the pandemic, the first three cohorts volunteered to work on a temporary register as nurses to support the with patient demand. This shows the commitment they have to the community.”

The exam requires candidates to sit ten stations that test a combination of their practical and theory skills by acting out scenarios that they would likely encounter when delivering care. Once the exam is passed, candidates receive their PIN from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), confirming that they are fully registered."

Liz added: “Running this programme has been the best job. The students have been lovely and I have met some amazing people who are dedicated and committed to the training programme and to healthcare.”

As of December 2022, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and AGH Solutions employs over 400 staff members that have reported a nationality other than British.

Amanda Stanford, chief nurse at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This Overseas NHS Workers Day we would like to say thank you to all of our amazing colleagues who have joined from overseas for the incredible work they do across the Trust."