Specialist Language Courses

Case Study: OET Preparation for Overseas-qualified Nurses

This case study focuses on a group of overseas-qualified nurses we prepared for OET Nursing at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Of the six participants in the group, five achieved the NMC requirements in the test at first sitting and have now registered or are moving towards registration.

NMC Nurses

The organisation and delivery of the course and how we worked together with the Trust provides an excellent example of what best practice looks in practice. We spoke with Lisa Punter, the Head of Workforce at the Trust, and Ceveagh Chan, the course teacher, to understand what the key success factors in the course were.

It was immediately clear that Ceveagh, an experienced English and OET teacher, really knows how to deliver a good course, and that the learning materials were carefully selected and synched with the course. Let’s face it though – in practice, this should be a given in any OET preparation course. If not, perhaps it’s time to change provider.

These kinds of courses have their own unique profile. Teaching a group of busy working adults with full lives, many with young children, who have been out of education for a while, in some cases for many years, throws up a number of additional challenges.

Discussing this with Lisa and Ceveagh, we saw quickly how these challenges centred on gauging existing English levels, scheduling to meet availability, balancing work and study, targeting individual language needs, and maintaining commitment and momentum.

Lisa and Ceveagh then highlighted how these challenges were addressed by the programme. The key factors they identified were the following:

  1. Initial skill by skill level testing
  2. Specific measures to ensure high levels of commitment from the students
  3. Giving students paid study time to attend lessons
  4. Providing support and mentoring from within the hospital
  5. Giving students flexibility on where and how they attended classes
  6. Providing on-site mock exams with follow up analysis and one to one candidate tutorials
  7. Ongoing communication between SLC and the hospital

How these combined and what these looked like in practice are detailed in the case study.

After the course, the six candidates took the test. Five passed first time. Since then, they have all passed their CBT. Four are in OSCE training and one has passed OSCE and has now registered with the NMC.


OET Nursing preparation