The OSCE is a structured performance test that uses 15 or 16 client interactive examination stations depicting various clinical scenarios. These scenarios use standardized patients (played by actors) to provide real-life interactions with the examination candidate.
Some client interactive scenarios are complemented by written questions. These are called post encounter probe (PEP) questions. PEP questions relate directly to the preceding client interactive encounter and address diagnosing and/or managing the specific client concern or complaint.
The OSCE takes approximately five hours, which includes time for registration and breaks.
Detailed information about what to expect is available in the OSCE Candidate Guidebook.
You must meet all of the following criteria to pass the exam:
No, you do not have to memorize drug names, dosages and frequencies. You may be given a resource to use, in which case you would be expected to write the prescription in full as you would for a real patient, including drug name, dosage and frequency. If you are not provided with a resource, you do not need to write the specific drug name, dosage and frequency; it is sufficient to indicate the drug classification and appropriate reference guide you would refer to obtain the correct dosage and frequency. In this case, you must be more specific than stating an antibiotic or an analgesic.
*Examples of diseases, disorders and conditions commonly managed by an entry-level NP are now an appendix in Applying the Competencies.