Nursing Associate Test of Competence

Nursing Associate Test.

The information on this page is for the Nursing Associate only

The Test of Competence is made up of 10 stations, with a total testing time of about 2.5 hours:

Four of the stations are scenario-based and relate to three stages of the Nursing Associate care process:

  • A – Assessment
  • I – Implementation
  • E – Evaluation

Five of the stations are skills stations, testing practical clinical skills. Each skills station lasts up to 12 minutes.

The remaining two stations are silent stations:

  • Professional Values – This station will specifically assess the professional issues associated with professional accountability and related skills around communication.
  • Evidence-based Practice – This station will specifically assess critical appraisal of research and evidence and associated decision-making.

At each station you will be provided with the case scenario and any equipment you may need. The stations could be based around an actor, a simulation manikin or a written set of guidelines. The stations will be timed, overseen by a qualified assessor of practice and recorded on video.

Below you will find out more information on each station, as well as other useful resources in relation to this OSCE.

  • Your verbal communication and non-verbal communication, and the ability to establish a rapport with your patient based on the 6 Cs of nursing will be assessed during the assessment station. The 6 Cs are:

    • care
    • compassion
    • competence
    • communication
    • courage
    • commitment

    Within this station, you will have time to read any forms provided. This can provide you with a structure and a systematic approach, so use this to help you. Before completing the assessment station, you may need to take observations of the patient and record them on an observation chart (such as the national early warning score, NEWS, or the Glasgow coma score). It is important to complete and record all observations, if necessary, before the time has run out in order to pass.

    You will then need to consider activities of daily living within this station, as this information will help you with the ongoing stations. You will be asked to carry out a holistic assessment, including an airways, breathing, circulation, disability and exposure (A–E) assessment. You will be able to document any notes during your patient’s assessment. These notes will not be assessed or marked but will be for your future reference at the writing stations.

  • In this station, you will be implementing care, such as administering oral drugs. In the bay, your patient may either be represented by an actor or a manikin, and either the actor or assessor will respond to you from a script as though they are the patient. Please remember that your verbal and non-verbal communication will be assessed in this station. Communicate with the actor or manikin, NOT the assessor, as you would with a real patient.

  • This station is a verbal one and you will be monitored by the assessor. In this station, you will write notes about a transfer/discharge or other form of evaluation, such as a situation, background, assessment, recommendation (SBAR), and you will then be required to provide a verbal handover to the assessor. You will have access to all your previous written notes to help you in this station.

    In this station, you should avoid using unfamiliar abbreviations that are not universally recognised.

    You will be assessed only on the verbal handover (not on your notes).

  • You will be assessed on five clinical skills. Typical skills that you could be tested on include, but are not limited to:

    • Administration of Inhaled Medication (AIM)
    • Blood Glucose Monitoring
    • Catheter Specimen of Urine Collection (CSU)
    • Fluid Balance
    • Gaining Informed Consent
    • Hospital Admission
    • Pain Assessment
    • Physiological Observations
    • Pressure Area Assessment
    • Subcutaneous Injection
  • You will have one Professional Values station and one Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) station. These are generic issues that are relevant to all fields of nursing. Typical areas that you could be tested on include, but are not limited to:

    Professional Values

    • Confidentiality
    • Drug Error
    • Signs of Possible Abuse
    • Professional Confrontation
    • Social Media

    Evidence-Based Practice

    • Diabetes
    • Female Myocardial Infarction (MI)
    • Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
    • Cessation of Smoking
    • Venous Leg Ulcers
  • ToC 21 Candidate Preparation Materials (NA Nursing Associate)

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