OBA Program for Overseas Nurse

Learn How

Are you an internationally qualified nurse? Do you want to pursue your nursing career in Australia? But don’t know how to get registered and start your practice in Australia? Don’t worry! Here’s the short pathway for you.

As per the new registration process by AHPRA, the IRON program has been replaced by Outcome-Based Assessment (OBA) for internationally qualified nurses and midwives who want to start practice in Australia.

The OBA is aimed at assessing the nursing skills of current and qualified health professionals to adhere to Australian standards.


It is a two-step assessment involving a multiple-choice questions exam (NCLEX) at the first stage and an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) at the second stage.

This assessment enables you to get your registration as a nurse in Australia. It helps you upgrade your skills and knowledge to the level that that is required for nursing health force

You become more employable after the assessment.

It serves as an initial, stable and secure pathway to PR.

What is OBA?

  • Outcome-based assessment (OBA) is the new model for assessing the qualifications of qualified overseas nurses designed by Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and adopted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA).
  • Since March 2020, NMBA has permanently transitioned to OBA for assessing the qualification of IQNMs who hold a qualification that is relevant but not substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification.
  • There are three main stages in OBA
  • Self Check
  • Online MCQ exam
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

To take the OBA, all applicants must have a referral letter from AHPRA. AHPRA will assess the eligibility of the applicant based on the five registration criteria outlined by NMBA

  • Criminal history
  • English language standards
  • Continuing professional development
  • Recency of practice
  • Professional indemnity insurance

Once AHPRA has assessed your application, it will issue a referral letter to complete OBA. The applicant can proceed with OBA steps once they receive the referral letter from AHPRA.

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  • The Registered Nurse Objective Structured Clinical Examination (RN OSCE) is the practical examination for internationally qualified registered nurses seeking registration in Australia as a registered nurse.
  • This is a regulatory OSCE rather than an educational OSCE and is conducted in a way that is consistent for all candidates

  • Register for OSCE exam
  • Pay registration fee
  • Book exam date based on selection email
  • You will receive confirmation of your exam booking
  • Things to consider during examination
    • Preparation for exam
    • Appropriate dressing
    • No equipment
    • Carry photo id
  • You have to register based on your exam center and sign a Terms of agreement
  • Video recording would be undertaken for the test
  • Results

  • Each RN OSCE station assesses your ability to perform a specific clinical skill, it will also take into consideration your ability to manage the care of a patient in a holistic manner. It is therefore important that the care you provide within each station takes into consideration the individual situation for that patient, and that the care provided is tailored to their individual needs.
  • Examples of some considerations about patient care include, but are not limited to
  • a patient’s ability to understand simple instructions,
  • their physical capacity,
  • the support that they have available to them,
  • any vision or hearing impairments.
  • The RN OSCE examiner will assess your ability to formulate an accurate plan of care for the patient, based on your assessment findings or any information deemed relevant to the patient. Patient safety, and the care they receive, is paramount at all stages within the OSCE stations.

  • Examination setup would have 4 stimulation tables (10 station) including mannequin, stimulated patient & smaller pieces of equipment
  • You are required to treat stimulated patient
  • Each table will have one examiner who will ask you to present your finding as well
  • Each OSCE station set up to simulate a variety of clinical environments, including both acute inpatient settings, as well as community outpatient settings
  • You would be provided with documentation and equipment as per Australian healthcare facility
  • Example of charts that will be provide
    • Adult Observation Charts
    • Paediatric Observation Chart
    • Neurological observation chart
    • Blood glucose record chart
    • Intravenous order chart
  • 2 minute reading time
  • Proceed to station
  • 8-minute interaction time
  • Leave the note and move to next station (10 station)

*Please note all the test needs to be carried as per Australian standard

Student Tips

  • You can appear for NCLEX from any country. NO visa is required for the same.
  • All students willing to appear for OSCE can apply for Tourist visa or visitor visa.
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