Outcome Based Assessment (OBA) For Nurses

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has transitioned to an outcomes-based assessment (OBA) system for internationally qualified nurses and midwives (IQNMs) who hold an international nursing qualification that is relevant to but not substantially equivalent to or based on similar competencies to an Australian approved qualification. The IQNMs also need to demonstrate that they meet the mandatory registration standards.

The new model of assessment includes:

  • the online Self-check for all IQNMs
  • an orientation program for all IQNMs who are advised to continue with the assessment process, and
  • an OBA for some IQNMs


The online Self-check does not incur any fees. Upon completion of the Self-check, IQNMs who are advised to proceed with the IQNM process need to pay a non-refundable assessment fee of AUD 640. NMBA utilises this fee in checking IQNM documentation provided and for the orientation.

Outcomes-Based Assessment (OBA)

Outcomes-Based Assessment (OBA) is a two-stage assessment process:

  • Stage one – It is a cognitive assessment consisting of computer-based multiple-choice question exam (MCQ). This stage must be completed before IQNMs can move to the second stage of the assessment.
  • Stage two – Assessed in the form of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), it is a behavioural evaluation of IQNM’s knowledge, skills and competence as an equivalence of a graduate-level Australian nurse or midwife.

Cost and locations for the MCQ exam

Delivered at dedicated test centres, the MCQ is a computer-based examination. IQNMs seeking registration as either a registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife will have separate exams. An IQNM must be referred by NMBA to sit the MCQ exams.

Registered Nurses need to sit the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX-RN registration fee is USD 200, plus an additional international scheduling fee of USD 150 (in total USD 350). The test is administered through Pearson VUE test centres by the National Council State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

Cost and locations for the OSCE exam

IQNMs must pass the MCQ exam before they can attempt the OSCE. The OSCE exam, which is managed by AHPRA/NMBA, is delivered at the Adelaide Health Simulation in Adelaide, South Australia. The fee for sitting the OSCE test is AUD 4,000.

Key 2 Learning College IQNMs OBA Preparation Program Structure:

The Adelaide Health Simulation and AHPRA/NMBA do not provide NCLEX and OSCE preparatory courses. Key 2 Learning College has developed a comprehensive program for IQNMs to prepare for the NCLEX and OSCE examinations. Key 2 Learning College has intakes starting every month. This preparation program will enable IQNMs to develop confidence and a sound understanding of the NCLEX and OSCE strategies. The program will strengthen IQNMs critical thinking skills with online and classroom based interactive sessions. IQNMs will be provided with contextualised learning guides developed by Key 2 Learning College clinical nurse educators to enhance their understanding and uptake of the NCLEX and OSCE examination requirements. Key 2 Learning College 2 day exam simulation will provide IQNMs with an understanding of the process and examination requirements that IQNMs can expect to undertake at the Adelaide Health Simulation. This will be invaluable for IQNMs that might need to address specific areas of concern or deficiencies prior to the actual examination at the Adelaide Health Simulation.

The preparatory program duration is 12 weeks and the schedule is provided below:

Module I – NCLEX-RN Preparation 10 weeks (Online)
Module II- OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) Preparation 2 weeks (blended delivery with a 2 day exam simulation at our clinical facilities)

Preparation Program Fees:
The cost of the preparation program is AUD 5,000.

Learning Objectives:
After the completion of this program, the students will be able to:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the Australian healthcare system.
  • Analyse the roles and functions of registered nurses in the Australian healthcare context.
  • Develop an understanding of the NMBA standards of practice and code of ethics for registered nurses.
  • Build competencies in delivering culturally safe care to ethnic groups in Australia.
  • Review common disease conditions and nursing care plans.
  • Develop skills in performing procedures in the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination).