Ontario's foreign-trained nurses call for better support to prepare for OSCE exam

November 13, 2014

Foreign-trained nurses are facing difficulties finding bridging programs that would help them qualify to practice in Ontario, reports the Toronto Star. The Star says that three-quarters of immigrant nurses have failed the College of Nurses of Ontario’s (CNO) new licensing exam, but that there is also a lack of programs that would help them pass. Those who fail the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) typically must register in York University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which is designed specifically for internationally trained nurses; however, the program offers just 50 spots and takes 20 months to complete. Some immigrant nurses have also reported a lack of information on how to prepare for the exam. “There is no study guide. You can’t prepare and study for it. If this is the way they prefer to license us, at least send us quickly to the OSCE and open more bridging programs to get us on track,” said one nurse from Israel. A spokesperson for the CNO said that they are aware of the situation and that they are working with groups including the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) to arrive at a solution. Academica Group, working with researchers at Western University, the University of Ottawa, and McMaster University, has recently completed a case study evaluation of bridging programs for internationally educated allied health professionals that will be released in the coming months. Toronto Star