Category Archives: The International Council of Nurses

What You Should Know Before Taking the OET


The OET (Occupational English Test) is the most widely recognized English language test for the healthcare sector. This test assesses your language communication skills as a healthcare professional who wishes to register and practise in an English-speaking environment. It  validates all four language capabilities; reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Your OET scores can make or break your chances of getting registration, so make sure that you are well prepared for your big day! We bring you some tips for OET Test preparation.

  • Be aware of the OET Format

The OET comprises four sub tests, which are graded from A to E (where A is the highest and E is the lowest). Grade boundaries are determined by taking a statistical analysis of the scores of candidates, and finding out the spread of performances to establish the highest and lowest capabilities. The timings are as below:

  • Listening (approximately 50 minutes)
  • Reading (60 minutes)
  • Writing (45 minutes)
  • Speaking (approximately 20 minutes)
  • Set a Target Score

Check out the minimum recommended scores for acceptance to the schools of your choice, and set a goal of the scores you need to achieve. This way, when you do your practice tests, you will know if you are falling short of the mark and can work on improving your scores to that level.

  • Chalk out a study plan

For most students, a minimum of 6 months to 1 year should suffice as preparation time. This, of course, depends on your present language skill levels and the amount of time that you can spend every day on exam prep. Focus on your weaknesses and sharpen your skills in your grey areas.

  • Improve Your Vocabulary and Knowledge of Healthcare terms

All OET sections need a good knowledge of English as well as healthcare terms. You must know the meanings of the most commonly used words in order to be able to easily understand the English you read and hear. With a good vocabulary, you will also be able to articulate yourself more clearly and effectively in speech and writing.

  • Do practice tests

Practice tests that are scored and worked out in the exact time frame of the actual test will give you a good idea of where you stand, what you need to improve in and what you are already good at. Put in some work on improving your weaknesses. If possible, get some feedback on your speaking and writing.

  • Writing test

At the beginning itself, understand the task clearly. You should know who you are writing to and the reason why. Carefully read the sample writing sub-test letters, look at the case notes and understand which ones are important. You must organise your case notes into short paragraphs with a clear structure. OET writing should be structured in this manner: Introductory sentence, the main issue, the secondary issue, any other details and the request. Paragraphs must be single-themed and should not be confusing. Note that the case notes should not be directly copied into your letter.

  • Speaking test

As you are being tested for your professional capability, you must be the one to begin the conversation. You also have to keep the conversation going, and ask the right questions to make your ‘patient’ (the OET person) talk. Listen to their responses, and adjust your language to suit the situation. You will be tested on how flexible you are in your thinking and language.

  • Listening test

The Part A listening test requires you to gather information, and you can give the correct information in your own words or close to what you have heard on the recording. Part B involves listening to a talk on a health related topic after which you have to answer a range of questions in different formats. Choose answers which fit logically. Make sure that you manage your time well.

  • Reading Test

There are 8-10 questions that must be answered after each passage. As you read, underline the parts where numbers are mentioned. As you read the questions, go back to the passage and underline all the obvious answers, marking them with the question numbers. Time management is the key and you should work out your best strategy. Some people like to answer all the easy questions, skip the difficult ones and come back later. However you should finish each passage before going on to the next as otherwise you may lose the gist of the topic and get confused between the content of different passages.

  • Be well rested the day before the test

To be able to perform well, you must take care of yourself. Make sure that you get a full night’s rest before test day—last minute cramming does not help and if you are feeling tired you will forget what you already know. Give your brain a well-deserved rest! On the morning of the exam, eat a nourishing breakfast that fills you up.

  • Above all, stay calm!

Last but not least, it is very important that you stay calm while you do the test. Keep a clear head and you will be able to ace your test. Good luck!

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.



Follow Us

National Council of State Boards of Nursing

NCSBN is a not-for-profit organization whose U.S. members include the nursing regulatory bodies in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories.


NCSBN empowers and supports nursing regulators in their mandate to protect the public.

(Mission Statement Adopted by Delegate Assembly 2019)


Leading regulatory excellence worldwide.



In 2018 NCSBN has 59 Members and 30 Associate Members Across the Globe

NCSBN is an independent, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The impetus for NCSBN’s creation arose out of recognition that in order to guard the safety of the public, the organization involved in the regulation of nurses needed to be a separate entity from the American Nurses Association (ANA) Council on State Boards of Nursing, which represents professional nurses.NCSBN called to order its first meeting on June 5, 1978

NCSBN’s membership is now comprised of boards of nursing (BONs) and other nursing regulatory bodies that are charged with the responsibility of providing regulatory excellence for public health, safety and welfare, and protecting the public by ensuring that safe and competent nursing care is provided by licensed nurses. NCSBN is the vehicle through which these entities act and counsel together on matters of common interest.From April 1, 1994 through Dec. 31, 2017 more than 5.4 million candidates for nurse licensure have take NCLEX examinations via CAT

These regulatory bodies recognize that the best way to guard the safety of the public is to ensure that nurses entering the workforce have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice. To meet that goal, NCSBN is devoted to developing a psychometrically sound and legally defensible nurse licensure examination consistent with current nursing practice. NCSBN became the first organization to implement computerized adaptive testing (CAT) for nationwide licensure exams in 1994. In addition to the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN examinations, NCSBN also develops and administers the largest competency evaluation for nurse aides (NAs), known as the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). Additionally, NCSBN develops the Medication Aide Certification Examination (MACE), designed for NAs who choose to receive additional training to become a certified medication aide/assistant. The ongoing assessment of these exams includes research that gathers job analysis data from entry-level nurses and aides that ultimately contributes to refinement and adaptation of the tests to keep pace with the rapidly evolving health care environment.More than 138,300 nurse licensure candidates have taken the NCLEX in 10 international test centers

Beyond ongoing analysis and measurement of entry-level competence, NCSBN is an active partner with its members in exploring issues related to health care, government policy, nursing practice and regulatory processes and initiatives, both nationally and internationally. NCSBN is working with, through and on behalf of its member boards through the following strategic initiatives: 

  • Envisioning and refining regulatory systems for increased relevance and responsiveness to changes in health care.
  • Championing regulatory solutions to address borderless health care delivery.
  • Expanding the active engagement and leadership potential of all members.
  • Pioneering competency assessments to support the future of health care and the advancement of regulatory excellence.
U.S. boards of nursing regulation more than 4.8 million licensed nurses
U.S. Board of nursing regulate more than 4.8 million licensed nurses

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.



Follow Us

International Council of Nurses (ICN)

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations (NNAs), representing the more than 20 million nurses worldwide. Founded in 1899, ICN is the world’s first and widest reaching international organisation for health professionals. Operated by nurses and leading nurses internationally, ICN works to ensure quality nursing care for all, sound health policies globally, the advancement of nursing knowledge, and the presence worldwide of a respected nursing profession and a competent and satisfied nursing workforce.

ICN’s ever-increasing networks and connections to people reinforce the importance of strong linkages with national, regional and international nursing and non-nursing organisations. Building positive relationships internationally helps position ICN, nurses and nursing for now and the future. Our work with the specialised agencies of the United Nations system, particularly with the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organisation and the World Bank, are important for nurses everywhere. In addition, we work closely with a range of international non-governmental organisations and other partners.

ICN Mission, Vision, Constitution and Strategic Plan

ICN Mission:

To represent nursing worldwide, advance the nursing profession, promote the wellbeing of nurses, and advocate for health in all policies.

ICN Vision:

The global community recognises, supports, and invests in nurses and nursing to lead and deliver health for all.

ICN Constitution

ICN Strategic Plan


Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF)

The Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF) ICN’s premier foundation; it supports and complements the work and objectives of ICN. Its purpose is to support the advancement of nursing education, research and services for the public good. Its signature project is the Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF).

The International Council of Nurses Foundation (ICNF)

The International Council of Nurses Foundation is the ICN Swiss-based Foundation organised exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes.


Council of National Nursing Association Representatives (CNR)

The Council of National Nursing Association Representatives (CNR) is the governing body of ICN and sets policy at the macro level, including admission of members, election of the Board of Directors, amendments to the constitution, and setting of fees. A National Representative is a nurse selected by a member association to be its representative, who may or may not be the president of that association, but who meets the ICN definition of nurse. The nurse accompanying the National Representative of a member association may participate in meetings of the CNR but has no right to vote except when acting as the authorised proxy for the national representative. At meetings of the CNR the right to speak is limited to:

  • members of the CNR, ICN Board of Directors, the ICN Chief Executive Officer and the accompanying person from the member association;
  • official observers designated by the ICN Board of Directors, on selected topics as determined by the chairperson of the meeting;
  • guests invited by ICN to speak on specific topics for the time allowed by the presiding officer of the meeting.

The CNR meets every two years.

ICN Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Network (NP/APN Network)

ICN has established the Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Network (NP/APN Network) in order to facilitate communication around common professional interests.

Aims and Objectives

The KEY GOAL of the Network is to become an international resource for nurses practising in Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Advanced Practice Nursing Roles (APN) roles, and interested others (e.g. policymakers, educators, regulators, health planners) by:

– Making relevant and timely information about practice, education, role development, research, policy and regulatory developments, and appropriate events widely available;

– Providing a forum for sharing and exchange of knowledge expertise and experience; Supporting nurses and countries who are in the process of introducing or developing NP or ANP roles and practice;

– Accessing international resources that are pertinent to this field.

What Does The Network Do?

The network is an evolving and continually updated forum that :

– Identifies issues early and monitors how they develop.

– Follows trends.

– Offers special expertise through creating a resource pool from network members.

– Disseminates ICN’s and others’ work in the field.

– Organises meetings and conferences.

Become a member of the NP/APN Network.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.



Follow Us