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Breaking News: OET now accepted for NMC Registration.

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Two days ago, the Nursing and Midwifery Council made an announcement that they will accept the Occupational English Test (OET) as an alternative test to prove the English proficiency of nurses and midwives trained outside the UK, starting on November 1, 2017. You can check the full article here. It is noted that many nurses that are trained outside EU are struggling to pass their IELTS. This sounds a very good news indeed for aspiring UKRNs, they now have another option should they find it difficult to pass IELTS.

A friend of mine who took both OET and IELTS in the past told me that OET is easier than IELTS. I can’t really prove this, but, just knowing you have another option aside from the IELTS, makes the nurses breathe a little easier and less anxious. Of course, you still have to prepare yourself well before taking the OET. I was told that the exam is worth more than twenty thousand pesos. That’s like two IELTS exam fees combined.

Another thing to consider is that when you apply for your UK visa, you will still need to secure a UKVI IELTS exam. At this very moment, it is unclear if the Home Office will accept the OET for visa purpose. If it will be accepted, that’s good news. If not, then you’ll pay another thirteen thousand for your UKVI IELTS test. On the brighter side, you will only need to get an overall band score of 4 for Tier 2 visa application.

I still think it is best to take and pass the UKVI IELTS exam, because it is cheaper and can be used for both the NMC registration and visa application. But, if you can afford it, go for the OET.

Novel

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KSA Files: SCFHS Certificate of Good Standing

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Hi everyone! I just got back from a week-long vacation and I’m stuck at home today because I’m sick. Anyway, I want to be productive today so, I will be writing about how to get a SCFHS Certificate of Good Standing.

If you are going to apply for a job overseas, whether its a GCC country or somewhere else, it is likely that they will ask a copy of your Certificate of Good Standing. So here’s how you get one:

First, go to the SCFHS website. Then, click e-services.

Next, click Additional e-services list.

Then, click Registration.

A list will appear, just click on Request a certificate of good standing.

Then, fill out all the information the system asks. First, it will ask for your registration number. This is the number that appears in your registration certificate and ID. Example: 11RN1234567 Make sure you type it without spaces or hyphen.

Click next. The system will ask for your e-mail address and mobile number. Make sure you write the correct e-mail address because once paid, the SCFHS will send your Certificate of Good Standing on your e-mail address.

After typing your email address, and valid KSA mobile number, click Next. On the new page, there will be a drop down box, Select Good Standing and then choose Add Service. Click Next. On the next page, click Confirm.

Upon confirmation, the invoice will appear on the screen. You may or may not print it, it’s really up to you. However, you NEED to keep the Account Number. You will need it to pay for the certificate. You can pay it on any ATM that accepts SADAD payments. The cost of the SCFHS Certificate of Good Standing is 300.00 SR. I paid via NCB, it’s actually very easy. On the ATM, choose SADAD payments, then look for SCFHS payments (there are a lot of government agencies and we hit the next button plenty of times, make sure you keep your eyes glued to the monitor). Lastly, the machine will ask for the Account Number.

Once paid, you will receive your Certificate of Good Standing within 24 hrs. It will be in PDF form and will be sent to you via email. The certificate is electronically generated and is already in English. No need for English translations unlike the Saudi Police Clearance and the SCFHS Registration Certificate. *More info about this papers on the next blog post*

If you find any incorrect information on your certificate you can contact the SCFHS and they can investigate the problem for you. They will fix the inaccuracies and send you an updated certificate. you can contact them on the following channels:

Call center: 920019393

E-mail: care@scfhs.org

Hope this helps!

Novel

The Pearson Vue NMC computer based test (CBT)

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How does one prepare for the Pearson Vue NMC computer based test (CBT)?

Fear of the unknown.

In my experience, after a brief relief and elation from passing the IELTS test, I felt a different kind of fear and panic in preparation for the NMC computer based test (CBT). Compared to the IELTS, there are very few information you can get online regarding the CBT and that usually causes the panic for test takers. When you go to the NMC site, there is a “blueprint” that the Nursing and Midwifery Council encourages CBT takers to read and study. Also, some people on the internet advised to read the Royal Marsden Manual. I found a small comfort in that, but when I downloaded the files and opened them, the fear took over the comfort I felt. It’s lengthy and it also have lots of links to other sites. Who has the time to read all of that?

Calm the f down.

Breathe in, breathe out. Relax. After that, figure out a time table that will enable you to read the blueprints, the links, and the entire Royal Marsden Manual. In my case, I only had two weeks to prepare. If you are planning to take the exam too, make sure you have enough time to study. The exam is worth One Hundred and Thirty pounds, if you don’t want your money wasted, you have to study.

Know your enemy.

One of the requirements before you take the NMC CBT is the IELTS score. Once you go to the NMC site to register for the CBT, they will ask you to put in some information regarding your IELTS. Then, they will send you an email if you are eligible to take the exam. The email will direct you to the Pearson Vue wesite. Book and pay for the exam, and make sure to read the Candidate Information Booklet. This contains all the necessary information regarding the exam. Knowing what’s going to happen will lessen your anxiety. The booklet will tell you the do’s and don’ts as well as what you should expect on your exam day.

Plan.

I created a two-week review guide that allowed me to read almost all of my study materials. I divided the Royal Marsden Manual by chapter and tried to read them according to my time table or until my brain is fried. Seriously. I read the Blueprints first, then the Manual, and I checked out the links last. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read all of them because of time constraints. Time is your friend, you have to use them wisely. Again, when booking your exam, make sure you have ample time to study.

Read. Read. Read.

Aside from the the NMC Blueprint and the Royal Marsden Manual, try to look for other review sources such as the NMC Site, NHS, RCN, etc. These sources are available online. Comprehension is important when you read the review materials. If you come to a point that you cannot absorb anything that you read, you have to stop. You are just wasting your time. You need to clear your mind a little bit, and try to make learning fun. I used flash cards to help me remember some stuff. Also, don’t read on a place where your bed is visible, because you’ll likely end up reading in your bed and eventually, fall asleep. In my experience, I find reading at the early hours of the morning more conducive for learning than on the middle of the day. Read as much as you can.

Pray.

Regardless of your religion, pray anyway. It will bring you comfort and peace when you take the exam.

If you are an aspiring UKRN like me, I wish you luck on your exam! You can do this!

For more information, visit the Pearson Vue for NMC site here.

Trying and failing to be “zen”

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I am currently waiting for my decision letter from the Nursing and Midwifery Council in UK. My application is added on the queue on the 6th of July. According to the NMC website, the assessment process will take 40-70 working days. It’s going to be a long wait.

I left my job in April and I decided not to be in the workforce for a while because I needed the break after a six- year long career overseas. I try to be productive by studying as often as I could to prepare for the OSCE. Anyway, this morning, I was looking for some planning and documentation samples online and I stumbled upon a forum that discusses their experience with regard to the assessment process with the NMC. Most of the time, I avoid looking at such forums because I don’t want to worry about things that aren’t happening yet or probably wont happen to me at all, but today, I was weak. I got sucked into this vortex of fears and worries about delays and resubmission of documents. I read the forum for an hour. It’s pretty scary. I’m trying to get my “zen” back, but the “horror” stories are still fresh in my mind. So, here I am trying to distract myself by blogging.

If you are a UKRN or an aspiring UKRN, I’d love to hear some positive experience working in the UK or with the whole registration process. Please leave a message on the comment box! Thank you.

Have a great day ahead!

Attention: Nurses who wants to work in Saudi Arabia

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This is posted today at the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties Facebook Page.

For all Nurses:

Saudi Commission for Health Specialties in partnership with Pearson Vue announcing for the increased question-examination items from 100 to 150 items in 3 -hour period.
Result of the examination will be released after 3 days which will be determined using the range percentile scores.

These photos are also posted on the said page which shows the new format of the Prometric Test Result for SCFHS.

prometric pass or fail

Photo Credits: Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

prometric new scoresheet

Photo Credits: Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

What’s the difference from the old SCFHS Prometric test? Well, I took my Prometric test in September 2011 and since then I haven’t noticed the changes that occurred while I was working in Saudi. Anyway, in 2011 the number of items in the exam was 70 and you can get the result as soon as you finished the test (You can finish the test in an hour or so). The print out will say if you passed or failed. The exam fee in 2011 was $90. Today, I checked the Pearson Vue site for the SCFHS certification Testing and it says that starting from July 1, 2017, all SCFHS exam fees will be adjusted. I don’t know for sure how much it is but if you are interested in taking the exam, you can contact Pearson Vue here.

Another thing I noticed from the Pearson Vue site is this:

Kindly note that healthcare professionals will first have to apply to Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. You will be able to sit for the exam once credentialing has been done and approved.

Before, you can easily book and pay the exam yourself online without needing any permission from any regulating body or organization. As of this month, prior to booking the exam, a permission to take the test must be acquired from the SCFHS. I think, this “approval” will be automatically sent to Pearson Vue and the applicant will be notified via email that he is given the permission to take the test. Once notified, the applicant can create an account on Pearson Vue to book and pay for the Prometric exam. I could be wrong though. So, if you have questions about the process, it’s best to contact the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties.

There you go. If you are reading this because you are going to take the Prometric exam soon, good luck and thank you for dropping by!

IELTS Tips: Is it possible to get a good band score if you self study?

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First of all, I will not recommend for anyone to book their IELTS too soon. If you’re not confident about your English proficiency yet, don’t book it. However, if you are on a deadline, go ahead and do it, but make sure that you give an ample time for you to study. In my opinion, two weeks should be long enough provided that you follow a strict review schedule.

To start of, you need to assess your strength and weaknesses. Do practice tests online. There are plenty of free youtube videos that provides listening practice tests. For reading and writing practices, you can check out blogs like ieltsliz.com or engvid.com, they have plenty of practice tests you can try. For speaking, try to speak for 4 minutes non-stop about a certain topic. Make sure that you record it. You can later listen to it and check for mistakes and how you can improve it.

After doing practice tests, evaluate the results. Which section did you find difficult? In my case, I find it challenging to write two essays within one hour. Also, I found out that I use a lot of fillers when I speak non-stop and my vocabulary is between average to above average. Initially, prior to doing the practice tests, I thought I wouldn’t have any problems regarding the listening and reading sections of IELTS because I am an avid reader and I watch a lot of BBC documentaries. However, It made me a little bit nervous when I stumbled upon True/False/Not Given questions in the reading section during the practice tests. I find them confusing. The matching type questions can also be tricky and time consuming. With the listening practice tests, my only problem is my lack of focus. My mind tend to drift away while listening to the recording.

After finding out my weaknesses, I planned a study calendar to help overcome them. Create a review calendar that you can use as a guide everyday. I followed the guide for two weeks, studying for 8-10 hours a day. I know it’s a little bit inconvenient specially for those who are working full time. In my case, I already resigned from my Nursing job that’s why I have the time to study.  So, it’s important to make a review guide that fits your schedule. My calendar is filled with subjects that I need to focus on such as practice writing and speaking. I also scheduled mock tests that mimics the actual test. The mock tests helped me improve my writing under time pressure.

Many people opt to go to a review center prior to taking the IELTS. That’s a pretty good way to prepare for the exam too albeit a little expensive. The advantage of going to a review center than self studying is that there are mentors who can correct your mistakes. If you self study, you have to figure out what’s the problem and fix it yourself. Again, if you are not confident doing it on your own, go ahead and sign up for review sessions at your local IELTS review center.

It is possible to get a good band score even if you self study. You just need to be well disciplined in following your review schedule and must be willing to sacrifice your time for studying.

If you have more UKVI IELTS questions and suggestions, please leave a message at the comment box.

Have a great day ahead!

Novel

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