University of Chester

Programme Specification
Overseas Nurses Programme - Level 5
2014 - 2015

No Formal Award

Overseas Nurses Programme - Level 5

Overseas Nurses Programme - Level 5

University of Chester

University of Chester

Isle of Man

Sites as determined by the Faculty of Health and Social Care; Department of Health Education and Training Centre, Isle of Man; States of Jersey Health and Social Service.

Professional/ Specialist/ Community/ Advanced Practice (Nursing & Midwifery)

Full-time and Part-time

Residential and Open,

20 protected learning days and a period of 3-6 months of supervised practice if required

1 Years





17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

Nursing and Midwifery Council

University of Chester

Faculty of Health and Social Care, Undergraduate Post-registration Subject Assessment Board

Tuesday 1st November 2011

Enable successful overseas registered nurses to register on Part 1 of the NMC Register in Adult Nursing, and to gain 20 credits at level 5.

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate the ability to appraise the underpinning theoretical base of nursing using a reflective framework including:

  • Professional, legal and ethical issues.
  • Key concepts, principles and policiesrelated to healthcare.
  • Evidence-based approach and dissemination of information.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

The ability to:
  • Demonstrate self management and direction, and the ability to think logically and critically.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate the delivery and management of care using reflective, problem solving and decision making skills.
  • Access, analyse and process information applicable to their area of practice.

Practical Skills

Practical skills as required by NMC Competencies.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

Key skills will be developed throughout the programme.
  • Communication: Effective communication skills will be inherent in the module.
  • Numeracy: Students accessing the programme will be working at a level that requires them to be numerate. Numeracy skills will be developed in taught classroom based sessions and in clinical practice. Numeracy is assessed via the Observed Structured Clinical Examination.
  • Information technology: The programme will require the students to engage with the University intranet, bibliographical databases and the internet for academic and clinical studies, use the library effectively, and perform literature searches and reviews. Their existing skills will be enhanced in the library induction and information skill session at the beginning of the programme, which will be specific to the University resources. The facilities of the wider University will also be open to the student. Study skills sessions are held at the beginning of each academic year and the services of the Learning Support Tutor will be available at other times. The students' IT skills will normally be evidenced in the production of word-processed assignments.
  • Improving own learning and performance: The entire programme is designed to facilitate the student in their development on both a personal and professional level. This will be evidenced and assessed through written work within their portfolio.
  • Working with others: The student’s ability to work with others will be demonstrated in both the classroom and clinical areas, and evidenced in the learning profiles within the learning portfolio.
  • Problem solving: This area will be developed through the reflective analysis of practice.

Transferable Professional Skills

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Personal and professional development

The requirements of the European Directives 77/453/EEC and 89/595/EEC apply to all nurses undertaking programmes for adult nursing. These requirements have mandatory status. This includes those undertaking their first pre-registration nursing programme, overseas nurses undergoing retraining in the UK (those registered in their home country, but who do not meet NMC requirements for UK registration), and those accessing a shortened programme due to previous registration as a nurse practising in a different branch or as a midwife (see Standard 4).

Article 9 of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 sets out the conditions for registration and requires that the applicant '(a) satisfies the Registrar that he holds an approved qualification…, (b) satisfies the Registrar in accordance with the Council’s requirements mentioned in article 5(2) that he is capable of safe and effective practice…, (c) has paid the prescribed fee.' Individual overseas nurses are required to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for registration.  

The Overseas Nurses Programme consists of two integrated parts, supervised practice and an Overseas Nurses Programme module, which run concurrently. There will be a period of supervised practice to enable achievement of the competencies. The length of this period will vary according to the individual’s previous training and experience. It will be prescribed by the NMC following an assessment of such training and experience. Supervised practice may only take place in practice settings that have been audited in line with University regulations. Supervision will be provided by a sign off mentor.

Overseas nurses who are unsuccessful following their period of supervised practice may be permitted one further attempt unless the reason for failure is related to the individual’s professional conduct. Extensions to a period of supervised practice may be permitted. Applicants who are given an extension and are subsequently unsuccessful may not be permitted a further period of supervised practice. For further information on supervised practice, please refer to the NMC booklet Information for nurses and midwives who trained outside of the EU or EEA countries and Registering as a nurse or midwife in the UK: for applicants from countries outside the EEA.

The Overseas Nurses Programme for registration must contain 20 days' protected learning time. Protected learning time is defined as the time in which the overseas nurse is able, in her own or another practice setting or in an education setting, to comprehend the content of the programme. One protected learning day is the equivalent of 7.5 hours that may consist of theory and/or study. The overseas nurse will be supernumerary for the 20 protected learning days. During this time, the nurse cannot be counted in the staffing numbers (NMC Circular No. 10/2005).

The programme encompasses the achievement of competence in practice and the exposure to the content identified for the period of protected learning. This short programme is designed to meet the requirements as specified by the NMC, and to provide an opportunity for the nurse to gain 20 academic credits at level 5.

Please note that, having been granted derogation from the University Regulations, the following applies to this programme: Students must pass every component and module, with a minimum mark of 40%.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM5055 5 Overseas Nurses Programme 20 Comp


This programme is suitable for nurses qualified outside the United Kingdom (excluding the European Community) wishing to register on Part 1 of the NMC Register (Adult Nursing) who fulfil the necessary criteria.

  • It is the nurse's responsibility to approach the NMC for permission to undertake an Overseas Nurses Programme.
  • It is a requirement of the NMC that the nurse has successfully completed the International English Language Test (IELTS). The nurse must achieve a minimum score of 7 in each section. The nurse must submit the original certificate issued and verified by the examining body to the approved programme provider. The programme provider will confirm to the NMC that the appropriate IELTS score has been achieved and verified.
  • The nurse must be in possession of a valid and current Decision Letter issued by the NMC before undertaking any part of this programme.
  • The nurse must be successful in all components of the selection procedure as required by the employer or practice provider.
  • The nurse must not be transferring from another programme without the express permission of the NMC.
  • All applicants will not be accepted onto the programme until a satisfactory Criminal Records Check has been completed.

This programme is required to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council Competencies (NMC 2005). The development of Overseas Nurses Programmes is based on five principles:

  1. Ensure safe and effective practice in the interest of public protection;
  2. Enable applicants who meet initial requirements to transfer skills and experience to the UK setting;
  3. Enable applicants to be assessed as being at least as competent as any newly registered UK trained nurse;
  4. Enable supervised practice to be delivered over variable timeframes, as determined by the NMC, and based on an applicant’s training and experience. It must also ensure that applicants meet the practice requirements for registration;
  5. Be subject to NMC quality assurance processes.

The Overseas Nurses Programme is applicable to students seeking NMC registration in any of the fields of practice i.e. adult, child, learning disability and mental health. The period of supervised practice, theoretical content and field standards for competence will reflect the student's field. The domains and associated proficiencies given below are for adult field only, but others will be developed for other fields. The specifications for other fields will be developed as and when necessary.


Domain: Professional values

Generic standard for competence:
All nurses must act first and foremost to care for and safeguard the public. They must practise autonomously and be responsible and accountable for safe, compassionate, person-centred, evidence-based nursing that respects and maintains dignity and human rights. They must show professionalism and integrity and work within recognised professional, ethical and legal frameworks. They must work in partnership with other health and social care professionals and agencies, service users, their carers and families in all settings, including the community, ensuring that decisions about care are shared.

Field standard for competence:
Adult nurses must also be able at all times to promote the rights, choices and wishes of all adults and, where appropriate, children and young people, paying particular attention to equality, diversity and the needs of an ageing population. They must be able to work in partnership to address people's needs in all healthcare settings.


  1. All nurses must practise with confidence according to The code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives (NMC 2008), and within other recognised ethical and legal frameworks. They must be able to recognise and address ethical challenges relating to people's choices and decision-making about their care, and act within the law to help them and their families and carers find acceptable solutions.
    1.1 Adult nurses must understand and apply current legislation to all service users, paying special attention to the protection of vulnerable people, including those with complex needs arising from ageing, cognitive impairment, long-term conditions and those approaching the end of life.
  2. All nurses must practise in a holistic, non-judgmental, caring and sensitive manner that avoids assumptions; supports social inclusion; recognises and respects individual choice; and acknowledges diversity. Where necessary, they must challenge inequality, discrimination and exclusion from access to care.
  3. All nurses must support and promote the health, wellbeing, rights and dignity of people, groups, communities and populations. These include people whose lives are affected by ill health, disability, ageing, death and dying. Nurses must understand how these activities influence public health.
  4. All nurses must work in partnership with service users, carers, families, groups, communities and organisations. They must manage risk, and promote health and wellbeing while aiming to empower choices that promote self-care and safety.
  5. All nurses must fully understand the nurse's various roles, responsibilities and functions, and adapt their practice to meet the changing needs of people, groups, communities and populations.
  6. All nurses must understand the roles and responsibilities of other health and social care professionals, and seek to work with them collaboratively for the benefit of all who need care.
  7. All nurses must be responsible and accountable for keeping their knowledge and skills up to date through continuing professional development. They must aim to improve their performance and enhance the safety and quality of care through evaluation, supervision and appraisal.
  8. All nurses must practise independently, recognising the limits of their competence and knowledge. They must reflect on these limits and seek advice from, or refer to, other professionals where necessary.
  9. All nurses must appreciate the value of evidence in practice, be able to understand and appraise research, apply relevant theory and research findings to their work, and identify areas for further investigation.

Domain: Communication and interpersonal skills

Generic standard for competence:
All nurses must use excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Their communications must always be safe, effective, compassionate and respectful. They must communicate effectively using a wide range of strategies and interventions including the effective use of communication technologies. Where people have a disability, nurses must be able to work with service users and others to obtain the information needed to make reasonable adjustments that promote optimum health and enable equal access to services.

Field standard for competence:
Adult nurses must demonstrate the ability to listen with empathy. They must be able to respond warmly and positively to people of all ages who may be anxious, distressed, or facing problems with their health and wellbeing.


  1. All nurses must build partnerships and therapeutic relationships through safe, effective and non-discriminatory communication. They must take account of individual differences, capabilities and needs.
  2. All nurses must use a range of communication skills and technologies to support person-centred care and enhance quality and safety. They must ensure people receive all the information they need in a language and manner that allows them to make informed choices and share decision making. They must recognise when language interpretation or other communication support is needed and know how to obtain it.
  3. All nurses must use the full range of communication methods, including verbal, non-verbal and written, to acquire, interpret and record their knowledge and understanding of people's needs. They must be aware of their own values and beliefs and the impact this may have on their communication with others. They must take account of the many different ways in which people communicate and how these may be influenced by ill health, disability and other factors, and be able to recognise and respond effectively when a person finds it hard to communicate.
    3.1 Adult nurses must promote the concept, knowledge and practice of self-care with people with acute and long-term conditions, using a range of communication skills and strategies.
  4. All nurses must recognise when people are anxious or in distress and respond effectively, using therapeutic principles, to promote their wellbeing, manage personal safety and resolve conflict. They must use effective communication strategies and negotiation techniques to achieve best outcomes, respecting the dignity and human rights of all concerned. They must know when to consult a third party and how to make referrals for advocacy, mediation or arbitration.
  5. All nurses must use therapeutic principles to engage, maintain and, where appropriate, disengage from professional caring relationships, and must always respect professional boundaries.
  6. All nurses must take every opportunity to encourage health-promoting behaviour through education, role modelling and effective communication.
  7. All nurses must maintain accurate, clear and complete records, including the use of electronic formats, using appropriate and plain language.
  8. All nurses must respect individual rights to confidentiality and keep information secure and confidential in accordance with the law and relevant ethical and regulatory frameworks, taking account of local protocols. They must also actively share personal information with others when the interests of safety and protection override the need for confidentiality.

Domain: Nursing practice and decision-making

Generic standard for competence:
All nurses must practise autonomously, compassionately, skilfully and safely, and must maintain dignity and promote health and wellbeing. They must assess and meet the full range of essential physical and mental health needs of people of all ages who come into their care. Where necessary they must be able to provide safe and effective immediate care to all people prior to accessing or referring to specialist services irrespective of their field of practice. All nurses must also meet more complex and coexisting needs for people in their own nursing field of practice, in any setting including hospital, community and at home. All practice should be informed by the best available evidence and comply with local and national guidelines. Decision-making must be shared with service users, carers and families and informed by critical analysis of a full range of possible interventions, including the use of up-to-date technology. All nurses must also understand how behaviour, culture, socioeconomic and other factors, in the care environment and its location, can affect health, illness, health outcomes and public health priorities and take this into account in planning and delivering care.​

Field standard for competence:
Adult nurses must be able to carry out accurate assessment of people of all ages using appropriate diagnostic and decision-making skills. They must be able to provide effective care for service users and others in all settings. They must have in-depth understanding of and competence in medical and surgical nursing to respond to adults' full range of health and dependency needs. They must be able to deliver care to meet essential and complex physical and mental health needs.


  1. All nurses must use up-to-date knowledge and evidence to assess, plan, deliver and evaluate care, communicate findings, influence change and promote health and best practice. They must make person-centred, evidence-based judgments and decisions, in partnership with others involved in the care process, to ensure high quality care. They must be able to recognise when the complexity of clinical decisions requires specialist knowledge and expertise, and consult or refer accordingly.
    1.1 Adult nurses must be able to recognise and respond to the needs of all people who come into their care including babies, children and young people, pregnant and postnatal women, people with mental health problems, people with physical disabilities, people with learning disabilities, older people, and people with long term problems such as cognitive impairment.
  2. All nurses must possess a broad knowledge of the structure and functions of the human body, and other relevant knowledge from the life, behavioural and social sciences as applied to health, ill health, disability, ageing and death. They must have an in-depth knowledge of common physical and mental health problems and treatments in their own field of practice, including co-morbidity and physiological and psychological vulnerability.
  3. All nurses must carry out comprehensive, systematic nursing assessments that take account of relevant physical, social, cultural, psychological, spiritual, genetic and environmental factors, in partnership with service users and others through interaction, observation and measurement.
    3.1 Adult nurses must safely use a range of diagnostic skills, employing appropriate technology, to assess the needs of service users.
  4. All nurses must ascertain and respond to the physical, social and psychological needs of people, groups and communities. They must then plan, deliver and evaluate safe, competent, person-centred care in partnership with them, paying special attention to changing health needs during different life stages, including progressive illness and death, loss and bereavement.
    4.1 Adult nurses must safely use invasive and non-invasive procedures, medical devices, and current technological and pharmacological interventions, where relevant, in medical and surgical nursing practice, providing information and taking account of individual needs and preferences.
    4.2 Adult nurses must recognise and respond to the changing needs of adults, families and carers during terminal illness. They must be aware of how treatment goals and service users' choices may change at different stages of progressive illness, loss and bereavement.
  5. All nurses must understand public health principles, priorities and practice in order to recognise and respond to the major causes and social determinants of health, illness and health inequalities. They must use a range of information and data to assess the needs of people, groups, communities and populations, and work to improve health, wellbeing and experiences of healthcare; secure equal access to health screening, health promotion and healthcare; and promote social inclusion.
  6. All nurses must practise safely by being aware of the correct use, limitations and hazards of common interventions, including nursing activities, treatments, and the use of medical devices and equipment. The nurse must be able to evaluate their use, report any concerns promptly through appropriate channels and modify care where necessary to maintain safety. They must contribute to the collection of local and national data and formulation of policy on risks, hazards and adverse outcomes.
  7. All nurses must be able to recognise and interpret signs of normal and deteriorating mental and physical health and respond promptly to maintain or improve the health and comfort of the service user, acting to keep them and others safe.
    7.1 Adult nurses must recognise the early signs of illness in people of all ages. They must make accurate assessments and start appropriate and timely management of those who are acutely ill, at risk of clinical deterioration, or require emergency care.
    7.2 Adult nurses must understand the normal physiological and psychological processes of pregnancy and childbirth. They must work with the midwife and other professionals and agencies to provide basic nursing care to pregnant women and families during pregnancy and after childbirth. They must be able to respond safely and effectively in an emergency to safeguard the health of mother and baby.
  8. All nurses must provide educational support, facilitation skills and therapeutic nursing interventions to optimise health and wellbeing. They must promote self-care and management whenever possible, helping people to make choices about their healthcare needs, involving families and carers where appropriate, to maximise their ability to care for themselves.
    8.1 Adult nurses must work in partnership with people who have long-term conditions that require medical or surgical nursing, and their families and carers, to provide therapeutic nursing interventions, optimise health and wellbeing, facilitate choice and maximise self-care and self-management.
  9. All nurses must be able to recognise when a person is at risk and in need of extra support and protection and take reasonable steps to protect them from abuse.
  10. All nurses must evaluate their care to improve clinical decision-making, quality and outcomes, using a range of methods, amending the plan of care, where necessary, and communicating changes to others.

Domain: Leadership, management and team working

Generic standard for competence:
All nurses must be professionally accountable and use clinical governance processes to maintain and improve nursing practice and standards of healthcare. They must be able to respond autonomously and confidently to planned and uncertain situations, managing themselves and others effectively. They must create and maximise opportunities to improve services. They must also demonstrate the potential to develop further management and leadership skills during their period of preceptorship and beyond.

Field standard for competence:
Adult nurses must be able to provide leadership in managing adult nursing care, understand and coordinate interprofessional care when needed, and liaise with specialist teams. They must be adaptable and flexible, and able to take the lead in responding to the needs of people of all ages in a variety of circumstances, including situations where immediate or urgent care is needed. They must recognise their leadership role in disaster management, major incidents and public health emergencies, and respond appropriately according to their levels of competence.


  1. All nurses must act as change agents and provide leadership through quality improvement and service development to enhance people's wellbeing and experiences of healthcare.
  2. All nurses must systematically evaluate care and ensure that they and others use the findings to help improve people's experience and care outcomes and to shape future services.
  3. All nurses must be able to identify priorities and manage time and resources effectively to ensure the quality of care is maintained or enhanced.
  4. All nurses must be self-aware and recognise how their own values, principles and assumptions may affect their practice. They must maintain their own personal and professional development, learning from experience, through supervision, feedback, reflection and evaluation.
  5. All nurses must facilitate nursing students and others to develop their competence, using a range of professional and personal development skills.
  6. All nurses must work independently as well as in teams. They must be able to take the lead in coordinating, delegating and supervising care safely, managing risk and remaining accountable for the care given.
  7. All nurses must work effectively across professional and agency boundaries, actively involving and respecting others' contributions to integrated person-centred care. They must know when and how to communicate with and refer to other professionals and agencies in order to respect the choices of service users and others, promoting shared decision making, to deliver positive outcomes and to coordinate smooth, effective transition within and between services and agencies.

This programme is required to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council Competencies (NMC 2010).

In accordance with NMC regulations, the nurse will be afforded 20 protected learning days. These days will be recorded in the Portfolio of Learning. The programme will be flexible to take account of the nurse's individual learning needs and style, e.g. a nurse from Australia may have an NMC letter which suggests only undertaking the programme for 20 days, or the NMC letter may say to a nurse from the Philippines that they should take 20 days' protected learning in addition to 3/6 months' practical experience in a particular practice area.

Teaching and clinical staff will deliver the theoretical content underpinning the programme. The 20 days will be delivered in a combination of education centre and on-site placement.

A variety of teaching and learning methods to include lectures, discussions, demonstrations and directed reading will be used. The teaching of practical skills such as cardio-pulmonary resuscitation or safe moving and handling will be delivered to small groups. The acquisition of clinical skills by the nurse will be supervised and assessed by the sign off mentor. An integral aspect of the programme, in both clinical area and classroom, will be the development of effective English language skills that include listening, speaking, comprehension and written communication.

The assessment method has been chosen to demonstrate that the nurse has achieved the competencies and standards for first level registration as directed by the NMC. The nurse will be required to devise a professional portfolio which will be composed of the following:
  1. Clinical practice assessment document recording the achievement of the NMC Competencies, assessed by the sign off mentor who will work with the overseas nurse for a minimum of two 7.5 hour shifts or equivalent each week during supervised practice.
  2. Record of the 20 protected learning days.
  3. Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) of care management skills will be carried out by a suitably qualified registered nurse in the practice environment. A second registered nurse will oversee the process, with a minimum of 25% of OSCEs being moderated by lecturing staff. The OSCE is a summative assessment and is marked as pass/fail.
  4. Evidence of reflection on practice (2000 words). This will be marked against level 5 criteria and will represent 100% of the academic module mark.
  5. Statement of good health and good character signed by the sign off mentor.

The programme offers students the opportunity to achieve the characteristics of a diplomate. The relevant level statement guidance from the QAA is as follows:

Level 5

Acquisition of knowledge that illustrates and exemplifies the underlying concepts and principles of the subjects studied. Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in those subject(s).

Ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied. Ability to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in the field of study. Appreciation of the boundaries of the subject(s) studied, and of inter-relationships with other subjects.

The characteristics of the successful student would be that of a clinically able practitioner who demonstrates a professional attitude, is of good health and good character, and who is able to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care of a patient or group of patients in their care. 

Following successful completion of the course, students will be registered with the NMC as on Part 1 of the register and can seek employment as a registered nurse.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

There will be different schedules and reading lists for students from different fields of practice.

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