Psychiatric nurse during a consultation)

Overseas Aptitude Test – Psychiatric Nurse

Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery

Test preparation

The test is designed to reflect the nature of the syllabus and knowledge required for a pre-registration programme in the Republic of Ireland as per the NMBI standards and requirements.

The test addresses the NMBI domains of competency for the pre-registration programme in an attempt to ensure patient safety and public protection. The domains of competency and indicative content of the NMBI requirements and standards must be fully and carefully considered in order to help guide your revision for the test. 

In your revision, based on the NMBI standards and requirements, multiple sources should be considered including your notes and textbooks from your own training but be sure to use the most up-to-date research-based sources. Essential minimum background reading is detailed below.

Please note: RCSI does not approve or acknowledge any preparation or review sessions/courses/programmes for the test.

In preparation for the test, it is essential that you base your revision on the NMBI publication: NMBI (2016) Nurse Registration Programmes Standards and Requirements. 4th edition. Refer pp 95-110.

Please note: You are encouraged to check this webpage on a regular basis for additions and updates regarding revision and preparation.


Before presenting for the test, an applicant must know how to complete and interpret/analyse each piece of documentation as included below.

Mental health

Mental Health Commission (MHC)

Clinical Risk Management Tool

Assessment of Need

Mental health general reading

  • Lister, S., Hofland, J., Grafton, H. (2022) The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures. (Tenth Ed). Chichester: Wiley Blackwell

  • Peat, I.(ed.) (2020) Alexander's Nursing Practice: Hospital and Home. (Fifth Edition) London

  • Halter, M.P. J. (2022) Varcarolis' Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. (Ninth Edition) St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier
    – Chapter 7: The Nursing Process and Standards of Care: Psychosocial assessment
    – Chapter 9: Therapeutic Communication.
    – Chapter 12: Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: Working With an Aggressive Patient
    – Chapter 15: Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: Chapter Review
    – Chapter 16: Trauma, Stressor-Related, and Dissociative Disorders: Evaluation
    – Chapter 24: Personality Disorders: Teamwork and Safety
    – Chapter 25: Suicide and Non-suicidal Self-Injury: Evaluation

Diseases and conditions



Metabolic syndrome

Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT)









Health improvement

Infection prevention and control, and waste management

Medical preparations

Nursing process


Professional issues



Each station has specific equipment, which must be used as part of the care at that station. If something is not at the station, then it does not need to be used as part of the care at that station.

Sample equipment and photographs of OSCE stations are available below.

Test venue

Theory test room

Sample practical test room

Hand soap and hand gel

Elbow tap

Sharps bins: open and closed lids






Watch video 1

Watch video 2