Heat transfer in an oscillating water column in the transition regime of pool boiling to bubbly flow is investigated experimentally and theoretically. Forced oscillations are applied to water via a frequency controlled dc motor and a piston cylinder device. Heat transfer is from the electrically heated inner surface to the reciprocating flow. The heat transfer in the oscillating fluid column is altered by using stainless steel scrap metal layers (made off open-cell discrete cells) which produces a porous medium within the system. The effective heat transfer mechanism is enhanced and it is due to the hydrodynamic mixing of the boundary layer and the core flow. In oscillating flow, the hydrodynamic lag between the core flow and the boundary layer flow is somehow significant. At low actuation frequencies and at low heat fluxes, heat transfer is restricted in the single phase flows. The transition regime of pool boiling to bubbly flow is proposed to be a remedy to the stated limitation. The contribution by the pool boiling on heat transfer appears to be the dominant mechanism for the selected low oscillation amplitudes and frequencies. Accordingly the regime is a transition from pool boiling to bubbly flow. Nucleate-bubbly flow boiling in oscillating flow is also investigated using a simplified thermodynamic analysis. According to the experimental results, bubbles induce highly efficient heat transfer mechanisms. Experimental study proved that the heater surface temperature is the dominant parameter affecting heat transfer. At greater actuation frequencies saturated nucleate pool boiling ceases to exist. Actuation frequency becomes important in that circumstances. The present investigation has possible applications in moderate sized wicked heat pipes, boilers, compact heat exchangers and steam generators.