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|NCLEX Requirements for Foreign Nurses in USA by katty : March 11, 2016, 11:46:37 PM|
NCLEX application can be hard for foreign and international nurses. Here’s a guide to help get you started! We’ve included links that help you go right to the instructions for those who went to nursing school outside of the United States.
Another part of this guide will teach you how to become an actual nurse in America – how to start the immigration, getting a work visa, permanent residency, and more.
Keep in mind this is made as a reference guide, not as a primary source! For the most specific information to your case, please use the contact information to ask each Board of Nursing yourself. Either call or email to ask your questions!
Overall, becoming a nurse in America is made up of three steps:
Step 1: Applying with the State Board of Nursing where you will be practicing.
Step 2: Registering with Pearson Vue to schedule your NCLEX location and date. Registration costs $200, plus additional fees if you are taking the NCLEX outside of the U.S.
Step 3: Getting into the Country. This involves immigration, visas, and getting approval to stay and work in the country.
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR STATE, MEET REQUIREMENTS, AND APPLY TO THE STATE BOARD OF NURSING
What is the State Board of Nursing?
Each state has a committee called a Board of Nursing (for example, there are 50 Boards of Nursing in the U.S, one for each of 50 states). These are the people who decide if you are able to take the NCLEX and get licensed in their state.
Before you can even consider scheduling or planning where you want to take the NCLEX, you have to make your application to a State Board of Nursing.
How do I Know What Requirements I need to Meet?
Each state has different requirements. They will charge a fee ranging from $200-400 depending on each state. If you don’t know what state you want to be a nurse in, now is the time to choose!
In the United States, nurses don’t get licensed for the whole country. The United States has 50 states, and each nurse is usually licensed in one state at a time. That’s why the first step is to choose what state you want to apply for!
However, no matter what state you apply for, everyone takes the same NCLEX to be a nurse in the United States.
Each state’s Board of Nursing has a website where you can find out the requirements.
Where can I take my NCLEX?
All international students should also read this FAQ page on the NCSBN website to learn more about applying for the NCLEX for foreign applicants!
According to the FAQ page, “The countries and non-member board territories that currently administer the NCLEX examinations are Australia, Canada, England, Germany (not available), Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico and Taiwan.”
You can also search available test centers from this Pearson Vue Test Center Search.
When can I take my NCLEX?
There are no set test dates for the NCLEX that you have to plan while doing the application. You can apply and register anytime. Once you do, you can then schedule your NCLEX for a date that is comfortable for you! The only requirement is that there might be a 90-day time limit (you have to schedule your NCLEX within 90 days of your application’s approval).
What is CGFNS?
First, we’ll explain to you what credential evaluation means. Credential evaluation means that a company has to look at your nursing school transcripts and education history from your home country to make sure you’re qualified to even take the NCLEX. The Boards of Nursing don’t do this because it would take too much time – so they let companies like CGFNS do the job. CGFNS then sends reports to the Board of Nursing if they feel your education meets requirements.
CGFNS is the most popular and well-known company that does this. You should know that different states require different “levels” of CGFNS evaluation:
Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report
This report is less involved and cheaper than the Certificate Program or VisaScreen.
Secondary School Documents
Licensure Documents from your Home Country
Nursing Education Documents from your Home Country
Details on CGFNS Website
CGFNS Certification Program
This evaluation is the same, but requires you to take the CGFNS Qualifying Exam.
Everything in a Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report
CGFNS Qualifying Exam
VisaScreen®: Visa Credentials Assessment
The VisaScreen has the same requirements as the Certification Program, but is meant to qualify you for getting a Work Visa, after you’ve already passed the NCLEX exam.
CGFNS is not the only credentialing service! There are others that may be cheaper and still accepted by State Boards. You should first check to see if your State Board accepts these alternative companies (and let us know in the comments below!). If you decide to use CGFNS, different states require different CGFNS evaluations. You can see a chart here of which state requires which certification. At the time of this writing, CGFNS reports cost $350.00.Alternatives to CGFNS:
International Education Research Foundation (IERF) ($350 per report, see states that accept IERF)
Educational Records Evaluation Services (ERES) ($375 basic fee)
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. ($300 per report)
Fingerprints: Some states require students to get fingerprints, which can be a complication if you’re currently in another country.
Social Security Number: Some states require students to have a social security number in order to apply or take the NCLEX in the first place. Other states allow you to use your visa or passport in lieu of that. Some other states have special forms for you to fill out if you don’t have a social security number. You can also learn more about how to obtain a social security number from the social security website.
English Proficiency Test: Many states require you to take either the TOEFL or IELTS test to make sure your English is fluent enough. This is usually a part of your requirements for your CGFNS report. Again, follow instructions that are listed for each state and feel free to contact them for specific details.This requirement often does not apply if you attended nusing school in Barbados, Canada (except Quebec, the only schools approved for exemption are: McGill University, Dawson College, Vanier College, John Abbott College, and Heritage College), Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom or
United States, and if your nursing school and textbooks were taught in English.
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