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Dec 18, 2010
How to become a nurse in the US
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Nurses have been in-demand in the United States due to the increasing aging population. And because of this, more and more nurses are expected to retire on 2010. Aside from that, lesser and lesser youths in US are interested in taking up this field.


If you are interested to work as nurse in US, here are some ways that might be helpful for you:


    1.      Obtain licensure as a nurse (RN or LPN/LVN) in the United States.

Licensure requirements differ from state to state; you must contact the Board of Nursing in the state where you wish to practice in order to verify the respective and current licensure requirements. Also keep in mind that endorsing (transferring) licensure to another state will also have different procedures depending on the respective state.


2.      Obtain a visa to work legally in the U.S. whether temporary or permanent visa. 


It is important to acquire proper visa to avoid any unlikely incident. Detailed information regarding visa application and policy should be obtained from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS).


3.      Obtain CGFNS Certification Program (CP) and the CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service (CES).

CGFNS is an independent, not-for-profit and immigration-neutral organization committed to protecting the public by ensuring that foreign-educated healthcare professionals are eligible and qualified to meet licensure and other U.S. practice requirements. CGFNS is not a government organization, nor does it recruit international professionals for employment in the U.S. The two main programs that CGFNS offers that are required by the majority of the U.S. Boards of Nursing in order to obtain registration/licensure as nurse in the United States are the CGFNS Certification Program (CP) and the CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service (CES). The BCIS requires the VisaScreen certificate from CGFNS for healthcare professionals seeking an occupational visa in order to work in the U.S.


The CGFNS Certification Program (CP)

The CGFNS Certification Program (CP) is designed specifically for first-level general (Registered) nurses educated outside the
United States who wish to pursue a career in the U.S. as registered nurses.


The program is comprised of three parts:

·         a credentials review of your nursing education, registration and licensure;

·         the CGFNS Qualifying Exam testing nursing knowledge (offered three times a year in over 40 test sites worldwide); and

·         an English language proficiency examination.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS)

Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Passing Score: 725

International English Language Testing System (IELTS), administered by the Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Australia Passing Score: 6.5 Overall (Academic Module)


You must apply directly with any of the following institutions in order to schedule an examination date:




IELTS Administrator

Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Telephone: (609) 921-9000

Educational Testing Service (ETS) Rosedale Rd, MS 10-P
Princeton, NJ 08541
Telephone: (609) 734-1550
Fax: (609) 734-1540

Cambridge Examinations and IELTS International
100 East Corson Street
Suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91103 Telephone: (626) 564-2954

All English language proficiency scores are valid for up to two years from the date of administration. Passing scores on both the CGFNS Qualifying Exam and an approved English proficiency examination must be attained within two years of each other in order for both scores to be accepted as successful completion of the Certification Program. Scores must be forwarded to CGFNS by the examining institution. After successfully completing all three parts of the Certification Program, an applicant is awarded a CGFNS Certificate.


In order to be eligible for the CGFNS Qualifying Exam, you must have completed a minimum number of hours of both classroom instruction and clinical practice in:

·         Adult Medical/Surgical Nursing,

·         Maternal/Infant Nursing (Obstetrics),


·         Gynecology,

·         Care of Children (Pediatrics), and

·         Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, excluding Neurology.


If you have not completed any and/or a sufficient number of hours in each of the above areas, you will be ineligible to take the CGFNS Qualifying Exam until you complete an entire course (both theory and clinical) in the deficient area from a government-approved nursing school.


You must also have been registered as

·         first-level (Registered) nurse in your country of education, and

·         currently hold a registration/license as a Registered Nurse in some jurisdiction, and verification of both registrations must be sent to CGFNS directly from the licensing body (ies).



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