Resources to help foreign nurses get a USA RN license.

भारत में अपने सभी पाठकों के लिए बधाई.अपने दोस्तों के साथ इस साझा करने और उन्हें सदस्यता के लिए आमंत्रित करें.चलो सब एक साथ काम करने के लिए दुनिया एक स्वस्थ जगह बना.

mangyaring ibahagi ito sa bawat mag-aaral ng nars at nursing at hinihikayat ang mga ito upang mag-subscribe sa blog na ito.


Note: this blog uses hyperlinks. each hyperlink is underlined. click on it and it will take you where you need to go, as if by magic!

WordPress statistics

WordPress provides detailed analysis of “hits” – how many, which page, etc. Recently WordPress made it easier to look at the country of origin of the readers as well. Last week I posted a page that summarized the locations of my readers. They come from about sixty countries. Yesterday, for example, there were 55 page views (not counting email subscribers) and the breakdown was:



United States FlagUnited States


Egypt FlagEgypt


Canada FlagCanada


Jordan FlagJordan


Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia


Germany FlagGermany


Indonesia FlagIndonesia


Libyan Arab Jamahiriya FlagLibyan Arab Jamahiriya


Australia FlagAustralia


Malawi FlagMalawi


So it does not surprise me that today I got an email from a nurse asking “I want to move to America and go to graduate school in midwifery there. What is needed to be an RN in USA?”

Should you?

I will leave aside the issue of whether you should do it or not. The people in your home country probably need you more than we do here, but USA has its allure. International nurse migration has been studied extensively by people who are more intelligent than I am. Their conclusion? it’s complicated.

Think carefully

You do need to know up front, that right at this moment, the USA  job market is not as wide-open as it was four or five years ago.

Three resources

Any international nurse needs to find three specific resources on the internet.

1) NCSBN document

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) publishes a document titled: “Resource Manual for International Nurses”  which describes the American system, state by state. You will need to become familiar with the legal terms for licensure.  Download it.  NCSBN also has an online course you can take, (which costs $30 USD) that describes the typical work setting of a nurse in USA.

2) CGFNS  application handbook

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) administers the VisaScreen process for nurses.

from the CGFNS website:

What does this service do?

Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (the IIRIRA) of 1996 requires specific health care professionals complete a screening program before they can receive either a permanent or temporary occupational visa, including Trade NAFTA status. This screening includes:

  • an assessment of an applicant’s education to ensure that it is comparable to that of a U.S. graduate in the same profession
  • a verification that all professional health care licenses that an applicant ever held are valid and without restrictions
  • an English language proficiency examination
  • for registered nurses, a verification that the nurse has passed either the CGFNS Qualifying Exam®, NCLEX-RN® or its predecessor, the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE)

When you visit CGFNS, you can start the process online, but I would also advise that you be sure to download the application handbook. It is a 40-page document on that very same page (lower right in the blue box).  It is free.

3) Official Guide

and finally, there is a 435-page book titled The Official Guide for Foreign-Educated Allied Health Professionals: What you need to Know about Health Care and the Allied Health Professions in the United States. You can get a used copy on Amazon for $15 USD, or buy it new for $#7 USD.  Much of the information in it duplicates the free documents above.

For me, I know that the USA health care system can be very different from those of the Low Income Countries of the world. You are embarked on a journey of learning and adaptation that will be challenging at times. Please share this blog widely with your friends, and consider subscribing – click on the little button on the right.

Also, if you are considering a move to USA, please feel free to comment on this blog. I would enjoy reading a sample of how you made the decision and what you think.



Filed under foreign nurses in USA, nursing education

3 responses to “Resources to help foreign nurses get a USA RN license.

  1. Pingback: Nurse wages in Nepal and the outmigration of Nepali nurses | Nepal Critical Care Nursing Project summer 2013

  2. Pingback: Nepal Nurse going to USA – steps needed Sept 18th 2014 | CCNEPal 2014

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