It is possible for those who get a nursing degree in another country and move to the United States to continue in their chosen profession here in the U.S. Before you begin the process, it is crucial to understand that each state in the U.S. has its own Board of Nursing with specific requirements. While there is a standard process, some details may vary, so always check with the board of the state where you intend to practice.
Review of education and experience
The first step generally begins with having the board evaluate your nursing education and license. This is to ensure that your credentials are equivalent to U.S. nursing standards. Agencies like the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) or Educational Records Evaluation Service (ERES) can perform this service for you. These agencies generally require you to provide the following:
- Transcripts from your nursing school
- A validation of your foreign license
- Proof of your identity
This process can take several months, so plan accordingly.
Passage of the NCLEX-RN
Once officials verify your credentials, you can generally apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. Register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and apply for authorization to test (ATT). Pay close attention to the deadlines and requirements set by the state board where you are applying. The NCLEX-RN is a comprehensive exam that tests your knowledge and readiness to practice nursing in the U.S. Resources like online courses and study exams are available to help prepare for this exam.
State specific requirements
Although the above generally apply regardless of state, each state may have additional requirements. New York, for example, also requires completion of additional coursework on infectious diseases and child abuse identification.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication.