J. Withington

Guide for Foreign Nurses

If you are a licensed nurse in another country, this guide will help you in becoming a registered nurse in the U.S. Licensure requirements differ from state to state. Please check links to specific state for more details.

1. The RN must be in possession of:

  •  A diploma from a nursing school in his/her country;
  •  2 or more years experience;
  •  An RN license in home country; and
  •  An unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the state of intended employment, or a certification issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or evidence that she has passed the NCLEX-RN licensing examination but cannot obtain a license because she lacks a social security number.
  • Some states require that foreign nurses pass the CGFNS examination before taking the state RN licensing (NCLEX) examination; however, the number of states is declining. This is because, it now possible to take the NCLEX outside of U.S. The examination is offered in Australia (Sydney), Canada (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver), Great Britain (London), Hong Kong, India (Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi), Japan (Chiyoda-ku and Yokohama), Korea (Seoul), Germany (Frankfurt), Mexico (Mexico City), Philippines (Manila) and Taiwan (Taipei). In addition, RNs may take the NCLEX in Puerto Rico, Guam and Saipan. (more…)