With an evident gap in the healthcare industry, the US welcomes international nurses to join the workforce. However, several challenges faced by international nurses persist when migrating to the USA. To overcome these challenges, you first need to understand the requirements for foreign nurses to work in the USA.
You must first satisfy prerequisites that are standard for nurses with international training. You need a certificate or degree from a recognized nursing school, a valid RN license in your country, and a minimum of two years of full-time nursing experience to qualify.
Read on to learn about the major challenges international nurses face in the US and how to overcome these challenges.
1. Credentials Assessment
Credential assessment entails the evaluation of a foreign nursing degree in the USA. You must present official transcripts to the CGFNS. The US government permits this non-profit group to provide credentials to foreign nationals.
Transcripts not written in English may need to be accompanied by certified translations. If your institution does not offer translation services, the CGFNS does. Credential assessment can be a hassle and unnecessarily long if you do not find the right credit evaluation service. Therefore, hiring the best credential evaluation services by NACES members, such as ERES, is recommended.
2. Language Barrier & the English Proficiency Test
The language barrier is a common concern for international nurses. Furthermore, obtaining a registered nurse (RN) license in the United States necessitates passing an English language test. In certain cases, though, you won’t have to take the exam at all.
For example, if all of your schooling, from textbooks to lessons, was conducted in English or you went to college or university in Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, and Trinidad & Tobago.
If these conditions do not apply to you, you must prepare for IELTS/ TOEFL. Most states also require you to pass the NCLEX-RN, an English-language nursing licensing exam, and a competency test. If your command of the language is weak, this may prove difficult.
3. CGFNS and NCLEX-RN Exams
CGFNS and NCLEX-RN exams are some of the most important requirements for foreign nurses to work in the USA. However, many international nurses struggle to assess their eligibility for these exams. You will be allowed to sit for the exam once you have finished the CES nursing evaluation. This evaluation aims to ensure that you have received the education necessary to practice nursing safely and effectively.
The next step is to clear the CGFNS exam. Most of the qualifying exam consists of a multiple-choice test covering material healthcare management, adequate healthcare, and the body’s physiology. The test can be finished in approximately three hours, and the results are available after about two weeks.
The CGFNS Certificate is yours to keep if you do well. You may retake the examination if you don’t, but you’ll need to pass both the English language test and the qualifying exam within two years.
You may also need to pass the CGFNS exam before being allowed to sit for the NCLEX-RN. Both tests are acceptable for the subsequent assessment of visa credentials. You can gauge your chances of passing the NCLEX-RN, which is mandated in most states, by performing well on the CGFNS exam.
4. Fulfill Visa Requirements
A visa application is required for employment purposes. Applying for a visa as an international nurse is not particularly difficult, but you need to consider the requirements and prepare your application and documents with utmost care.
The CGFNS visa check requires official copies of every coursework completed in secondary and higher education and all nursing credentials, including your current license and registration and all prior licenses, registrations, and diplomas, from applicable jurisdictions, both foreign and domestic.
You must also provide documentation demonstrating that you either met the requirements for or are exempt from the English Language Proficiency Test. Finally, NCLEX-RN or the CGFNS Qualifying Exam requirements must also be fulfilled.
It is also important to learn about the different visa options. Whether you are eligible for an H1-B visa, which allows you to work temporarily in an advanced nursing post in the US, depends on your educational and training background. It is also possible to become a permanent resident without earning a bachelor’s degree by applying for an EB-3 visa or Green Card. One can apply for a Green Card in the United States after entering with an H1-B visa.
To get the help you need, talk to a healthcare staffing firm or immigration lawyer who specializes in helping foreign-trained nurses find jobs in the United States.
Start Your Nursing Career in the US with ERES
Now that you understand the requirements for foreign nurses to work in the USA, you can start the process with ERES. We offer reliable credential evaluation services. Our report will help you apply for a nursing license at the state level. The official copy of your assessment will be given to the board after it is complete, but you will have access to an unofficial copy under your ERES account. Contact us today to learn more about our services at ERES.