originally endorsed RN from Canada now with MSN from US

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    Can someone please help me or provide me with any basic information that you may know about this issue? I seem to have fallen in some purgatory of licensure and visa hell.

    I was originally an RN in Canada and started working in the US on a NAFTA visa back in 2000. I married my Canadian husband who was by then because I had become a permanent resident and I have eligibility for citizenship. When the NAFTA immigration rules changed for VISA screen and writing the NCLEX in 2003 they didn't apply to me because I wasn't in any danger of being deported (to my knowledge), there was no suggestion from the state borad that I should do anything different, and my address hasn't changed since I moved to the US 12 years ago so I was an easy contact. During the next decade I went back to school in the US and obtained an MSN then wrote the board exam through ANCC for board certification in my specialty. All this time, I continued to work in the same state as a licensed RN and then an NP-BC with prescriptive authority.
    My family needs to move to another state and when I applied to the state board for licensure, I discovered I needed to write the NCLEX after 25 years and, despite what is now, notable specialization.
    Is there any way out of this quagmire besides stopping work and studying for 6 months to write the NCLEX??? It's been so long now and I'm so specialized in my clinical area that it seems like a nightmare. In addition, it will place significant financial hardship on my family on top of the costs of grad school and it's such a mess that I'm devastated.
    Please help if you know anything about these issues.
    Thanking you in advance.
  2. 6 Comments so far...

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    Ish what a mess. Try the international nursing area. Or, ask Silverdragon, she might know.
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    We have had something similar before where someone who didn't need to take the NCLEX then had to after several years and not necessarily someone who trained outside the US. Have seen a couple post in the NCLEX forum who trained in the US several years ago but let their license lapse.. You could have a chat with the BON and discuss with them that your license is current (I presume it is) but expect them to stick to their guns and the only way forward is to sit NCLEX if you wish to get a license and work
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    Thank you for your responses. My aplogies for the typos that I see in my original hurried posting. My husband is an american citizen and I am a permanent resident so no danger of deportation.
    I do have active licensure as an RN and NP in the state I have been practiticing in for the last decade. Unfortunately, we moved across country to the new state 3 weeks ago and now I find I need to go back and write the NCLEX when I graduated in 1986. Because I have been working in my specialty area since graduation, writing the US (or Canadian) general boards will be horrific. There is so much that does not apply or has changed since then unless it applies directly to my practice area. What is frustrating to me is that when I came to the US to work in 2000, my canadian national RN exam and general education was deemed to be equivalent and now, simply with the passage of time and much more education, exams, and thousands upon thousands more practice hours later, it is somehow not. I have worked my butt off to get where I am. When I hear that nurses eat their young I will silently add that this is not the only group. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful responses.
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    i'm a new grad that just sat for NCLEX, i'm also looking at getting a license in another state. from what my instructors have told me, even though i'm now licensed in my state, when i apply to another state they may make me take their NCLEX, reglardless of my license status in my current state. some states just say ok they are currently license, we will accept that, and some make you test. i honestly think you will do fine if you have to test. the NCLEX is designed for the amount of knowledge needed for a 1st day nurse. if i were you, i would pick up saunders comprehensive review, and go over chapters, and do a bunch of questions (remember they are designed to only have your test scores at 60's or 70's on the cd, that means you are doing very well 40's and 50's study harder). if you have the extra money, take the kaplan course, they teach you how to answer the questions. you already have the knowledge and then some! you just have to train your brain to answer nclex style. again i wouldn't sweat it! your years of training, you will do great!
    brandy1017 likes this.
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    I think, that you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy the NCLEX is in some ways today. It is by no means the test you had heard tell so many years ago, at least IMHO. It does not deal in any real in depth technical detail. What you know now will get you through it for sure. Just don't overthink. All you do need to do is to practice the type of questioning that is particular to the NCLEX. It is less a test of what you know as an RN and more of a test on how well you can play the game, the NCLEX game. I certainly do not believe you would need too much prep. You can visit the NCLEX forum for ideas on which books to review with, and be sure to do many practice questions as THE WAY THE QUESTIONS ARE WRITTEN are what you need to learn and how you MUST ANSWER them. Like I mentioned it's just in learning how to play along with how they want you to look at their questions, not so much what a real nurse would do in the real world.

    I hope you can find a way out of this ridiculousness, let us know how it goes!


    -OACD "out in 75"
  8. 1
    Quote from missLissRn
    i'm a new grad that just sat for NCLEX, i'm also looking at getting a license in another state. from what my instructors have told me, even though i'm now licensed in my state, when i apply to another state they may make me take their NCLEX, reglardless of my license status in my current state. some states just say ok they are currently license, we will accept that, and some make you test. i honestly think you will do fine if you have to test. the NCLEX is designed for the amount of knowledge needed for a 1st day nurse. if i were you, i would pick up saunders comprehensive review, and go over chapters, and do a bunch of questions (remember they are designed to only have your test scores at 60's or 70's on the cd, that means you are doing very well 40's and 50's study harder). if you have the extra money, take the kaplan course, they teach you how to answer the questions. you already have the knowledge and then some! you just have to train your brain to answer nclex style. again i wouldn't sweat it! your years of training, you will do great!
    NCLEX is a national exam and the only time I have heard that people have had to resit it is when they have let their licence lapse for several years or like the OP never sat it and moving to another state.
    itsmejuli likes this.


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