Becoming a nurse in Illinois for a native Japanese woman

  1. Hi. My fiancee is Japanese and we both currently live in Japan (I am originally from Illinois.) We plan to move back to the US soon. She wants to eventually become a nurse so that she can work as one in the US. Her English is currently not very good. She would need to improve it greatly before becoming a nurse in the states.

    I have a few questions...

    1. How credible are Japanese nursing certificates in the state of Illinois. Assuming she was able to pass the English tests and nursing tests, do you think she would not need to do any additional schooling in the states?

    2. Do you think she would have an easier time if she moved to Illinois first, improved her English, and studied to become a nurse in English OR if she finished nursing school in Japan, and then later moved to he US to practice her English and pass the required tests?

    3. Is it more difficult (strict) to pass your nursing courses in the states than Japan?

    4. Would it be cheaper to go to school in Japan or Illinois for nursing? From what I researched, Japan seems cheaper but I could be wrong.

    Sorry if I am not very informed. I don't know much about nursing and I am trying to find out more information for her. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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  3. by   traumaRUs
    1. Any internationally educated nurse would need to go thru the IL Dept of Financial and Professional Regulation ( The Best Search Links on the Net) to obtain the needed documentation.

    2. She will have to pass an English written/spoken exam prior to licensure in IL. If she is contemplating attending nursing school in IL (and there are usually waiting lists, sometimes several years in duration), she would need to be able to speak, read, write excellent English.

    3. Not sure about this one as I'm not sure of the educational requirements in Japan.

    4. Hmm...again not sure.

    You also need to consider the waiting lists for nursing school in IL. What about a visa?
  4. by   ArtisticNurse
    So, I believe that you'd petition her for a K-1 Visa (Fiancee). Am I correct?

    Here's what's going to happen if you go through K-1 Visa. She gets to the US quicker than other visa types (usually maximum of 6 months, assuming that you meet all requirements). You have 90 days to get married in the US. After marrying, you'd file for Adjustment of Status (AOS) to Permanent Residency (aka Green Card) AND make sure you also file for Employment Authorization Card (EAD; usually arrives 2-3 months) which allows her to work here in the US with an SS number. File EAD with AOS so you don't need to pay for the EAD. All of this, you need to submit marriage licenses.

    1.) As traumaRUS said it, you need to go to Illinois' Nursing page for the requirements. Foreign educated nurses usually need to go through screening via CGFNS' (the popular choice) Credential Evaluation Service (CES; $335) OR Certification Program (CP; includes CGFNS exam, CES, english report via TOEFL or IELTS; $445). CGFNS would screen if her education is at par with the US.

    2.) Either way (work or school), she would need to prove that she knows English first. So, that depends on her if she would learn fast. A suggestion would be to enroll her in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class if she really needs it. Really doesn't matter where (US or Japan). I would believe that she would do well as you are engaged to her. I mean, you can understand each other, right? Try some free online TOEFL exams to see if she can answer them.

    3.) I don't know how it is in Japan. However, in the US, it would depend on what type of nurse she would want to start as--Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN; could be attained with an Associates Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing). The first one gets licensed through NCLEX-PN, the latter via NCLEX-RN.

    4.) This would be dependent on the school.


    If educated OUTSIDE of the US:
    --------- CGFNS (you need to pass transcripts, diplomas, license if nurse in Japan, etc depending on the service you avail of. please refer to above links; $335 to $445; time would depend on how fast you submit the required documents)
    --------- TOEFL or IELTS ( approx. $100 to $200 ; pretty fast results)
    --------- Illinois Board requirements (fingerprints, education, license...refer to their site...around $91)
    --------- NCLEX (around $200)

    My fees for this (since I'm from Asia as well) estimates at around $700+ excluding the fees to pay your school to release your transcripts, etc and mailing documents to the appropriate agency.

    If educated IN the US:
    --------- TOEFL or IELTS for the SCHOOL
    --------- school requirements
    --------- Illinois board requirements
    --------- NCLEX

    There you go! I hope this helps. Other users, please modify if I missed something!
    Last edit by ArtisticNurse on Jun 15, '12 : Reason: Grammar
  5. by   ArtisticNurse
    Rosetta Stone has a $100 off promo now. The American English is around $399 for a set (5 levels).

    Just thought you'd like to know!