Canadian RN to work in Philly

  1. I am an RN with experience moving to Philly next year summer...I already have my PA nursing license do I still have to write the NCLEX? I did hear that changes to the Homeland Security as of July 25, 2004 makes it mandatory that everyone still needs to write the exam. Is this true? Guppy (Kathy)
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    You must have a Visa Screen to work in the US, even on a TN visa. This requires either CGFNS or NCLEX exam. So,the answer is yes to your question.
  4. by   beausud
    Quote from Guppy
    I am an RN with experience moving to Philly next year summer...I already have my PA nursing license do I still have to write the NCLEX? I did hear that changes to the Homeland Security as of July 25, 2004 makes it mandatory that everyone still needs to write the exam. Is this true? Guppy (Kathy)
    hey, yes you eventually need the NCLEX &/or CGFNS license. you may go back and forth across the border but... when entering the US all you need is your passport AND your TN VISA --> UNTIL AFTER July 24th(?). if you go back to Canada after this date they may not let you back in the US for the purpose of working under the TN Visa; you need the Visa Screen certificate as well as a valid TN Visa. i am still waiting for mine, i heard it takes a while for them to process this. good luck.
  5. by   oneLoneNurse
    I don't think you will need to write the NCLEX if you already have you PA license. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

    I hope you enjoy Phili. Its a great place to live and work.
  6. by   suzanne4
    If the license was issued based on reciprocity with your Canandian license, then yes, you will have to write NCLEX to meet requirements for the Visa Screen Certificate. Or you have a choice of writing the CGFNS exam, but it is a much more difficult exam, your choice.

    Sorry
  7. by   oneLoneNurse
    Thanks, I had no idea.
  8. by   NRSKarenRN
    VisaScreen: Visa Credentials Assessment
    http://www.cgfns.org/cgfns/programs/visascreen.html

    Program Elements
    The VisaScreen program is comprised of an educational analysis, licensure validation, English language proficiency assessment, and, in the case of nurses, an exam of nursing knowledge. Once the applicant has successfully completed all elements of the VisaScreen program, the applicant is awarded a VisaScreen Certificate, which can be presented to a consular office, or in the case of adjustment of status, the attorney general as part of a visa application.

    Since your coming from Canada, English language exam not necessary if program instrucion was in English. NCLEX or CGFNS exam necessary.

    Please complete testing ASAP so you can work in Philly---and maybe get to meet!
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jun 7, '04 : Reason: spelling!!!!
  9. by   beausud
    "Since your coming from Canada, eblish language exam not necessary if program instrucion was in English. NCLEX or CGFNS exam necessary."

    hey, the above may be true UNLESS you are a graduate from Quebec. Unfortunately this is the situation that i am in. i have emailed CGFNS twice about his already. my nursing education was all in english, and this is all in their records, i have also passed my NCLEX.. which is ofcourse given in english. they assume that all graduates from quebec have trouble communicating in english... :angryfire i would like to be exempt from this requirement, but from my point of view they are ignoring my request. another hoop for me to jump through, and more $$ out of my pocket. thx for letting me vent, any suggestions on what else i can do.. i've already called them up, but the "robot" like answer is the same.."since you graduated from quebec you need to do the TOEFL" ofcourse this banter was being conducted in guess what? ENGLISH! ironic isn't it...
  10. by   lalaxton
    Beausud,
    I also graduated in Quebec, never wrote the NCLEX since I only worked in states that have reciprocity with Canada (except SC, see below) My suggestion is since you have written the NCLEX get your original US license in a state that does not require the TOEFL then apply to the state you really want to work in. Sounds like the long way around but once you have a valid license in one state you are eligible in most other states as long as you can prove you went to school in English.
    Some states have policies some people never hear about. For instance, South Carolina's official position is that they do not have reciprocity with Canada, however they will review applications on a case by case basis if you have worked in another state for at least 3 years. I went to graduate school and worked in SC this way.
  11. by   suzanne4
    Quote from lalaxton
    Beausud,
    I also graduated in Quebec, never wrote the NCLEX since I only worked in states that have reciprocity with Canada (except SC, see below) My suggestion is since you have written the NCLEX get your original US license in a state that does not require the TOEFL then apply to the state you really want to work in. Sounds like the long way around but once you have a valid license in one state you are eligible in most other states as long as you can prove you went to school in English.
    Some states have policies some people never hear about. For instance, South Carolina's official position is that they do not have reciprocity with Canada, however they will review applications on a case by case basis if you have worked in another state for at least 3 years. I went to graduate school and worked in SC this way.
    Sorry but the above doesn't hold true any more as all foreign nurses must go thru Visa Screen if applying for a visa on their own, and not thru a spouse, etc. Whcih means that even with a NAFTA Visa you have to have certification from CGFNS. If you are having problems, and wasting alot of time, just go ahead and write the IELTS exam and get it done in a few hours and be done with it. Or you can continue to wait a few more months. This requirement is not from CGFNS, but the US Government. By the time that you try to get special approval thru, you will have wasted quite a bit of time.
  12. by   oneLoneNurse
    This new requirement is really difficult. I wrote my Canadian exam in 1987. Thats more than fifteen years ago. I believe the NCLEX will be very difficult for me. At a time of nursing shortages this Visa Screen requirement that I write the NCLEX even though I have a valid PA nursing license doesn't make sense to me. Their more experienced foreign nurses may have to leave.

    Thoughts ? Is it only a matter of time before they revoke and/or grandfather in those with valid nursing licenses who have held them prior to the passing of this law ?
  13. by   suzanne4
    I actually don't think that you will have any trouble with the exam. Most of it is just basic common sense based on what you already know. Have you looked at any of the review books?

    I don't think that things are going to revert back, they may only get even stricter. Right now Visa Screen is only required if you are applying for a visa on your own. If you are getting a green card because of marriage, etc. or because your spouse is getting one, you do not need to go thru Visa Screen at the moment. I think that is going to change, especially because of the language requirements, if nothing else.

    Any nurse that is actually working in nursing on a daily basis should not have any problem at all with the exam. If you have been away from nursing for a long time and do not do any of the preparatory questions then you can have a problem.............

    Good luck if you decide to sit for the exam. Please let me know what you decide to do.....I know that you have been thinking about it for quite awhile.
    I definitely recommend that you take NCLEX and not CGFNS.
  14. by   beausud
    Quote from suzanne4
    Sorry but the above doesn't hold true any more as all foreign nurses must go thru Visa Screen if applying for a visa on their own, and not thru a spouse, etc. Whcih means that even with a NAFTA Visa you have to have certification from CGFNS. If you are having problems, and wasting alot of time, just go ahead and write the IELTS exam and get it done in a few hours and be done with it. Or you can continue to wait a few more months. This requirement is not from CGFNS, but the US Government. By the time that you try to get special approval thru, you will have wasted quite a bit of time.
    hey, i am currently a "traveller" RN, i need to do the VISA Screen if i want to continue to work in the US. the TOEFL is part of this process (as you know), i hate this blind beaurocracy... anyhow, i guess i'll fold and write the damned TOEFL. . my company will eventually reimburse me...

    PS: i didnt know that the "TOEFL/IELTS" was a government requirement, i thought that this was a CGFNS thing.

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