Work in the US?!

  1. As you can see in my profile or introduction, I come from Uppsala/Sweden, and will become a RN in june 2002. My fiancee is a Ph: D student in inorganic cheminstry and is probably going to be offered to do his postdoc in the US. Ofcourse the rest of Europe is also an option, but his researchgroup already cooperates with a university in the US, so we thought it would be best to start planning already... The thing is that I we both only want to go to a place where I will have the chance to get a job for the time. Now to my questions:

    What does it take from me, as a RN nurse from Sweden, to work in the US? My licence is valid for the whole EC.

    Do I need to take any tests, and which tests in that case?

    How long time does the entire process take, from arrinving to the US to when I can start to work?
    Last edit by Josefin on Jul 16, '01
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Josefin
    Well that was good news! I`m glad to hear that, because this far I have only heard that it`s "impossible" to work as a nurse in the US due to all paper exercise. It has sounded like "it`s not worth it, before you can start to work you will be ready to go home again..." I will start to look for some information at ANA to begin with!
  4. by   NurseTami
    First, Josefin, try to decide which state, all are different, each state governs its' own state licenses. Generally though, i have worked with a number of nurses from the Phillipines, and they tell me they take a test for English as a second language first, then they must take the state boards test, NCLEX-RN. These are administered by computer. Contact the Chauncey Group in New Jersey, as everything is generated from there, permission to take tests etc.
  5. by   Josefin
    It`s either California or Colorado. The universities which my boyfriend cooperates with are there!
  6. by   P_RN
    http://www.ncsbn.org/files/publicati...gneducated.asp

    Look here for some of the requirement. Also this is a site representing all of the State Boards of Nursing.
  7. by   NRSKarenRN
    Contact Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
    http://www.cgfns.org/cgfns/index.html

    Certification Program

    The CGFNS Certification Program is designed specifically for first-level, general nurses educated and licensed outside the United States who wish to assess their chances of passing the U.S. registered nurse licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN examination, and attaining licensure to practice as registered nurses within the United States.

    The program is comprised of three parts: a credentials review of the nurse's education, registration and licensure; the CGFNS Qualifying Exam, a one-day qualifying exam testing nursing knowledge; and an English language proficiency exam. Upon successful completion of all three elements of the program, the applicant is awarded a CGFNS Certificate.

    Why the Certification Program was Created
    During the late 1960s, the United States experienced a marked increase in the number of foreign-educated nurses immigrating to the U.S. to practice nursing. U.S. immigration officials had a difficult time identifying which nurses educated abroad, who were applying for occupational visas, met the requirements for licensure as registered nurses in the United States. The reality was that, on average, only 15-20% of foreign-educated nurses were passing the U.S. registered nurse licensure exam, now the NCLEX-RN examination.*

    The CGFNS Certification Program was created to serve as a predictor exam and evaluation process for foreign-educated nurses to more accurately forecast which nurses were likely to meet the requirements for licensure as registered nurses in the United States.

    Eligibility
    The CGFNS Certification Program is designed ONLY for first-level, general nurses educated and/or licensed outside the United States who wish to assess their chances of passing the NCLEX-RN examination and attaining licensure to practice as registered nurses within the United States.

    In order to be eligible for the program, a nurse must be educated and hold both initial and current registration/licensure as a first-level, general nurse as defined historically by the International Council of Nurses (ICN).

    A first-level nurse is called a registered or professional nurse in most countries. A second-level nurse, often called an enrolled, vocational, practical nurse or nurse assistant, is not eligible to be licensed as a registered nurse in the U.S., and therefore, is not eligible for the Certification Program.

    A general nurse must have obtained theoretical instruction and clinical practice in a variety of nursing areas. A nurse who specialized in one area without being educated and registered/licensed as a general nurse is not eligible for the Certification Program.

    Elements of the Program
    The Certification Program is a three-part program, comprised of a credentials review, a one-day qualifying exam of nursing knowledge, and an English language proficiency exam. Upon successful completion of all three elements of the program, the applicant is awarded a CGFNS Certificate.

    Credentials Review
    CGFNS evaluates an applicant's education and registration credentials to certify that the applicant is a first-level, general nurse and meets all of the registration requirements to be licensed as a professional in that field.

    Applicants must have completed a senior secondary school education separate from their nursing education; graduated from a government-approved nursing program of at least two years in length; and received theoretical instruction and clinical practice in nursing care of the adult (including medical and surgical nursing), maternal/infant nursing care, nursing care of children and psychiatric/mental health nursing. Note: All transcripts must come directly from source agencies.

    Applicants must have a full and unrestricted license/registration to practice as a first-level, general nurse in the country where they completed their general nursing education; and hold a current license/registration as a first-level, general nurse. Note: All validations must come directly from the source agencies.

    CGFNS Qualifying Exam
    The CGFNS Qualifying Exam of nursing knowledge is offered three times a year at more than 40 locations spanning the globe. To date, more than 300,000 exams have been administered to over 175,00 applicants. The exam is divided into two parts with a total of 260 questions. Applicants are given two hours and 30 minutes for Part 1, which includes 150 questions. After breaking for lunch, applicants are given one hour and 50 minutes to complete Part 2, consisting of 110 questions.

    The Qualifying Exam measures an applicant's nursing knowledge and is based on what nurses must know and do when they practice nursing in the United States. The foundations of the Qualifying Exam are based on client (patient) needs. The traditional clinical areas of nursing practice -- nursing care of the adult, nursing care of children, maternal/infant nursing, psychiatric/mental health nursing and community health nursing -- are covered. The exam ensures that an applicant has the same level of understanding of nursing with various client groups, in various settings, as recent graduates of U.S. schools of nursing.

    Both the CGFNS Qualifying Exam and the NCLEX-RN examination are based on the same framework of client needs because it provides a universal structure for defining nursing actions and competencies across all settings for all clients.

    English Language Proficiency Exam
    The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is currently used to meet the English language proficiency requirement of the Certification Program. TOEFL is administered worldwide by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The exam measures listening, comprehension, structure and written expression and reading comprehension.

    Applicants must successfully complete TOEFL and the Qualifying Exam within a two-year period in order for test scores to be considered valid. TOEFL may be taken prior to or following the CGFNS Qualifying Exam.

    Applicants must apply directly to ETS in order to take the TOEFL exam. For information or an application, contact: Test of English as a Foreign Language, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 USA; telephone: (609) 771-7100; or e-mail: toefl@ets.org.

    Certain applicants may be exempt from the English language proficiency requirement if they meet all of the following criteria:
    1) Native language is English;
    2) Country of nursing education was Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand or the United Kingdom;
    3) Language of instruction was English; and
    4) Language of textbooks was English.

    Program Outcomes
    First, the Certification Program identifies nurses with a high potential for achieving licensure in the United States. Since the introduction of the Certification Program, first time RN licensure pass scores of foreign-educated nurses holding a CGFNS Certificate have shown a marked improvement (up from 15-20% prior to the Certification Program in the 1970s to 88-92% today).**

    Second, the opportunity to take the CGFNS Qualifying Exam and TOEFL at a number of locations throughout the world enables applicants to save both time and money by providing them with the opportunity to earn a CGFNS Certificate in their home country before traveling to the United States to take the NCLEX-RN examination.
  8. by   nar-S
    josefin...i have the same predicament...but i'm already here in the us...i had applied for the tests and i have been waiting for my test permit for more than 2 months now...i have called them and was told that it's still being reviewed ...it's very hard to find a job in the medical field if your not an rn especially in california...you cannot even have a nursing assistant job (which pays just like $9-11 compared to rns $30-35) because you have to be certified...there's a lot of red tape around here...meaning if you don't know somebody, your resume will be in the bottom of their list...i have been looking for a job in the medical field for about a year and still no luck...i'm now working in a retail job...something i have no experience of doing ... i am not discouraging you to come to the us...though i know i just did ...because rns here makes very good living...if and when you become licensed
  9. by   Josefin
    *Pheeeew* I never thought that USA would be this hostile against foregin nurses... Well, I suppose I will have to become a housewife for the time my boyfriend is doing his postdoc then, HEHE! (Could be nice that too, I assume I will get enough of working anyway, in the end!) To be honest I`m not sure if I want to put all that energy that it seem to take to get my licence accepted in the US. I mean we are talking about 1, at the most 2 years here, not the rest of my life... Or more simply: We might choose another european country, we heard today that Florens in Italy is an option! Sounds rather nice that too, I must admit... At least I know that I will be able to work there without problems!
  10. by   AmericanRN
    Quote from Josefin
    *Pheeeew* I never thought that USA would be this hostile against foregin nurses... Well, I suppose I will have to become a housewife for the time my boyfriend is doing his postdoc then, HEHE! (Could be nice that too, I assume I will get enough of working anyway, in the end!) To be honest I`m not sure if I want to put all that energy that it seem to take to get my licence accepted in the US. I mean we are talking about 1, at the most 2 years here, not the rest of my life... Or more simply: We might choose another european country, we heard today that Florens in Italy is an option! Sounds rather nice that too, I must admit... At least I know that I will be able to work there without problems!
    We as in Americans over all are not hostile against foreign nurses. Keep in mind that MANY Americans are out of work right now. When I was a nursing student the economy was going downhill then & I could not find a job in the medical field so I held on to the job I had. I was laid off a month after I graduated & it took me 6 months to find a nursing job. In fact I couldn't find a job in any field as I live in a state where 12% of its people have been unemployed for more then a year. More then half my neighborhood has had to bite the bullet & get emergency EBT cards (aka food stamps) These are people who have lived within their means, don't have every fancy gadget or big houses, driven used cars & held a paying job of some kind since they were 14 years old. They are a mixture of construction workers, welders, electricians, ac techs, plumbers, nurses, child care providers etc and all ended up out of work completely or underemployed.

    I too had to jump through hoops to get my nursing license & had to continue to jump through hoops such as Level II background checks, drug screens, etc just to hold a handful of PRN jobs. I don't have health insurance, PTO or any of the other things some people seem to think all Americans have. Yet I am grateful because I'm still better off then a good portion of the population as I am not homeless, hungry and all my bills are caught up.

    You're right maybe you should stay in Europe since you think Americans are hostile to hold you to the same standards we ourselves are held to.
  11. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from AmericanRN
    You're right maybe you should stay in Europe since you think Americans are hostile to hold you to the same standards we ourselves are held to.
    The original poster started this thread back in 2001. As of the spring of 2010, she is still living in Sweden.

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