Hello everyone! I've been a member for a year now, asking questions from people and also lending advise to others who needed help. I've been not so active here for for a lot of reasons, mostly good things.
I graduated on March 2012 at the University of Baguio, in Philippines, once I arrived here in California I already knew that I would have an incredibly hard time applying for the NCLEX for this state. I was guided by a good friend to apply to another state so I did. First, I applied for the CGFNS CES, which was pretty pricey, and coordinated with the Nursing Dean and registrar, and believe me this took awhile to process. I would say around 4-6 months.
I chose Nevada state as my license state, and Nevada required me to take an english proficiency exam either TOEFL or IELTS. I chose to take TOEFL since its a bit more recognized nation wide. I would say I prepared for 2 weeks for that, watching youtube videos by Noteful. Nevada required for its applicants to have atleast have 84 and a minimum of 26 in speaking. I believe I prepared enough since I had over a 100 and a 27 in speaking, I thought i failed that portion because I did stumble on one of the question response.
Around September CGFNS finally processed all of my papers and passed the requirements to Nevada. I was somewhat not comfortable with the wait while Nevada reviewed my papers since I read members of allnurses who also applied in Nevada but was required to take classes in order to take the NCLEX; physical assessment and medical surgical nursing 2. I finally got a word from Nevada and they said I needed to take medical surgical nursing 2 so they could determine if I was safe to practice in the state. I looked classes in Nevada and there wasn't a single class that offered just medsurg 2. I got a message from someone here in Allnurses saying there will be a class for OB nursing and medsurg 2 in one of the CSU's but it never really pulled through since the CSU didn't have the budget and clinical instructor.
By October I decided to apply to Alaska, since I have a good friend there willing to help me out. Taking classes again was just a waste of my time and holding me back from what I wanted to become. I mean come on, why pay for classes that you've already taken in your nursing program. So, I had to apply for CGFNS to review my papers again and pass it to Alaska. It took about a week to finish. By the end of November Alaska received all of my requirements and early December they started to review my papers. January I received my ATT to exam.
Since I graduated I started reading the Saunders 5th edition reviewer and finished January of 2013. Then I signed up for Hurst review for 2 months and then Kaplan for 2 months. I used PDA by LaCharity and the Kaplan workbook reviewer as well. People were saying not to have that much sources but I wasn't satisfied with just one.
By May 7th I took my exam and ended around 90 something. My last 10 questions of the NCLEX RN was prioritization and SATA. It's like bombs of them coming out of nowhere. 48 hours after I took the exam I purchased the quick results and saw that I passed!!
*you can read my preparation for that here*
week later I received a mail from the state with my license inside. I applied for a job where my friend had worked and 2 months later I get a call saying I got a position as an RN!
Well guys, my word to you is not to give up and keep on trying! Though there are new obstacles that have been probably been put up this year, I say plow through them and reach for that goal.
I advise for foreign grads not to have California as your final dream state to work in. Expand your option. If you are willing to spend money and time just to work here in California so be it. As long as you will get somewhere. I know a good number of people who wants to apply for California but so far no luck because of the concurrency issue. Now to those looking to apply at other states, I advise you to apply at a state where you are looking to work for a good number of years, and not just because you want to endorse back to California. There are nurses endorsing back to california with a good number of years of experience and they still are required to pass their cases and transcripts for review. I'm not saying give up on Ca but there are other opportunities out there.
If you're looking to pursue in enrolling the required subjects just be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time and money. and I mean a lot.
Well there goes my 2 cents, and I wish everyone luck with their journey. I hope to meet some of you in the field of nursing someday!