Canadian RN moving to california

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    Hi, I'm a RN in Canada moving to California to do travel nursing. I have my licence in Minnesota and I am looking to work in Southern California. I have applied for my licence to be transfered to California through Nursys. I got confused when I applied for my licence in California, because I noticed you need to send school transcripts, licence validation....I figure I didn't have to do that, since I have my visa screen with CGFNS and my licence with Minnesota?? I've tried calling the California board of nursing, but I can't get through. Also, how long does it take before you get your licence when transfering from Minnesota?

    Thanks!!!
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  3. 27 Comments so far...

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    You have to apply for each and every individual state license. Its not a "transfer" You do have to verify your minnesota license which shows California that you have a current in good standing US state license. But just about every state will require that you again submit your educational transcripts , verify all your licenses, etc. Your visascreen cgfns etc. is simply for immigration. It won't help you get your state licenses any faster.

    California used to be quick but now can take quite awhile especially if you have done your fingerprints out of state. They say that just those alone are taking 8-12 weeks to process. If you do them IN state they take about 72 hours!!! I know its not fair but its true. Trust me I just went through it.

    If you are working with a travel company ask your recuiter to attempt to find out who at the board of nursing is taking care of your case. Get a name and number for them specifically and then you will have a contact. Often recuiters will have some "inside" numbers that will allow you to get through and at the very least get a file number and a contact name.

    you will have better luck if you get down here and do the fingerprints here in state. I think if all goes well you can have your temp license in about a week. less if you go right to sacramento.
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    Thanks! I have actually just applied with a travel company, so they will probably be able to help me even more. It's too bad you have to send all the paperwork everytime, it's very frustrating.
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    I am a Canadian Travel Nurse in currently in the USA. Trust me I can sympathize you regarding all the confusion. I too got my initial license through Minnesota as it was the easiest state at that time. My first travel assignment was in Los Angeles, CA. I also have licenses in FL,AK, and MO. Each state is different and has thier own process. One of the plus' you have is that you already did the CGFNS portion. I did not and still have not done that. In fact, many states do not require it but will accept it as a credentials evaluation. CA does not require it but accepts it. I did the "walk-through" endorsement when I went to CA. They have livescreen locations throughout the state so fingerprints are rapidly processed and then you go into the BON in Sacramento with the other requirements and they give you a 6month temporary in lieu of recieveing the educational credentials that can be extended 1 additional 6month period as some Canadian institutions take a long time to send off grades and course breakdowns. However, lucky for you you already have the CGFNS certificate which is basically the gold standard for credentials evaluations here in the USA.

    As mentioned by the poster above, NURSYS is not transfering your license. All it is like a huge database of RN licenses. You use NURSYS as a way of verifying to another state board of nursing that you are licensed in another state. Your license is not transfered, you get an separate license for each state you practice in. Unless of course you hold permanent residence in a state which is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) which authorizes nurses who are live and are licenced in one state reciprocity to practise in the other state without having to apply for that state license unless they move there permanently. Wow that was a mouthful!!

    In any case, I hope some of this has helped. If you have any questions you can message me back. I have a green card here in the USA and have been through a lot of late nights trying to sort out the pages and pages of information. However, I will say that nothing I have expereinced here in the USA even remotely compares to the quality of the work environment back home in Canada. I have enjoyed the opportunity to experience it and would recommend it to anyone who wants to see the world but I will be returning home to Canada in the near future "Oh Canada!!!!"

    Cheers
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    Thanks for all the information! It's very helpful! I am currently with a travel agency and will be moving somewhere in the next month, I haven't decided yet. I am looking forward to all the new experiences! Thanks
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    Just out of interest what agency did you choose? I have been with American Mobile and Cross Country they are the 2 largest. I have found that the smaller companies sometimes offer a few dollars more but that often work can be patchy. However, you will probly never have trouble with CA there are always an abundance of opportunties there.
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    I am with cross country. I really like my recruiter, she is awesome! I'm not going to california right away, since the law in california require you to have a SSN before you begin working, so I'm looking to go to Richmond, Virginia at the moment. I might go to California, afterwards for my second assignment. Did you ever go to Richmond? It seems like a nice place. My specialty is oncology, so I'll be working in a cancer center. What is your specialty?
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    hey... i am also a canadian RN (emergency) with a minnesota license trying to get to cali but have the same issue with registration.. i signed up with with HealthOne and American Mobile but no one at either place told me about the SSN rule change for Cali and aren't really interested in finding a way around it... i applied and received my hawaii license but not having any luck getting a position out there either since it's a popualr spot for travel nurses.. has your agency been any better at sorting things out for you?
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    My agency has been very good! I'm not going to California like originally planned, but I got a very good placement in Charlottesville, Virginia. It's only short placements (4 months) and then you have a ssn, so you can go anywhere you like. For first assignments, it's also very hard, since not all the hospitals accepts first time assignments. I'm very happy with my agency! I'm starting work in about a week, it's been pretty busy with paperwork, but my agency has helped me alot with that. Good luck and hope everything works out for you!
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    I just moved to California from the midwest and I can say from experience that those folks in Sacramento don't do anything quickly and they never seem to answer the phone. The website is pretty decent though and you can get most of the information and forms you need from there. I was fortunate to get my license while on a travel contract last year when you could still do the "walk through" process and get your license in one day provided that all required documents had been received (verification of your licensure, certified college transcripts and proof you had initiated the fingerprint process). Now you have to wait until the fingerprints have been processed and cleared - my sister has been waiting almost 2 months for hers and the board has told her it can take as long as 4 months even if you have them done in California. One other thing to consider (this happened to me) if even one of the prints isn't 100% legible they will be rejected and you have to begin the printing process all over again. I had to do mine 3 times because one pinky finger has a very faint print and kept getting rejected. Good Luck!


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