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Canadian RN to California Licensure by Examination: Help!

by VRFM19 VRFM19 (New) New Nurse


I am a Canadian RN who has moved to California on my husband's L1 VISA, and therefore I currently hold an L2 VISA. I also have my EAD, SSN and I am in the process of obtaining my green card. When I graduated 10 years ago I wrote the CRNE. I've read about the challenges of getting my license here in California and would like some help with developing a strategy. I know I will have to obtain Licensure by Examination and fully expect/dread that "deficiencies" in my education will arise and I will have to complete various courses to make up for those hours missed. My questions are as follows:

1) Will I have to complete those courses before I am allowed to write the NCLEX here in California?

2) Should I bother using CGFNS to generate a CES or submit my transcripts to the California BON directly? Are there any benefits to using CGFNS?

3) I've considered getting my license through Minnesota (as I've heard it is easier), write the NCLEX sooner, and potentially work under the temporary California Emergency License now available due to COVID-19, meanwhile apply for a permanent CA license via endorsement and do the courses I will likely be instructed to complete. Thoughts on this plan?

Any other tips or heads up on things to anticipate would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance!

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

Until you meet state requirements you cannot site NCLEX so if they require courses they have to be done first before permission is given.

you could try another state but I am not sure how easy it will be to obtain the emergency licence


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

See CA RN Licensure Qualifications for Graduates of International Nursing Program for details: https://RN.ca.gov/pdfs/education/edp-I-35.pdf


Note: Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Passing the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) examination is not required to be licensed in California. However, the Board will accept official copies of your nursing transcripts (including the clinical portion of your training) from this organization. A written request may be made to CGFNS by contacting them at (215) 222-8454 or 3600 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 91904-2651. www.cgfns.org

Any deficiencies in #hrs in theory/ clinical need to be completed prior to being granted permission to take NCLEX.

Due to the pandemic, slowness/thoroughness of CA BON licensing, expect process to take 6 months.

Hiring under the temporary California Emergency License available due to COVID-19, employers looking for those with CURRENT within 1 yr. U.S. hospital experience, so may not get hired with Minn. license. Going through another state to later endorse license to CA will take even longer.

Best wishes in resuming nursing career.

Thank you for the information!

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

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