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Internationally-Trained Nurses in NY: the CGFNS is not mandatory

International Article   (547 Views 1 Replies 691 Words)
by Claire Speaks Claire Speaks, ADN (Member) Member

Claire Speaks has 5 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Consulting for internationally-trained Nurses.

1 Follower; 2 Articles; 1,938 Profile Views; 17 Posts

If you are an internationally-educated nurse seeking licensure in the state of New York, you can and probably should avoid the CGFNS and their Credential Verification Service.

Internationally-Trained Nurses in NY: the CGFNS is not mandatory

For a foreign educated nurse, going through the CGFNS's Credential Evaluation, Certification Program or Credential Verification services, can be quite a hassle. It is indeed often the most dreaded step of the process when it comes to getting licensed in the US. Here is the good news though: the CGFNS is not always mandatory to get your license in the USA*. Some states accept other organizations, like the ERES, which are much faster and easier to work with. Some Boards of Nursing do not even require for you to go through any other organization than them for your credential evaluation. That is, for instance, the case with the New York State Board of Nursing. And I already hear you asking "What!? I don't need the CGFNS for New York?". The answer is NO! You don't! Great news, right? Now let's talk about it more thoroughly.

First of all, on their website, the New York State Board of Nursing currently recommends that applicants go through the CGFNS--the reason being that, in their opinion, it makes it easier for the applicant. Unfortunately, this is rarely true.  

Admittedly, until just a few months ago the CGFNS would simply contact nursing schools and licensing authorities themselves and you basically only had to wait. However, in most cases, the CGFNS would end up asking for additional information which would lengthen the process. Sometimes the CGFNS's correspondences would even get lost, which as you can guess, would make the whole process even more of a struggle. One other benefit was that the CGFNS would not require translations for the transcripts and other documents but that's no longer the case. 

For a few months now, the CVS process has changed and the CGFNS now requires the same documents as the ones for the CES and CP. Therefore, the applicants have to contact their school and licensing authority themselves and take care of the translations as well. And just like before, if after 6 months the CGFNS has not received all of the required documents, they will send your file to the board anyway even if it is incomplete. The board will then ask you to have your school and licensing authority send them everything they need, plus the translations, which is exactly where you started. You will have lost time and money...

So why would you go through the CGFNS when you can go directly through the Board of NY for your credential evaluation? Well, other than for immigration purposes*, there is simply no reason for that! Indeed, when you go directly through the Board of Nursing to get your equivalence in New-York State, you will find the process a lot easier. First, you will have to get the forms on their website. Then you will send one (the 2F) to your foreign nursing school and one (the 3F) to your licensing authority. They both have to send them directly to the board completely filled out along with the appropriate documents requested (with English translations for everything written in a foreign language). This process can take less than 4 months (I just had this situation with a client). As you can see, it is much faster than the CGFNS and also a lot less stress.

It is true that if you are planning on coming to the USA through a sponsored work visa, you will have to go through the CGFNS for your Visascreen anyway, as they are the only one offering that service. But even in that case, some people would rather get their US license without dealing with the CGFNS and simply go through them afterward for their Visascreen. After having dealt with both situations through my clients, I would recommend to any Internationally-Educated nurses seeking to work in New York State to go directly through the Board of Nursing for their credential evaluation. And if on top of that they are already allowed to work in the US, then I would suggest they forget about the CGFNS completely. 

Good luck to all, and I hope this article will help you through your process!

Claire Speaks.


*This information only concerns the process of getting your nursing license in the USA. For immigration procedures, you will have to go through the CGFNS's Visascreen service if you wish to obtain a work visa through a sponsor.

French Nurse since 2009. American RN since 2018. Consultant for internationally trained nurses seeking to get their license in the US since 2017.

1 Follower; 2 Articles; 1,938 Profile Views; 17 Posts

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Undercat has 41 years experience as a BSN, MSN, CRNA and specializes in Retired.

41 Posts; 169 Profile Views

"What!? I don't need the CGFNS for New York?". The answer is NO! You don't! Great news, right? 

Actually, the answer is yes:)  Yes, you don't need the CGFNS.  But useful information in your article.

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