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Nurse and doctor from Eastern Europe to USA

attorneyalex attorneyalex (Member)

I am an attorney helping a client of mine. She has a green card and lives in the states, working as a medical assistant. She was educated overseas. She is licensed as a nurse, and then went on to medical school and is licensed as a doctor as well. She attended a four year intensive high school program, that included nursing and secondary school, in one intensive program, no summer break, etc. She has passed Toefl.

CGFNS has refused to recognize her program as a first level general nursing program, instead categorizing it as a LPN program, or second level nurse, despite the fact that the hours in theory and practice exceed a full time US nursing program. We're not even considering her 6 years of medical school plus residency here. Does anyone have any experience with a situation like this? It's pretty silly that she is licensed as a nurse and a doctor in her country, can sit for the USMLE medical exam, but cannot write the NCLEX and become a nurse?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

Seems strange that CGFNS will not recognise her transcripts, Are you sure that her transcripts was completed correctly and show all hours in all relevant areas?

Yes, her transcripts were official legal translations. The documentation coming out of CGFNS is full of inconsistencies and inaccurate statements. They rejected her application since they felt she was trained as a "vocational nurse", not a first level registered nurse in her country. We responded with an official signed letter from the nursing association stating she is in fact a fully recognized first level nurse, and certifying that her education meets the standards, which are based on International Council of Nurse definitions. Now, CGFNS admits that the information they have onfile for her country is as many as 20 years old, and hasn't been updated since the country gained independence.

This has been very difficult for my client. She has four years of nursing education, and an additional 6 in medical school, plus two years in residency, and she cannot practice nursing. She has pointed out that there are nursing programs in the US (MGH) that are only 14 months long and is amazed how that program can fit enough hours of instruction, but her schooling is not sufficient.

Thank you for your response.

The Medical College in St. Petersburg is actually a one year program for RN training for physicians and is fully accepted by CGFNS.

We get nurses thru here all of the time that trained in Eastern European countries and they have never had any problems. Suspect that is was something that was in her transcripts and the way that they were translated. Definitely suspect that it was an issue with how her school described the courses that were offered and what was in them.

There is still something that is missing with this story.

zuzi

Specializes in trauma, ortho, burns, plastic surgery.

If you can, send me a PM with from what country is your client. You are sure that was 4 years nursing education and not 4 years nursing high school? If my supposition is right, I belive that I know where she mess the papers, looool. Hugs attorney Alex!

Yes, her transcripts were official legal translations. The documentation coming out of CGFNS is full of inconsistencies and inaccurate statements. They rejected her application since they felt she was trained as a "vocational nurse", not a first level registered nurse in her country. We responded with an official signed letter from the nursing association stating she is in fact a fully recognized first level nurse, and certifying that her education meets the standards, which are based on International Council of Nurse definitions. Now, CGFNS admits that the information they have onfile for her country is as many as 20 years old, and hasn't been updated since the country gained independence.

This has been very difficult for my client. She has four years of nursing education, and an additional 6 in medical school, plus two years in residency, and she cannot practice nursing. She has pointed out that there are nursing programs in the US (MGH) that are only 14 months long and is amazed how that program can fit enough hours of instruction, but her schooling is not sufficient.

Thank you for your response.

Your client will have to request CGFNS to independantly verify with the licensing authority in her country of nursing education. CGFNS will send an official letter directly to the body enquiring about the education program and whether she is fully licensed to work as an RN in her country of education. The licensing body will have to reply directly to CGFNS through official communication. All the best!!!

After Zuzi posted, reread your thread, and see what the problem is. CGFNS does not accept her training since it was done while she was in high school, no matter that it was four years in length. Thinking about this after you mentioned the 6 year medical program; that means that she did that right out of high school, and not after completing a university program like they do here.

If you look at the requirements for CGFNS, or even any of the BONs in the US, it requires that their nursing training for the RN must be completed after they graduate from high school. That is why they are only giving her credit as a vocational nurse. This is the only program that can get their training while in high school and be able to get licensed here.

Does not matter what her country requires, but she will need to meet our requirements. Training as a physician does bot waive any of the requirements for the US.

And we have seen this happen also with nurses from other countries, such as China, and they have to meet the requirements of the US to be able to get licensed here.

It has nothing to do with her transcripts, but the fact that it was completed in high school. She can do the one year program that I mentioned above, but otherwise she is not going to be able to work in the US in the role of the RN.

And at this point, does not matter what her country rates it as, but here the fact is that it must be done after she completes her high school training, or it is considered vocational training and that alone.

There is not going to be anything that CGFNS will do to change this, nor any state in the US.

4 years nursing program, concurrent with high school education. Then 4 years university,then 6 years medical school, then 1 year residency in a Greek hospital. I think this is enough to be an RN. The regulations cannot foresee every eventuality, that is why there are appeals and independent reviews. We are working with the nursing board to make a special consideration of her circumstance. Clearly, she is capable.

4 years nursing program, concurrent with high school education. Then 4 years university,then 6 years medical school, then 1 year residency in a Greek hospital. I think this is enough to be an RN. The regulations cannot foresee every eventuality, that is why there are appeals and independent reviews. We are working with the nursing board to make a special consideration of her circumstance. Clearly, she is capable.

You may think that's "enough to be an RN," but the US state BONs do not share your view. There are physicians from all over the world who now want to get licensed to practice as RNs in the US, and they have to meet the same requirements and standards everyone else does. Medicine and nursing are two entirely different disciplines.

If she's so well educated and qualified as a physician, why doesn't she just pursue licensure here as a physician?

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU.

I agree - medical training qualifies you to be a doctor, not a nurse. It's totally different training. In any case, I can't imagine why she wouldn't pursue medicine here rather than nursing after doing all that medical training...?

4 years nursing program, concurrent with high school education. Then 4 years university,then 6 years medical school, then 1 year residency in a Greek hospital. I think this is enough to be an RN. The regulations cannot foresee every eventuality, that is why there are appeals and independent reviews. We are working with the nursing board to make a special consideration of her circumstance. Clearly, she is capable.

Would your local BAR Association admitted a foreign graduate who completed law school in high school over 20 years ago and had a Graduate degree in Criminal Justice? I don't think so.

I also wonder why a doctor would want to practice as a nurse, doesn't make sense.

The Program at MGH is for college graduates that is how it is completed in 14 months.

The issue is that she did the training during high school time and not completely separate from high school coursework. The US requires that it be done after high school, and they will not give credit for anything more than the vocational training that they permit during high school which is for the practical or vocational nurse.

And her training is not considered first level if it was done in high school. There are many from Eastern European countries that did their training after they finished high school and had no issues at all.

China has similar programs and the US does not accept the ones that were completed during high school. You can try all that you wish to get CGFNS to change their rules, but the fact is that they are abiding by the rules that the US federal government has put into place. CGFNS does not make the rules but follows what is in their contract that was designed by the US government and nothing more than that.

Your client is not going to be able to practice as an RN in this country without completing a program that meets the requirements of having been completed after high school, and at the college level.

You are not going to find one board of nursing that is going to accept her training that was done during high school time, just not going to happen.

The rules in the US is that they complete an approved program in an accreditied school of nursing and one that is done after high school, not at the same time or while in high school. In all of my years as an RN in the US, have never seen them accept it one time and do not expect to see them do it now.

Medicine and nursing are two very different courses, and we have seen many physicians that thought that they could just write the exam when they came here, but found out otherwise.

You are going to be wasting a great sum of money of your clients and for no reason. Just not going to happen, and it is not just me telling you this, but every other poster here.

Just a note to others that have been reading here on this thread:

CGFNS is actually a corporation that was put in place to provide services for the US government. They do not make their rules directly, but do so under the requirements of the US federal government. They also cannot waive any requirements without it going thru meeting after meeting and taking about two years to get it done. And they cannot waive any requirements for one person and not for any others.

The US government requires that the nurses training be completed after high school and not during the same time. We have not seen one get approved to get licensure here in the US without meeting the requirements of attending school again.

A program done in high school is not considered as one of a first level nurse. But only as vocational/technical.

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