How Does Foreign Trained Nurse Work in the States?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I would like to access my career option now in USA. I was doing job at India and took a break after my marriage. Now i have a cute Son and would like to engage my self.

    Personal Information:
    MSC Nursing ( community) in India
    I have valid visa to work in USA.
    I have teaching side experience as an Assistant Professor in India.

    Could you please guide what are my options in USA for Job as VISA/Work permit is not an issue for me. I am staying at IL.

    1. NCLEX Exam and start with RN
    or any other opportunity with out NCLEX exam ?

    Thank you in advance.

    Dear from India,

    It's good that you have your visa and you will also need a social security number. You can work in a non-licensed role, but not as as RN until until you're licensed. Here's the abbreviated version of applying for licensure:

    You will first need to contact your state board of nursing in Illinois. You can do this via their website.
    From there, apply to US Nursing Licensure for Internationally Educated Nurses.

    To verify your eligibility to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) , they will ask to view official copies of your nursing transcripts. Usually the evaluation of credentials is done through
    the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). This is to ensure that the minimum standards required by Illinois are met.

    You will also be required to take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or similar test to demonstrate English language proficiency.

    Once you are approved, you will receive a letter from Continental Approving Services (CAS) and Approval to Test (ATT) to take the NCLEX. Once you receive your ATT, you have 90 days to take the test. There are several practice exams and apps you can find online.

    At every step of the way, there are fees and paper work. You will be fingerprinted. It's a rigorous process but keep in mind that many others from India have successfully obtained US nursing licensure.

    Good luck, I hope you are successful! I work every day with many kind and hard working Indian nurses.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by Nurse Beth on Jul 11
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,487; Likes: 4,386

    2 Comments

  3. by   BonnieSc
    I know you mean only to be complimentary, but when you describe the Indian nurses you work with as "kind and hard-working", IMHO that reinforces stereotypes about both nurses and immigrants. The Indian nurses I work with are highly skilled and experienced, which I'm guessing is the case for your co-workers as well.
  4. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from BonnieSc
    I know you mean only to be complimentary, but when you describe the Indian nurses you work with as "kind and hard-working", IMHO that reinforces stereotypes about both nurses and immigrants. The Indian nurses I work with are highly skilled and experienced, which I'm guessing is the case for your co-workers as well.
    Point taken, thank you.

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