RN from India asks "Do I have to pass CGFNS too?"

Dear Nurse Beth Advice Column - The following letter submitted anonymously in search for answers. Feel free to join the conversation. Nurses Nurse Beth Nursing Q/A


I have NCLEX RN pass . I am from india. to practice as a RN in u.s.a I need to pass CGFNS exam too??? only NCLRX RN pass candidate which state is allowing kindly guide me

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Career Columnist / Author

Nurse Beth, MSN

157 Articles; 3,217 Posts

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear RN,

Congrats on passing your NCLEX!

The process of becoming a registered nurse (RN) in the United States typically involves several steps for internationally educated nurses. Here are some general steps:

Passing NCLEX-RN. Passing the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) is a crucial step to becoming licensed as an RN in the United States. This exam tests your nursing knowledge and competency.

State Licensure. Each U.S. state has its own Board of Nursing/Board of Registered Nursing (BON/BRN) that sets the requirements for RN licensure for that state.

While the NCLEX-RN is a national exam, you need to apply for a nursing license in the specific state where you intend to practice.

CGFNS Evaluation The CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) certification is often required for internationally educated nurses. It evaluates your nursing education and knowledge. 

Not all state BON/BRNs require the CGFNS evaluation. However, it can be more time-consuming to apply for an RN license without using this service.

As an example, California (CA) BRN does not require the CGFNS evaluation, but instead conducts its own evaluation of your education to determine its equivalence to U.S. nursing education and CA requirements. 

You would need to provide official transcripts of your education.

The CA BRN would then evaluate your transcripts and approve them as is, or they could determine that you need more clinical hours or lecture hours in a certain specialty, such as pediatrics, for example. 

English Language Proficiency. If English is not your native language, you may need to demonstrate English language proficiency through exams like TOEFL or IELTS.

Since you mentioned that you are from India and have passed the NCLEX-RN, the next step is to check the specific requirements of the state where you plan to practice. 

Here's a link to an older article "What states do not require CGFNS?" but requirements are subject to change. Use this as a starting point only, but verify for yourself by going to each state's BON/BRN website.

Remember to always reference official sources such as the state's Board of Nursing website for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding licensure requirements and processes.

Additionally, you might consider reaching out to the CGFNS for guidance.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth


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