Jump to content

Wishing to work in California - Canadian RN

Posted

Hello!

I am a Canadian nurse looking to work in California. I have heard that in order to work in California you need to apply for a license by endorsement, however as I am not licensed in the states yet, can I apply for licensure by exam? I have looked on the state board of nursing website and I have not seen anything to suggest that I should not apply by exam, but browsing thorough topics here I am getting confused. It has also been difficult as getting through to a real live person from the board of nursing has proven difficult.

I also have a question about social security numbers, as the application requires one and says that it will absolutely not be processed without one. As Canadian I do not have an American social security number, and I was under the understand I cannot get one until I have a job. But need one in order to get a job. Quite the problem!

Lastly, does anyone have suggestions for reputable travel nurse agencies, or any that they have had good experiences with? I have been in contact with one which seems to have received good reviews, but am unsure if I should be researching other companies more thoroughly.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

Sarah

Oops! Just read that this should be posted in International Nursing. So sorry!

Hello!

I am a Canadian nurse looking to work in California. I have heard that in order to work in California you need to apply for a license by endorsement, however as I am not licensed in the states yet, can I apply for licensure by exam? I have looked on the state board of nursing website and I have not seen anything to suggest that I should not apply by exam, but browsing thorough topics here I am getting confused. It has also been difficult as getting through to a real live person from the board of nursing has proven difficult.

I also have a question about social security numbers, as the application requires one and says that it will absolutely not be processed without one. As Canadian I do not have an American social security number, and I was under the understand I cannot get one until I have a job. But need one in order to get a job. Quite the problem!

Lastly, does anyone have suggestions for reputable travel nurse agencies, or any that they have had good experiences with? I have been in contact with one which seems to have received good reviews, but am unsure if I should be researching other companies more thoroughly.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

Sarah

Silverdragon102, BSN

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

CA will not accept a application without a US SSN and as you have noticed you can't get that until in the US with a job. You can however apply to a state that doesn't require a US SSN and endorse once you have found a job. You do not need a US SSN to get a job.

What you do need to be aware of is CA are being very strict and denying many IEN and saying they have to meet certain criteria plus many nurses in CA are struggling to find work

Thank you so much for your reply! That's disappointing for me but good to know. Do you know where I can find which states do not require a SSN to apply?

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

moved to registration....Welcome!

You need to apply to take the NCLEX...this is the licensing exam...be prepared for a LONG wait they ARE way BEHIND! California is one of the hardest states to get licensed in....they have strict concurrency requirements. If your school in Canada ws not English speaking they may require

In most States, the board of nursing requires applicants to pass the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) exam before taking NCLEX-RN exam. CGFNS is not required in California. This is one great benefit to taking the exam in California. [h=2]CGFNS Certificate Process[/h] 1. RN credential review

2. Five-hour qualifying multiple choice exam to test nursing knowledge

3. Test of English as a foreign language exam

You will need to provide a U.S. Social Security number before a California license can be issued to you.
English transcripts from all the schools you have attended (transcripts must include hours of lectures and hospital practice in the following areas: medical, surgical, psychiatric, maternal-infant, pediatric and geriatric nursing.) Nursing license from your country (translated into English).

Board of Registered Nursing - Licensure by Examination

Edited by Esme12

Thanks everyone for your replies. How do I get a social security number?

Thanks everyone for your replies. How do I get a social security number?

Try simply by "googling" your same question and then, focus on those interested that are not US citizens. You should be reading the one that's directly connected with the actual US Government site.

Silverdragon102, BSN

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

Thanks everyone for your replies. How do I get a social security number?

You need a visa that gives you permission to live and work in the US before a US SSN will be issued

Thank you everyone for your replies. Does anyone know what kind of visa I would need? I thought I would get my VisaScreen started but am unsure what kind of visa. From looking at quick google search it looks like I would need an H1C to work as a nurse... Anyone know?

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

H1C no longer exists as of a few years ago. If you are a Canadian citizen with a BSN you could be eligible for the NAFTA TN visa which is no/minimal cost to the employer. You need to have proof of US RN license and a bona fide job offer letter in addition to Visa Screen Cert.

I just went through this whole process, it takes a long time and a lot of paperwork but I am now in California. In order to get a SSN, you need to work in another state first that let's you license without one. So here is what I did.

-I applied for a license by examination in Minnesota (easiest state to apply for Canadians) No intention of working here but just to be able to write the nclex. Once they process your application, you get an authorization to test then you can write the enxlex at a pearson vue centre.

-Once I had my nclex done and was licensed in Minnesota, I started talking to travel agencies. They will help you find jobs and you can negotiate things like your nclex and visa screen to be reimbursed if you sign with them.

-You also need a Visa screen certificate (CGFNS does this) this paper verifies your schooling and canadian/us license. This document also can take months to process as things have to come directly from your school and nursing board not from yourself. You need this tocross the border.

- TN visa. This is the easiest visa for RN's but must be Canadian. It is easy to get as you need all your paperwork in order and can get this as you cross the border. I got mine crossing to go to my first assignment.

-US SSN. Once you have your TN visa, you can apply for the SSN.

-During my first assignment, I applied for the SSN. Then once I whad that, I started the application for license by endorsement for California. Thus while I was waiting for the California license I was working at my first travel assignment. When my assignment was over, I had my Cali license. Getting the Cali license in itself is long and complicated as well. It doesnt matter what US licenses you hold you still need to resend transcripts etc. Licenses in the US don't crss over they each have their own criteria.

Long and complicated process but it was worth it for me. PM me if you want more information. I found it really hard to find specific information when I was going through this process and could have saved myself a lot of time knowing what I know now :)

Hi there,

I'm also looking to go to Cali. Since we can do nclex now in canada, is it possible to be approved in canada to do nclex, and then sign up with a travel nurse agency to work in a state that does not require ssn and then get a ssn and apply for a license endorse to Cali?

Silverdragon102, BSN

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

We have had a couple of members that was Canadian be denied a CA license, not always a guarantee that you will meet their requirements. Also you need to check that the state will accept NCLEX pass from Canada

Hi Frangelicag!!

Thanks so much for posting such great tips!! I'm a Canadian RN with my BScN and 5 years experience working on the floor. I'm hoping to do the exact same thing that you have done, as a travel agency rep said this would be the easiest way to get to SoCal! I'm a new member so I can't PM you but I had a few questions...

1. How long did the process for license by examination in Minnesota take?

2. https://allnurses.com/world-nursing/for-canadian-rns-840858.html

In this thread, they mention "Credential Verification Service for New York State". Did you have to do this? Or did you only use CGFNS for your Visa screen certificate?

3. Which travel agency did you find most helpful? Did you find one that covers the NCLEX and visa costs?

4. How long did everything take, from taking your NCLEX, to get to Cali?

5. I'm currently reviewing content for NCLEX, in the meantime while I'm studying, I was thinking of starting the application process for license by examination in Minnesota and CGFNS for the visa screen. Is there anything else I should be applying for to kill some waiting time?

Thanks so much for your help!!! You're truly an inspiration!

Hi @hellomoto I have the same questions as you do regarding the licensure. Just wondering whether you're working in California now? How long does the process take in general?

Hello, Im from Canada. I want to endorsed my new York license to California.