The Road to US Employment


As of February 2006, the NCLEX exam will be administered in the following locations:

  • Australia -- Sydney
  • Canada -- Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver
  • Germany -- Frankfurt
  • Hong Kong
  • India -- Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi
  • Japan -- Chiyoda-ku*, Yokohama*
  • Mexico -- Mexico City
  • South Korea -- Seoul
  • Taiwan -- Taipe
  • United Kingdom -- London
  • United States -- all 50 states, DC, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Island

*appointment pending

Nurses residing in the above countries can now bypass the CGFNS exam. They can sit for the NCLEX exam, and then follow the consular process. Nurses who are not in a country where the NCLEX is offered, can travel to a location where it is offered, in order to bypass the CGFNS step. Here is a list of embassies for those countries who do not offer the NCLEX exam.

International nurses who are already in the US, can sit for the NCLEX exam, and follow the CES-AOS Process. Nurses who can travel to the US to take the NCLEX exam can also follow the CES-Consular Process or the CES-AOS Process.

The NCLEX Process

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) offers a process that can allow a foreign nurse to skip the CGFNS Certification Program (CP) and go straight to the NCLEX. The NCLEX is the test all nursing school graduates have to pass in order to get a license to practice nursing in any American state. The main part of this process is The Credentials Evaluation Service (CES). To take the NCLEX a nurse must receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) from the State where they intend to be licensed. There are 3 paths for a foreign nurse to get an (ATT) for the NCLEX.

  1. The traditional path is through the CGFNS Certification process. The nurse completes the CGFNS Certification process (CP), which involves passing the CGFNS exam, an English language exam, and a VisaScreen. Upon passing the CP, Kennedy Healthcare will find a job and a sponsor at a US healthcare facility. The client's case then follows the consular process of immigration. This CGFNS-Consular process takes about 8-12 months, and results in the nurse arriving in the US wit a job offer. The nurse, however, does still need to pass the NCLEX exam before they can begin work.

    Having completed the (CP), the foreign nurse will then apply for an (ATT) in the state where they are being sponsored. (The CP will satisfy the requirements to get an ATT in most US States.) Passing the NCLEX will lead to nurse licensure. If the nurse fails the NCLEX, there is a 45 day waiting period, and a $175.00 additional expense, before the nurse can retake the exam.

    Numbers 2 & 3 are short cut paths to taking the NCLEX and working in the US. In order to skip the CGFNS exam, a foreign nurse is required to apply to the Credentials Evaluation Service (CES).

  2. The nurse submits an application for one the two CES reports:
    - The Full Education Course-by-Course Report or
    - Nursing and Sciences Course-by-Course Report.
    The State Board of Nursing where the nurse plans to be licensed will determine which CES report is applied for. This application will allow CGFNS Credential Evaluation Service to evaluate the nurse’s credentials and report to State the results of the evaluation. If the nurse’s credentials meet the standards, and the language requirement is met, an ATT will be issued for the foreign nurse. The nurse can then arrange to take the NCLEX in one of the new overseas locations: London, Hong Kong or Seoul, South Korea. Having passed the NCLEX, the nurse can then be sponsored by a US healthcare facility and begin the Consular Process. This nurse will arrive in the US with a valid license, ready to start working. Note: Employers prefer nurses who have passed the NCLEX and are more likely to sponsor these nurses!

  3. The third path to an ATT is for foreign nurses currently in the US or those who are planning to visit. Foreign nurses who are in the US can take the NCLEX while they are here. It is very important to confer with a credentials consultant if you plan to visit or are already in the US. If you are in the US or plan to visit please fill in our short survey and a KHR will contact you to discuss your options. An ATT can be arranged prior to your visit. Nurses who are in the US and have passed the NCLEX, or already have a CGFNS CP can choose to stay permanently. These nurse will need experienced legal help, but have the right to remain in the US and work. In this circumstance the nurses who have passed the NCLEX can be authorized to work in 3-5 months.

here The NCLEX website