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- Kunle Emmanuel
- Posts: 2062
- Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:02 pm
- Location: Lagos
Now is your chance to work at some of the top hospitals in the United States, including teaching hospitals and major research facilities. Nursing in the U.S.A. provides the opportunity to play a vital role in health care and take on roles and responsibilities not found in other countries. Many international nurses can also enjoy better compensation, generous housing and travel allowances, and an array of employment benefits when they work with American staffing agencies.
If you decide to pursue nursing in the United States, you will have the chance to reach for new challenges and obtain priceless on-the-job training in top cardiac centers, emergency rooms, intensive care units, women's centers and hundreds of other areas needing your skills. Your work will be rewarded with respect, opportunities for advancement, great working conditions and a good salary that will allow you to explore a great way of life away from work, as well.
- Kunle Emmanuel
- Posts: 2062
- Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:02 pm
- Location: Lagos
Meet the educational requirements.
Make sure you’ve completed the following education and licensing requirements:
You’ve graduated from an accredited Registered Nursing University or School
You’re licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN)
You’ve practiced as an RN for at least two years
To get licensed in the US, many states require you to complete a Foreign Educated Nurses (FEN) refresher course. The course consists of 120 hours in the classroom and 120 hours of clinical practice under the supervision of a licensed Registered Nurse.
Pass an English language proficiency test.
You’ll likely be required to take one of the tests below:
You can take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Your test results need to be sent directly to the state board you’re applying to, by your test administration.
Pass your CGFNS and National Council Licensing Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX – RN).
Read more on how obtain CGFNS in Nigeria ./viewtopic.php?f=4&t=456&hilit=CGFNS
Find a nursing recruiting agency or US-based employer.
A nursing recruiter can help you secure a position as an RN in the US.
Nursing recruiters can also serve as your “US-based employer” helping you secure an immigrant visa and finding you a job at one of the hospitals they partner with.
Get an RN immigrant visa/green card.
To get an RN immigrant visa, you’ll need the following documents:
Evidence of a US-based employer who will be the petitioner for your immigrant visa. An RN recruiter can be your petitioner.
A Visa Screen Certificate (VSC). This is issued by The International Commission on Healthcare Professionals (ICHP), a division of Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
Both of these documents must be sent directly to ICHP/CGFNS on your behalf by the issuing authority.
Get an RN visa interview and medical examination.
Here’s what happens after your visa immigrant petition is approved:
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) sends your file to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing.
The NVC will forward your file to the nearest US embassy where your visa will be issued.
You’ll also receive a package from the NVC with the appointment date for your visa interview, and what you need to bring to the embassy.
Then you need to have a medical exam. You’ll find a list of designated panel physicians you can contact, in your package from the NVC.
Processing your visa could take a few months to a year, or even years, depending on factors personal to your situation.
After you’ve gone through your visa interview and medical exam, you could receive your visa as soon as a few hours, or weeks, after.
Accept your RN job offer and take an employment medical exam.
Here’s what will happen when you’re getting ready to accept your position as an RN in the US:
Your employer/RN agency will have secured you an RN position with one of their client hospitals before your visa interview. You’ll need to have provided your résumé and RN specialty checklist.
You’ll also take a second medical exam, this time it’ll be given by your employing hospital. The requirements for the exam vary by hospital.
Get an RN Resuscitation Certification.
You’ll need to take an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course, a Basic Life Support (BLS) course, or a Pediatric Advanced Life Support Course (PALS).
The type of resuscitation certification you’ll need will depend on your area of practice, and hospital policies.
You can get these certificates before arriving in the US, but make sure the provider of these courses is American Heart Association (AHA) accredited.
Keep in mind this is made as a reference guide, not as a primary source! For the most specific information to your case, please use the contact information to ask each Board of Nursing yourself. Either call or email to ask your questions!
Overall, becoming a nurse in America is made up of three steps:
Step 1: Applying with the State Board of Nursing where you will be practicing.
Step 2: Registering with Pearson Vue to schedule your NCLEX location and date. Registration costs $200, plus additional fees if you are taking the NCLEX outside of the U.S.
Step 3: Getting into the Country. This involves immigration, visas, and getting approval to stay and work in the country.
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR STATE, MEET REQUIREMENTS, AND APPLY TO THE STATE BOARD OF NURSING
What is the State Board of Nursing?
Each state has a committee called a Board of Nursing (for example, there are 50 Boards of Nursing in the U.S, one for each of 50 states). These are the people who decide if you are able to take the NCLEX and get licensed in their state.
Before you can even consider scheduling or planning where you want to take the NCLEX, you have to make your application to a State Board of Nursing.
How do I Know What Requirements I need to Meet?
Each state has different requirements. They will charge a fee ranging from $200-400 depending on each state. If you don’t know what state you want to be a nurse in, now is the time to choose!
In the United States, nurses don’t get licensed for the whole country. The United States has 50 states, and each nurse is usually licensed in one state at a time. That’s why the first step is to choose what state you want to apply for!
However, no matter what state you apply for, everyone takes the same NCLEX to be a nurse in the United States.
Each state’s Board of Nursing has a website where you can find out the requirements.
When can I take my NCLEX?
There are no set test dates for the NCLEX that you have to plan while doing the application. You can apply and register anytime. Once you do, you can then schedule your NCLEX for a date that is comfortable for you! The only requirement is that there might be a 90-day time limit (you have to schedule your NCLEX within 90 days of your application’s approval).
What is CGFNS?
First, we’ll explain to you what credential evaluation means. Credential evaluation means that a company has to look at your nursing school transcripts and education history from your home country to make sure you’re qualified to even take the NCLEX. The Boards of Nursing don’t do this because it would take too much time – so they let companies like CGFNS do the job. CGFNS then sends reports to the Board of Nursing if they feel your education meets requirements.
CGFNS is the most popular and well-known company that does this. You should know that different states require different “levels” of CGFNS evaluation:
Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report
This report is less involved and cheaper than the Certificate Program or VisaScreen.
Secondary School Documents
Licensure Documents from your Home Country
Nursing Education Documents from your Home Country
CGFNS Certification Program
This evaluation is the same, but requires you to take the CGFNS Qualifying Exam.
Everything in a Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report
CGFNS Qualifying Exam
VisaScreen®: Visa Credentials Assessment
The VisaScreen has the same requirements as the Certification Program, but is meant to qualify you for getting a Work Visa, after you’ve already passed the NCLEX exam.
CGFNS is not the only credentialing service! There are others that may be cheaper and still accepted by State Boards. You should first check to see if your State Board accepts these alternative companies (and let us know in the comments below!).
If you decide to use CGFNS, different states require different CGFNS evaluations. You can see a chart here of which state requires which certification. At the time of this writing, CGFNS reports cost $350.00.
Alternatives to CGFNS:
International Education Research Foundation (IERF) ($350 per report, see states that accept IERF)
Educational Records Evaluation Services (ERES) ($375 basic fee)
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. ($300 per report)
Fingerprints: Some states require students to get fingerprints, which can be a complication if you’re currently in another country.
Social Security Number: Some states require students to have a social security number in order to apply or take the NCLEX in the first place. Other states allow you to use your visa or passport in lieu of that. Some other states have special forms for you to fill out if you don’t have a social security number. You can also learn more about how to obtain a social security number from the social security website.
English Proficiency Test: Many states require you to take either the TOEFL or IELTS test to make sure your English is fluent enough. This is usually a part of your requirements for your CGFNS report. Again, follow instructions that are listed for each state and feel free to contact them for specific details.
State Salary (hourly)
1. California $25.45
2. Hawaii $24.76
3. Massachusetts $23.38
4. New Jersey $23.33
5. Alaska $23.09
6. Delaware $22.98
7. Oregon $22.91
8. Nevada $22.83
9. Maryland $22.79
10. Connecticut $22.62
Top 10 Lowest Nurse Paying States
State Salary (hourly)
1. North Dakota $17.60
2. Louisiana $17.50
3. Wyoming $16.88
4. Oklahoma $16.76
5. Kansas $16.74
6. West Virginia $16.52
7. Arkansas $16.44
8. Mississippi $16.42
9. Iowa $16.36
10. South Dakota $16.35
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