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Q: How long does it take to bring a nurse to the U.S.?
A:

1 year to 1 and 1/2 years

Needs to pass:
1. CGFNS or NCLEX
2. TOEFL and TSE or IELTS

   
Q: Who is CGFNS?
A:

CGFNS - Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools

The CGFNS mission is to protect the public by assuring the integrity of the health professional credentials educated in countries other than the United States (U.S.) are eligible and qualified to meet licensure and other practice requirements in the U.S. in the context of global migration.

CGFNS offers a Certification Program and Qualifying Exam, which many U.S. State Boards of Nursing require in order to be eligible to apply for licensure within that state.

Services and Programs

1. Certification Program
2. Credential Evaluation Service and the CES Report
3. VisaScreen

link: http://www.cgfns.org/default.shtml

   
Q: What is CGFNS Certification Program?
A:

The CGFNS Certification Program(CP) is a three-part program required of internationally-educated registered nurses by a majority of U.S. states in order to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

The three parts of the program includes:

  1. credentials review - CGFNS certifies that a candidate is a first-level, general nurse by evaluating education and registration/license.
  2. Qualifying Exam of Nursing Knowledge - is a one-day test of nursing knowledge. It is a paper and pencil exam that is given in two parts. Part One in the morning and Part Two in the afternoon.
  3. English Language Proficiency Examination - is taken to determine your proficiency in the English language. The following examinations have been approved to meet the language proficiency requirement:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), plus the Test of Written English (TWE) and Test of Spoken English (TSE);
    • Test for International Communications (TOEIC), plus TSE and TWE;
    • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS);
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT (Internet Based Testing)

    For an applicant to be exempt from the English proficiency requirement, they must meet ALL of the following criteria:

    • country of nursing education was in United Kingdom (England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland), Australia, Canada (Quebec approved schools include: McGill University and Dawson College in Montreal, Vanier College in St. Laurent, John Abbott College in Sainte Anne de Bellevue, and Heritage College in Gatineau), South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Trinidad/Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados or the United States.
    • language of instruction and language of texts was English.

    If a CGFNS Certification Program applicant does not meet ALL of these criteria, they must take an English proficiency examination.

Upon successful completion of all three elements of the Certification Program, applicants are awarded a CGFNS Certificate.

link: http://www.cgfns.org/sections/prog/cert.shtml

   
Q: What is CGFNS Credential Evaluation Service and CES report?
A:

CES- Credentials Evaluation Service

The CES analyzes education and licensure in terms of comparability to U.S. standards and expectations of healthcare professionals with an international educational background who wish to pursue a healthcare professional degree in the U.S. for the purpose of licensure.

Most nursing boards in the U.S. require a CES report and usually a specific level of the report as a requirement to take the U.S. licensure examinations.

Two levels of report are available: Healthcare Profession and Science Course-by-Course Report and Full Education Course-by-Course Report.

All CES reports contain an analysis of non-healthcare and professional education, country-specific background information about schools attended by the applicant, complete dates of attendance, grading scales, validations of registration/license information received directly from source authorities, credential source verification and bibliographical references. All information is presented in terms of U.S. standards.

The process generally takes from 6 to 8 weeks after receipt of all documentation and fees.

link: http://www.cgfns.org/sections/prog/cred.shtml

   
Q: What is VisaScreen?
A:

VisaScreen T - Visa Credentials Assessment

Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996 requires that certain non-U.S. healthcare professionals successfully complete a screening program prior to receiving an occupational visa, such as the H-1B, H-2B, TN status and permanent (green card) visas.

VisaScreen T: Visa Credentials Assessment, is a program offered by the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) - a division of CGFNS - enabling healthcare professionals to meet this requirement by verifying and evaluating their credentials to ensure that they meet the government minimum requirements.

In 2003, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published final rules required under section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996. Under these final rules, internationally-educated healthcare professionals, such as:

  • nurses
  • physical therapists
  • occupational therapists
  • physician assistants
  • medical technicians
  • medical laboratory technologists
  • speech language pathologists
  • audiologists

who are seeking temporary or permanent occupational visas as well as those who are seeking Trade NAFTA (TN) status, are required to first obtain a CGFNS/ICHP VisaScreen T certificate as part of the visa process.

The VisaScreen T program is comprised of:

  1. educational analysis - ensures that the applicant's education meets all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for the profession the applicant intends to practice, and is comparable to the education of a U.S. graduate seeking licensure
  2. licensure validation - evaluates initial and all current and past licenses to assure they are valid and unencumbered
  3. English language proficiency assessment - confirms that the applicant has demonstrated the required competency in oral and written English by submitting scores on tests from either of the following:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), plus the Test of Written English (TWE) and Test of Spoken English (TSE);
    • Test for International Communications (TOEIC), plus TSE and TWE;
    • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS);
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT (Internet Based Testing).
  4. and in the case of nurses, an exam of nursing knowledge - Registered nurse applicants who wish to obtain an occupational visa to practice as nurses in the United States must present a CGFNS Certification Program Certificate or a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Once the applicant has successfully completed all elements of the VisaScreen T program, the applicant is awarded a VisaScreen T Certificate, which can be presented to a consular office or, in the case of adjustment status, the attorney general as part of a visa application.

link: http://www.cgfns.org/sections/prog/visa.shtml

   
Q: What are the passing scores for the English language proficiency examinations?
Option #1 Option #2 Option #3 Option #4
Healthcare Profession TOEFL
Test of English as a Foreign Language
TWE
Test of Written English
TSE
Test of Spoken English
TOEIC
Test of English for International Communication
TWE
Test of Written English
TSE
Test of Spoken English
IELTS
International English Language Testing Service
IELTS
Spoken Band
TOEFL iBT
Total & Speaking Section
Registered Nurse (RN) 207 (540) 4.0 50 725 4.0 50 6.5 (Academic) 7.0 83 / 26
Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) 197 (530) 4.0 50 700 4.0 50 6.0 (General) 7.0 79 / 26
Physical Therapist 220 (560) 4.5 50 89 / 26
Occupational Therapist 220 (560) 4.5 50 89 / 26
Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist 207 (540) 4.0 50 725 4.0 50 6.5 (Academic) 7.0 83 / 26
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist) 207 (540) 4.0 50 725 4.0 50 6.5 (Academic) 7.0 83 / 26
Clinical Laboratory Technician (Medical Technician) 197 (530) 4.0 50 700 4.0 50 6.0 (General Training) 7.0 79 / 26
Physician Assistant 207 (540) 4.0 50 725 4.0 50 6.5 (Academic) 7.0 83 / 26

Scores written in parenthesis refer to minimum passing scores for the paper based version of the TOEFL examination.

 
Q: What is NCLEX?
A:

NCLEX - National Council Licensure Examination
A Nurse must pass the NCLEX in order to become a licensed registered nurse in the U.S. The purpose of this exam is to ensure public protection, each jurisdiction requires a candidate for licensure to pass an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level registered nurse.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) develops two licensure examinations:

  1. the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses
  2. National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses

* NCLEX exams are offered in Hongkong, Saipan and other countries

   
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@ Medical Workforce Inc. 2006