- Nurses from Pakistan must have their educational and professional credentials evaluated to ensure they meet U.S. standards.
- Organizations like the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) offer services like the Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) to assess foreign nursing credentials.
2. Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam:
- The NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) is a standardized exam that all nurses must pass to become licensed to practice in the U.S.
- Foreign-educated nurses often need to apply for an Authorization to Test (ATT) to take the NCLEX-RN.
3. English Proficiency:
- If your nursing education was not in English, you’d likely need to demonstrate English proficiency.
- Tests like the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are commonly accepted. – Some states might have additional or specific English proficiency requirements.
- This is a visa credentialing program managed by CGFNS.
- It’s required for foreign healthcare workers to obtain a U.S. work visa. – The VisaScreen process includes an educational analysis, licensure validation, and an English language proficiency assessment.
5. State Licensure:
- The U.S. does not have a national nursing license. Instead, each state has its own Board of Nursing with its own licensure requirements.
- After passing the NCLEX-RN and meeting other requirements, you’ll need to apply for a nursing license in the state where you intend to work.
- To work in the U.S., you’ll need an appropriate work visa.
- The most common visa for nurses is the H-1B visa, but there are other options like the Green Card (permanent residency).
- The employer in the U.S. often sponsors the visa, so securing a job offer is a crucial step.
7. Additional Requirements:
- Some states or employers might have additional requirements, such as background checks, additional exams, or specific courses.
8. Continuing Education:
- Once licensed and working in the U.S., nurses often need to meet continuing education requirements to maintain their licensure.
It’s essential to research and understand the specific requirements of the state where you intend to work. The process can be lengthy and may require patience and persistence. It’s also beneficial to seek advice from professional organizations or individuals who have gone through the process.