Nursing is the nation’s largest healthcare profession, with over 4.2 million nurses in the United States. As the nursing shortage continues to grow, new nurses are constantly needed to keep up with patient demand. Recently the United States has seen a surge in nurses from the Philippines, India, and Nigeria. But for these nurses to be able to practice in the United States, there are many requirements that they must achieve and complete before they are able to treat any patients.

Educational Requirements

A group of nursing students in a classroom

Nurses from Africa that want to work in the United States must meet specific educational criteria set forth by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Nurses from Africa must have proof of graduation from an accredited nursing program, valid nursing licenses, and have worked as a registered nurse for at least two years. In some states, foreign-trained nurses must take an English Proficiency Test. The English Proficiency Test is broken up into four sections, Listening and Reading and Speaking, and Writing. The English proficiency test can take up to four hours to complete and once completed applicants must achieve a total score of 84 and a speaking score of 26. Students who are exempt from taking the test are students who completed their nursing education at a program whose education was completed in English, and the program was completed in one of the following countries:


To legally work as a nurse in the United States, you must apply for a Registered Nurse Immigrant Visa. For nurses to be considered for a work visa, they must complete the following:

Confirmation of Credentials

verification of professional qualifications.

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) will evaluate transcripts and qualifications to ensure that requirements are completed before you can apply to take the licensing exam in the state where you wish to work. You may also be asked to take the CGFNS Qualifying Exam to determine if you are eligible and ready to take the NCLEX licensure examination. The Qualifying Exam is an additional cost.

Pass the NCLEX Exam

signifying success in passing the NCLEX exam

Students who meet the above requirements can apply for the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination.) Applicants must apply in the states that they seek employment. Applicants should be aware that there is a $200 fee to apply to take the NCLEX. Currently, applicants can take the NCLEX at an NCLEX testing center in the following countries:

What Happens If You Don’t Pass the NCLEX?

 A distressed person sits at a desk, head in hands,

Candidates can retake the NCLEX if they do not pass on their first attempt. However, they will have to pay the fee again. For the second time NCLEX test takers, the pass rate is 39.07%. Many programs are available for nurses who struggle with the NCLEX or want tips and strategies to help them pass. Feuer NCLEX Comprehensive Content Based Review Course has been helping students prepare for the NCLEX since 1971. The review courses offered are Live Online, Self-Paced Online, and Home-Study Courses, allowing students to choose the course best for their learning needs and style. Courses like these help students after graduation hone their skills and enhance their knowledge of nursing content and test-taking strategies.

Finding a Job

Illustration of a person browsing through job listings

Due to the current nursing shortage in the United States, many hospitals, clinics, and other areas of healthcare are constantly hiring nurses. Many of these companies are offering large sign-on bonuses and tuition reimbursement. The best way for nurses to find job opportunities is to look online. Search job boards and individual hospitals’ websites for available job openings. From there, you can refine your search to find a job that fits your needs.


A foreign-trained nurse in scrubs stands

It is an exciting opportunity for foreign nurses to work in the United States of America. The nursing shortage is projected to continue for some time and by 2025 there could be between 200,000 and 450,000 nursing jobs available. This creates an excellent opportunity for nurses to immigrate to the United States.

Written by Feuer Nursing Review

For a Nursing Program to be successful it not only has to have nursing students, but it also needs to have nursing students that go on to pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) licensing exam. In this article, we are going to discuss how the decrease in NCLEX pass rates is affecting Nursing Programs around the country.

NCLEX Pass Rates

NCLEX pass rates for different nursing schools,

Over the last three years, there has been a significant decrease in the first-time pass rate of candidates taking the NCLEX Exam. In 2019 NCLEX Statistics from NCSBN show that the first-time pass rate was 88.18%. Most recently in 2022, the first-time pass rate had dropped to 79.90%. There are many reasons why the initial pass rates have dropped. Some of the most common include the COVID-pandemic, test anxiety, and decreased focus on the core curriculum.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many nursing schools switched over to an online model of instruction. This left many students without classroom hours and decreased hands-on practice time.

How do NCLEX pass Rates Measure the Quality of a Nursing Program

evaluating nursing education.

The Journal of Professional Nursing states that The NCLEX pass rate is considered the premier indicator of program quality. Nursing programs utilize first-time pass rates (F-TPR) as a basis for making program decisions – especially when confronted with a falling rate. But this shouldn’t be the only measure of a Nursing Program. Schools should also look into students’ skills and not focus only on the NCLEX. For example, a student may succeed in the hands-on demonstrations but struggle with testing. So these students may go on to be great nurses but become a statistic because they have trouble with test taking.  Many nursing students who do not pass their first time taking the NCLEX go on to be great nurses. Looking at the nursing program as a whole is a much better measure of the quality of a nursing program.

Nursing Schools and Program Accreditation

 program accreditation for nursing schools,

According to Kathleen Gains, MSN, RN, BA, CBC at, The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) evaluate nursing schools and programs in the United States. For a nursing school to become accredited they must meet certain standards. Some of the standards include state regulations and school management. The accreditation process also looks at the school’s curriculum and the NCLEX pass rates of the school.

Effects of low NCLEX Pass Rates on Nursing School Accreditation

shows a decline in accreditation status

Many states want the NCLEX pass rates to be within 5-10% of the national average, which in 2022 was 79.90%. If schools do not meet this benchmark they can lose their state funding and their accreditation status with the ACEN or CCNE. Some studies show that if a school’s NCLEX pass rate is under 80%, the school is placed on probation and given 2 years to improve its pass rates.

Increasing NCLEX Pass Rates

efforts to improve exam preparation and success rates.

Schools are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to increase their NCLEX scores. Feuer NCLEX Comprehensive Content Based review course has been helping students prepare for the NCLEX since 1971. The review courses offered are Live Online, Self-Paced Online and Home-Study Courses, giving students the freedom to choose what course is best for their learning needs and style. Courses like these help students after graduation hone their skills and enhance their knowledge of nursing content and test taking strategies.

Looking to the Future

A young person stands on

When we think about the decrease in NCLEX pass rates we need to think about what that means for the future. Will schools decrease their program sizes to try and increase NCLEX pass rates? Will that add to the nursing shortage our country is already facing? Will smaller schools risk losing their accreditation? Will the Next-Generation NCLEX bring the rates down even lower? Important questions that we don’t have answers to, yet.

Written by Feuer Nursing Review

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