Welcome Internationally Educated Nurses

Answers to some of your most frequently asked questions

Int'l Nurses

At Feuer Nursing Review we specialize in training for international nurses. As a matter of fact, our President Angelica Feuer started her nursing career in Chile.

We have prepared a list of questions you might be asking to help you clear any confusion. Feel free to contact us directly if you have a question that is not answered below.

What are the educational requirements to become an RN/LPN in the U.S.?

There are three general requirements:

  1. You need to have completed nursing school from an accredited nursing program.
  2. Being a licensed RN/LPN.
  3. Having practiced as an RN for at least 2 years.

Can I work as a registered nurse in the U.S. without any previous working experience?

If you have not worked for a minimum of two years after you have graduated from your nursing school, most state boards will not license you until you complete an FEN (Foreign Educated Nurses) refresher course. You need to check with the Board of Nursing (BON) of the state where you are planning to work to verify if the course is required.

What does an FEN refresher course consist of?

You can find a Foreign Educated Nurses review course through an online search.

How can I find an FEN refresher course?

You can find a Foreign Educated Nurses review course through an online search.

Will I need to pass an English test?

Depending on which country you are from, you will be required to take one of the following tests:

  1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) *Most commonly required
  2. TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication)
  3. IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

What is the purpose of the TOEFL exam?

This test is used as an evaluation of English proficiency and readiness for academic programs. You can visit www.TOEFL.org for more information.

Is there any chance I might be excused from taking the English exam?

You may be excused from taking the TOEFL exam if satisfy the following:

  1. You attended nursing school in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada (except Quebec) or the Republic of Ireland.
  2. The spoken language of your nursing school was English
  3. Your nursing school textbooks were written in English

What steps do I need to take to get my nursing license in the U.S.?

Step 1: Contact the BON of the state you want to practice to find out requirements and specific documents needed. These requirements vary state by state.
Request an application packet for licensure for nurses trained outside the U.S.
Step 2: Complete the Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) request form through the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Visit www.CGFNS.org to download the form.
Step 3: Pass the TOEFL exam (if required).
Step 4: Submit your complete application (from step 1) to the Board of Nursing.
Step 5: The BON will determine your eligibility to take the NCLEX RN/LPN exam once all required documents are reviewed (CGFNS report, TOEFL test results and completed application packet).
Step 6: Register and pay $200 with Pearson VUE via the internet, telephone or regular mail. You will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) by email or regular mail.
Step 7: Schedule the date and location of your NCLEX exam. If for any reason you cannot attend your scheduled date of exam, you will be required to reregister without a refund.
Note: The name with which you register for the test will be printed on your authorization to test (ATT) and must match the name on your identification you bring to the Pearson Center.

Do I need to take an NCLEX preparation course before registering for my NCLEX exam?

It is highly recommended that you take a comprehensive NCLEX review course that will address you learning style and needs to increase your chances of passing the exam.

What documents do I need to get an RN immigrant visa green card?

To get an RN immigrant visa card you will need evidence of a US based employer who will be the petitioner (I.e. A Hospital or recruiting agency) and a Visa Screen Certificate (VSC) by the international commission on Health Care Professionals (ICHP)

International and Foreign Trained Nurses

Feuer Nursing Review has long history of helping international and foreign trained nurses pass the NCLEX. Angelica Feuer, President of FNR is herself a nurse who studied in Chile then took a Feuer review with Helen Feuer to help her obtain her RN license!

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
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:

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Canada (except Quebec, the only schools approved for exemption are: McGill University, Dawson College, Vanier College, John Abbott College, and Heritage College)
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • United States


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:

S. law requires nurses to complete a screening program before they can receive an occupational visa.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security approves CGFNS to validate the credentials of nine foreign healthcare professions for occupational visas, including registered nurses.
Completing CGFNS' VisaScreen®: Visa Credentials Assessment Service will satisfy the screening program requirement.
You will need a "U.S.-based employer" to serve as your visa's petitioner. Your VisaScreen® certificate must be included on every visa or green card petition filed on your behalf.

Confirmation of Credentials
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
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:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • England
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Japan
  • Philippines
  • Puerto Rico
  • Taiwan
  • South Africa-Johannesburg

What Happens If You Don't Pass the NCLEX?
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
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.

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.

We'd love to hear from you, talk to us today!

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