I have received number of question regarding the requirement and processing to be eligible to sit for NCLEX-RN exam from the foreign nurses who are residing in different States of the United States. Although I had thought of sharing my experiences and challenges faced while processing the documents in CGFNS board and Texas Nursing Board, due to heavy study loads of Nurse Practitioner school I was not able to do so. Anyway, I came here in the United States in February, 2011 and at that time I only knew I had to give NCLEX-RN exam to be Registered Nurse of Texas, but I did not know the steps to be able to sit in that exam. I started researching on my own through google. Google is great, just type a word that you want to search then it will provide you tremendous amount of information. However, finding the reliable and correct information depends on the sources of information available on the internet. Each certifying body has their own site and if you look at their website you will be able to find the desired and correct information that you are looking for. I used to search randomly it took time for me to understand those things. Believe it or not, a habit of searching independently has helped me tremendously for my professional and personal growth. I am studying MSN-FNP online, felt convenient to address the online issues and sometimes I found myself offering suggestions to my colleagues. Trust me! I know it will take time to find right information or understand a thing or process, but develop a habit to do independent search because it will help you grow in some level.
Every State has their rules and regulations for foreign nurse to obtain RN license. Go through the website of Board of Nursing (For instance, Texas Board of Nursing, California Board of Nursing, Colorado Board of Nursing, etc.) and look for the requirement and process to submit the application. According to my understanding, most of the States (there are some exception as well) ask you to evaluate your educational credentials from CGFNS where I did mine. Since, I was the first student who applied to CGFNS from my University; I had to face troubles while evaluating my documents. Sometimes, they asked clarification for the clinical and theory hours for psychiatric and sometimes for the geriatric. It was so exhausting to wait for a long time and again had to send another documents. During that time, one nurse suggested me that I can ask my University to send whole curriculum/syllabus because she knew a nurse who did the same and that eased her problem. I did the same and surprisingly that made my process faster without more queries and as a result I got my CES Report. I started my process in February and got CES Report in June (within four months).
Next step after getting CES report is to apply for Board of Nursing. You do not have to send CES report to board of nursing because CGFNS will send it directly. At this time, visit your Board of Nursing website for the next step. I have used Board of Nursing online chat box, phone, and email options to communicate the Board of Nursing for my next step about the process, so you can also search the way to communicate them using the contact information in 'contact us' area. Then, you had to send paper or online application, fingerprint and also need to register for the Pearson/Vue, after that only you will receive Authorization to Test (ATT) from your board. I received my Authorization to Test (ATT) in 27th September and took my exam date for 22nd November. When I applied to the Pearson/Vue, I started preparing for the exam and took Kaplan Online Class, which helped me significantly to pass the NECLEX-RN exam and to be a Registered Nurse. Just do step-by-step and do follow up every time by understanding the estimated time that will take usually for your process. Stay committed because you already decided you will work as a RN in the United States, but don't get overwhelmed or panicked by the challenges that you have to face. Explore more options, but never give up because there should be some way or some person or some words that will come or you may find as a solution.
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."