How to Employ Foreign Nurses - Options to US Visas for Nurses
How to Employ Foreign Doctors in the U.S. - US Visas for Doctors
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As a foreign educated nurse seeking work in the united states, there are some basic federal immigration law requirements that a foreign educated nurse would need to meet.
First, IMMIGRATION, the nurse will need to legally migrate to the United States, and they will need either a Green Care (a Registered Nurse Immigrant Visa) or a H-1B visa or even a EB-2 National Interest Waiver Green Card.
Second, EDUCATION/PROFESSIONAL, the nurse will need to demonstrate their educational or professional background. That the nurse has graduated from an accredited nursing education program, that they have a license as a RN in another country, that the Nurse has practiced for at least two years before. Some will be required to take an exam such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
Third, EVALUATION, they will need to have their credentials evaluated by an accrediting agency such as CGFNS.org; to ensure that the background an experience is comparable to the requirements of the State they are applying for and to satisfy the state board requirements.
Fourth, EXAM, the foreign-educated nurse will need to pass a licensing exam in the State where they plan to work. Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is the basic requirement that will satisfy the visa screening requirements.
Fifth, FIND POSITION, once you meet the federal immigration requirements, have had your credentials evaluated, met your State Board of Nursing requirements, passed the licensure exam, you are then ready to begin work. You may the choose to work with a nursing recruiter to help you find work or you may work directly work for and through the recruiting company. The recruiters has a set of Ethical International Recruitment Practices Certified Ethical Recruiter standards to abide by.
The following are more details on the course ahead from a fantastic website nurse.org:
8-Steps To Work In The U.S. As A Nurse
- Meet the educational requirements
- Take and pass an English language proficiency test, if mandated.
- Obtain credential evaluation
- Pass your National Council Licensing Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX – RN)
- Find a nursing recruiting agency or US-based employer
- Apply and obtain an RN immigrant visa/green card
- RN visa interview and medical examination
- Accept an RN position
First and foremost, international educated nurses must meet basic education requirements. These include:
- Graduation from an accredited Registered Nursing program
- Licensing as a Registered Nurse (RN)
- Experience practicing as an RN for at least two years
Licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and patient care assistants are not eligible to transfer their licenses to the United States.
English Language Proficiency Tests
Nurses who went to nursing school in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada (except Quebec), or Ireland are exempt as are those whose spoken language in nursing school was English and/or the nursing school textbooks were written in English.
Pass The NCLEX Examination
After ensuring you meet the education and language requirements it’s time to apply for the NCLEX in the state of intended employment. Registration with Pearson Vue is required and costs $200 plus additional foreign fees.
According to the webpage, NCLEX examinations are currently administered in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Taiwan.
Credentials Evaluation And Reports
The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is a company that is employed by State Boards of Nursing to ensure that applicants meet the basic requirements and are fit to take the NCLEX.
Established in 1977 after a thorough investigation of the immigration of foreign-born and educated registered nurses, the U.S. Department of State and Labor developed the Commission with a dual purpose: to ensure safe patient care to Americans and to help prevent the exploitation of graduates from foreign nursing schools who are employed in the United States to practice.
This company specifically will go through all nursing school transcripts and education history from your home country. While this company is the most popular and most well known – it is expensive and each state requires different levels of credentialing.
There are three main credentialing reports:
- Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report
- CGFNS Certification Program
- Visa Credentials Assessment
Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report
This report is less involved and cheaper than the Certificate Program or VisaScreen. It provides the basic information for the State Board of Nursing and only a handful of states accept this. Below are the requirements you’ll need to mee:
- English Requirement
- Secondary School Documents
- Licensure Documents from your Home Country
- Nursing Education Documents from your Home Country
- $350 Fee
CGFNS Certification Program
- Everything in a Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report
- CGFNS Qualifying Exam
- $445 Fee
VisaScreen: Visa Credentials Assessment
- International Education Research Foundation
- Educational Records Evaluation Service
Obtain Employment Visa “Work Visa”
Agencies are well versed in helping nurses work in the U.S. and have systems in place in order to ensure all information and paperwork is completed accurately.
Mexican And Canadian Nurses - TN Visa
H-1B Temporary Work Visa
It is important to note that there a very limited number of H-1C visas available to nurses who want to work in very specific hospitals in underserved communities.
Permanent Work Visa
EB-2 National Interest Waiver Green Card
Nurses NOT Eligible To Work In The United States
Unfortunately, not all foreign-educated nurses are eligible to work in the United States. These include but are not limited to:
- Nurses with less than two years experience
- Nurses lacking a four-year nursing degree
- Individuals who have committed a crime
- Nurses who lack sponsorship from a reputable nursing agency
FOR PERSONALIZED ATTENTION OF LEGAL COUNSEL
Free Initial Review and Consultation
For a confidential consultation call/text at (954)445-5503 or email me at BAM@HealthcareAttorney.Net
Ben Assad Mirza, Esq., CHC, CPA, JD, LLM, MPHA
Important Note: If you need legal advice that is more state law specific than what is required by Federal Statutes, please advise us so we may connect you with the right legal counsel licensed in the state you are inquiring about.