What every nurse needs to know about the CGFNS
Step by step process for CGFNS application
1. Application process: Apply online on the CGFNS Connect system. Create new account and select appropriate service required.
2. Submit Documents: All the documents needed have to be ready and submitted. Documents needed are based on service needed.
3. Upload Photo: Upload your recent passport size photo.
4. CGFNS Exam: Complete the CGFNS exam.
5. English Exam: Complete the required English exam.
A nurse who plans to work in the United States needs to know all about the CGFNS. CGFNS is the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. CGFNS is an organization that has the authority to evaluate the credentials of nurses who are planning to relocate to the USA. The CGFNS verifies the educational qualification, registration of the nurse and the license to practice.
Remember that NCLEX is a licence exam that you will have to pass compulsorily. Whereas CGFNS helps to check your education and certifies if it is comparable to nursing education in USA. Each state nursing boards have different criteria. But, some boards have a requirement that the CGFNS verification has to be completed before sitting for NCLEX.
Services offered by CGFNS
1. Certification Program (CP): This is a certifying exam for general nurses from other countries. It is also certification of secondary level nurses and their education. The nurse can sit for the English exam (IELTS). Once the exam is completed, the CGFNS Certification Program Certificate is provided to the candidate. This makes the nurse to be eligible to sit for NCLEX in any state. Please note that the CGFNS Certification Program Certificate has life long validity. The CP or Certification Program is the complete process including the qualifying exam, credential evaluation and registration. The advantage of the certification program is that it is valid for life.
2. The CGFNS Professional report: The CGFNS Professional report provides the details and analysis of all credentials earned at different levels in nursing education. It could be your Bachelors course, Masters course, PhD or other courses completed outside United States. This is then compared with the standards required in the USA and a report is made. This report is specific to the requirements of any state in the USA.
Benefit of the CGFNS Professional report: Nurses can use this CGFNS Professional report for obtaining license to practice in a US state. Nurses can also use this report for immigration purposes and for employment purposes.
3. CGFNS Academic report:The CGFNS Academic report provides the details of your education and their credentials are compared to the education in the USA.
Benefit of the CGFNS Academic report: This report is mainly for the students who would like to undergo a course in the USA. The education already obtained in another country is checked so that you can obtain admission in another course. This report is for students who would like to continue their education in the USA.
4. Visa Credentials Assessment (VS) certification This is a screening process for nurses(and also few other healthcare professionals). This certification is necessary to obtain a temporary or a permanent visa to work in the USA. Visa Screen process includes an assessment to check if your education is on par with the education in your home country. It also ensures if any of the license to practice that you hold are valid. During the Visa screening process, it is also verified if nurses have completed the CGFNS exams successfully. After the Visa screening process, the candidate will be able to get a ICHP certificate. This is as per the requirements of the US Federal screening process.
As per the Illegal Immigration Reform Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, a certificate from the CGFNS is mandatory for nurses from foreign countries. In Section 343, the Act talks about the Certification requirements for foreign health-care workers. It was amended in Section 212(a)(5) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(5)) and CGFNS with their standardized tests would be able to assess the competency of the applicant.
CGFNS Exam and certification
An exam is also conducted by the organization that is mandatory for all nurses to practice as a nurse in most of the states in the US. This CGFNS exam not only tests the knowledge of the nurse, but it also tests the English skills of the nurse. There are 5 major steps any nurse will have to face to obtain this certification.
Step by Step process for CGFNS certification in detail
- Applying though the CGFNS connect system
- Submission of documents for review
- Provide a recent photograph in appropriate format
- Clear the CGFNS qualifying exam
- Submission of English language test score
Each of these steps are explained comprehensively so that any nurse who wants to work in the USA will find all the information relevant and necessary.
Applying though the CGFNS connect system
Any nurse who is registered in her home country after qualifying from a recognized programme is eligible to apply through this system. Nurse assistants are not eligible to apply for CGFNS.
- You have to visit the site at https://www.cgfns.org/cerpassweb/login.jsp
- Create a new account by entering all the details required and then create the new user. This will lead you to the verification step when you have to verify through the email registered. There are more instructions that need to be followed for you to complete this step.
- You have the choice of selecting the type of service required by you. Once this is selected, you will be taken to the second stage of the process
Submission of documents for review
There are a number of documents that will have to be submitted for this process to be complete. This may vary from person to person, but the common documents that have to be submitted are listed here.
- You have to submit your school completion certificate. This document is only needed for those who have completed their education in the past 10 years and waived for others.
- Each of your certifications as a nurse have to be validated. For this to be completed, the validation request is made and you will be able to download a form. This form has to be completed by the authority that is certifying your registration. In India, it is the respective state nursing councils. They will send the form directly to the CGFNS organization.
- The transcript of the professional education needs to be submitted. This too cannot be submitted directly by the candidate. But, only the form can be downloaded by the candidate. The school where the nurse completed the nursing education has to submit the transcript directly to the CGFNS.
Provide a recent photograph in appropriate format
A recent color photograph has to be uploaded. The photo should be in JPG file format and it should be less than 5MB. Make sure that the photograph is square.
Clear the CGFNS qualifying exam
If you need to immigrate to the United States, one of the criteria is qualifying in the CGFNS exam. Once you complete the application for this exam, you will be provided with a notification, which is the ‘Authorization to Test’. This will be received by you through email. You can choose the test dates between a window period of 5 days, but you can select any one day that is convenient for you.
Submission of English language test score
You have to submit the scores of any of the following tests for you to complete the CGFNS application process. IELTS, TOEFL (either the paper based test or the internet based test) or the Test of English for International communication scores can be submitted.
Once all these steps are completed successfully, you are ready to immigrate to the USA! Bon Voyage!
Costs involved in CGFNS report
Professional Report on Credentials Evaluation application fee: If you are educated anywhere outside United States, you will need a license for practicing your profession in USA. The credential report is crucial for you to obtain this license. The cost of this application is $350.00
Fast Service: A quick review of your application, post submission, is possible for an additional fee of $250.00
Reprocess Application fee: If your application expires, you can reprocess it once and the fee for this is $160.00. Reprocessing can be done only once and for an additional year.
Re-evaluation: A new report is prepared even though the initial report has been provided. The cost of re-evaluation is $210.00
Recipients of Additional report: You can send the credential report to more than one recipient. And the cost of each of these additional reports is $100.00
English proficiency report: If a state requires English proficiency as part of the evaluation. This can be provided at a cost of $85.00
Duplicate report: If you require an unofficial copy of your credential evaluation report, you can obtain it for $75.00
Pass rate in NCLEX Registered nurse exams in 2017 till September
US Educated nurses
The pass rate for first time applicants who completed their education in US is 87.85% out of the total of 1,43,408 applicants.
Of the repeat candidates who were US educated, 45.73% of the 30,830 applicants passed the exam.
Internationally Educated nurses
The pass rate for first time internationally Educated nurses is 38.68% out of the total of 10,336 nurses.
In the repeat internationally Educated nurse candidates, only 22.79% candidates of the 12,671 applicants passed the exam.
The above statistics about the nurses passing the NCLEX exam shows that US educated nurses have a high pass rate. Also, when the pass rate of Registered nurses and practical nurses are considered, it has been noted that RN’s have a fail rate more than Practical Nurses.