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A rundown of license requirements for an overseas nurse

Are you a registered nurse? Do you want to work in the United States?

Whether you are in the Philippines, India or Australia, there are visa and paperwork requirements that you need to consider. Of course, this can vary from one state to the next. there are some common elements that aspiring US nurses need to know about before embarking on their journey to live and work in the US.

Here, the Conexus Medstaff team runs through everything you need to know about licensing requirements for international nurses. 

Professional/graduation certificates 

US healthcare employers require all nurses to have completed a state-approved nursing program or international certificate from a recognized university. Candidates with relevant international certificates are still recognized but may need to prove actual work experience in a professional institution, usually a hospital. 

It is worth noting that international workers must still seek specific licensure from the state they are hoping to work in to become fully registered. 

Pass the NCLEX-RN examination

The National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX) is a nationally recognized examination for the licensing of nurses. It serves as a requirement across all states. The NCLEX-RN aims to determine if it is safe for you to begin practice as an entry-level nurse in the US. 

English language 

You will undoubtedly already know that to live and work in the US, you will need to pass the IELTS before your visa can be issued. 

IELTS opens a world of opportunity for international registered nurses. It is the world’s most popular English proficiency test for international study, migration, and work, with over 3 million tests taken in the last year. 

The IELTS is accepted by the US Government and US Visa and Immigration department. It ensures that non-native English speakers have the required English skills and English ability to live and work in the USA. It is designed to reflect the sort of language spoken every day in an English-speaking country and will assess you on listening, reading, writing and speaking. 

CEUs

Current Continued Education Units (CEUs) are required by many states for licensure by endorsement. A CEU is a unit of credit equal to 10 hours of participation in an accredited program. It’s designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice various professions.

Self-report 

Nurses need to self-report all criminal convictions, including any juvenile convictions, as well as any chemical dependencies, and functional ability deficits. 

Original transcripts and documentation 

Original copies of your degrees and certificates need to be provided, often direct from the institution that you got them from to mitigate the risk of fraud. Such documents may not be accepted if they are not mailed from the educational facility. 

Additional information: Levels of nurses

The USA has requirements for different types and levels of nurses (although Conexus Medstaff usually focuses on just one - Registered Nurses). 

Registered Nurses (RN)

RNs have the largest patient/resident responsibilities, including managing a patient’s care plan and deploying main tests such as physical exams, cardiology and neonatology care. NOTE: If this fits your need as a client or skills as a nurse, get in touch with us today. Other parts of the structure include Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), plus support aides and nursing assistants.

The State-to-State Factor

Typically, your working permit/visa in the US will specify your employability in one state. Each state sets its own legislation and also has different demands for nurses operating within them. Therefore, it is always worth consulting with an expert in this field. 


Download your free copy of our Official Guide to Getting US Ready - the training program for international nurses working in the US

Conexus Medstaff helps international nursing professionals secure their dream role in the US. We’re with you from day one, assisting with all necessary paperwork and ensuring your skills, qualifications and experience match up with our roles. 

Our bespoke US Ready learning program focuses on your smooth transition to a US healthcare facility workforce. This educational program is a custom set of training modules for international nurses taking up a placement with Conexus Medstaff. Designed by our in-house Clinical Nurse Educator, the US Ready course will help to make sure you are as fully prepared as you can be for your move to the US. 

Download your free copy of Getting US Ready with Conexus Medstaff today! 

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