About CGFNS - Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools

A Global resource for international healthcare professionals.

CGFNS is an independent, not-for-profit and immigration-neutral organization committed to protecting the public by ensuring that foreign-educated healthcare professionals are eligible and qualified to meet licensure and other U.S. practice requirements. CGFNS is not a government organization, nor does it recruit international professionals for employment in the U.S.

The two main programs that CGFNS offers that are required by the majority of the U.S. Boards of Nursing in order to obtain registration/licensure as a nurse in the United States are the CGFNS Certification Program (CP) and the CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service (CES). A third program is geared specifically towards New York State and is called the CGFNS Credentials Verifcation Services (CVS) for New York State. The USCIS requires the VisaScreen™ certificate from CGFNS for healthcare professionals seeking an occupational visa in order to work in the U.S.

The CGFNS Certification Program (CP)

The CGFNS Certification Program (CP) is designed specifically for first-level general (Registered) nurses educated outside the United States who wish to pursue a career in the U.S. as registered nurses. The program is comprised of three parts: a credentials review of your nursing education, registration and licensure; the CGFNS Qualifying Exam testing nursing knowledge (offered four times a year in over 40 test sites worldwide); and an English language proficiency examination. In order to be eligible for the CGFNS Qualifying Exam, you must have completed a minimum number of hours of both classroom instruction and clinical practice in Adult Medical/Surgical Nursing, Maternal/Infant Nursing (Obstetrics), excluding Gynecology, Care of Children (Pediatrics), and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, excluding Neurology. If you have not completed any and/or an insufficient number of hours in each of the above areas, you will be ineligible to take the CGFNS Qualifying Exam until you complete an entire course (both theory and clinical) in the deficient area from a government-approved nursing school. You must also have been registered (1) as a first-level (Registered) nurse in your country of education, and (2) currently hold a registration/license as a Registered Nurse in some jurisdiction. Verification of both registrations must be sent to CGFNS directly from the licensing body(ies).

1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Passing Score: 540 (paper/pencil version)
207 (computerized version)
2. Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)
Administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Passing Score: 725
3. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Administered by IELTS International
Passing Score: 6.5 Overall (Academic Module)
You must apply directly with any of the following institutions in order to schedule an examination date:
Educational Testing Service
PO Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 USA
Tel: (609) 771-7100
Website: www.ets.org
TOEIC Testing Program
Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Rosedale Road, MS 49-N
Princeton, NJ 08541 USA
Tel: 1 (800) 241-5393
FAX: (609) 683-2667
Email: toeic@ets.org
Website: www.ets.org/toeic
IELTS International
100 East Corson Street, Suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91103 USA
Tel: (626) 564-2954
Email: ielts@ceii.org
Website: www.ielts.org

All English language proficiency scores are valid for up to two years from the date of administration. Passing scores on both the CGFNS Qualifying Exam and an approved English proficiency examination must be attained within two years of each other in order for both scores to be accepted as successful completion of the Certification Program. Scores must be forwarded to CGFNS by the examining institution. After successfully completing all three parts of the Certification Program, an applicant is awarded a CGFNS CP Certificate.

The Credentials Evaluation Service (CES)

The CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) is a report prepared by CGFNS for a Board of Nursing, university, immigration office, employer, etc. This report analyzes the education and licensure earned outside of the United States in terms of how it compares with U.S. standards and expectations. There is no examination included in this program. Once all documentation, fees and a completed application are received, a report will be prepared and submitted to the recipient (i.e., Board of Nursing, U.S. college/university, an employer, etc.). A copy will also be issued to the applicant. The Board of Nursing will determine whether or not the applicant is eligible to take the national licensing examination for nurses in the United States – the NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN® examination – which is required for all nurses in order to practice in the U.S.

The CGFNS® Credentials Verification Services (CVS) for New York State

The New York State Education Department requires that foreign-educated registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapy assistants obtain independent verification of the authenticity of their credentials verification service. CGFNS has been authorized to provide this service.

The Credentials Verification Services (CVS) program independently collects and verifies the authenticity of an applicant's educational and licensure/registration credentials. Once verified, the credentials are forwarded to the New York State Education Department to be evaluated as part of the applicants licensure application. The CVS is a report on the foregoing documents only.

CGFNS assumes no responsibility for, and makes no analysis or determinations as to the comparability or sufficiency of the applicant's education or that the applicant has met any licensure requirements.