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CGFNS stands for Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. It is an independent non-profit organization sponsored by The American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing.

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is a internationally recognized leader in the education, registration and licensure of healthcare professionals worldwide. CGFNS protects the public in relation to evolving healthcare policies and standards of professional practice for migrating healthcare professionals.

The CGFNS examination has been prepared by nurses, leading U.S. educators and practitioners. It tests a nurse's knowledge in the areas of Medical, Surgical, Obstetric, Pediatric and Psychiatric Nursing.

Also it covers the five areas of the nursing process, assessing, analyzing, planning, implementing and evaluating for which first level registered nurses are taught in the U S. The examination is designed and molded in such a way as to measure an applicant's qualification and background in the practice of nursing and proficiency in the English Language, which is imperative in this context.

Passing the CGFNS qualifying examination is the first step to be taken by a foreign nurse graduate who wants to practice nursing in U.S.A.

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 nurses in the United States are the CGFNS Certification Program (CP) and the CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) . The BCIS requires the VisaScreen Certificate from CGFNS for healthcare professionals seeking an occupational visa in order to work in the U.S.

Certification Program (CP):
The CGFNS Certification Program is a three-part program designed to predict an applicant’s likelihood of passing the NCLEX-RN examination and becoming licensed as a registered nurse in the United States. The three parts of the program include:
1. Credentials Review (Conducted by Credential Evaluation Service)
2. Qualifying Examination of nursing knowledge

    The CGFNS Qualifying Exam is open to first-level, general (registered) nurses ONLY.
  • Must hold an initial and current registration/licensure as a first level general nurse in their country.
  • Must have obtained theoretical instruction and clinical experience in a variety of nursing areas.

3. English Language Proficiency Examinations
Demonstrate competence in oral and written English by passing the following exams:

    Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 540 and higher on the hand written exam or 207 and higher on the computerized exam .& .Test of Written English (TWE) with a score of 4.0 and higher & Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a score of 50 and higher


    Test of English in International Communication (TOEIC) with a score of 725 and higher & Test of Written English (TWE) with a score of 4.0 and higher &Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a score of 50 and higher


    For the MELAB, Parts 1, 2, and 3 and the Speaking Test, applicants must submit a combined score of 79, with at least a 3+ on the Speaking Test.


    International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.5 and a spoken band score of 7.0 (Academic Module)

Applicants must successfully complete all three parts of the Certification Program in order to earn the CGFNS Certification.

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, an employer, etc.) as well as a copy to you, at which time the Board will determine whether or not you are eligible to take the national licensing examination for nurses in the United States--the NCLEX-RN? or NCLEX-PN? Examination--This is required for all nurses in order to practice in the U.S.

VisaScreen Certificate:
The International Commission on Health Care Professions is a division of CGFNS is launched in 1996 to administer its VisaScreen program, which is a federally approved screening program for foreign healthcare workers seeking an occupational visa in the United States. VisaScreen enables healthcare professionals to meet this requirement by verifying and evaluating their credentials to ensure that they meet the government’s minimum eligibility standards. Applicants who successfully complete VisaScreen receive a VisaScreen Certificate.

International nurses must satisfy the screening requirements that include:

  • An assessment of an applicant’s foreign education to ensure that it is comparable to that of a U.S. graduate in the same profession

  • Verification that the applicant’s licenses are valid and unencumbered

  • Determination of English language proficiency

  • Verification that the nurse has CGFNS Certification or passed the NCLEX-RN

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