If you are a licensed nurse in the UK and thinking about making a move across the pond, you probably have tons of questions. Will my UK license transfer into the US? What papers do I need? Do I need to go to school in the US? All of these and more are important to ask. To help you get answers, we have collected five important steps to becoming a nurse in the US.
1. States count – Because there is no national nursing license in the US, it is important to know which state you would like to work in. Each has their own State Nursing License Boards and different criteria for importing nurses.
2. CGFNS – The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools is an organization dedicated to helping foreign nurses get work in the United States. They have a certification program designed for first level nurses educated and licensed outside of the US.
3. NCLEX-RN – The National Council of State Boards of Nursing conducts this exam for all nurses in the US seeking a license as a registered nurse. The exam is a staple of getting a license, no matter which state you plan to work in. Working with the CGFNS can help you determine if you are ready to take their NCLEX-RN exam. If not, it might be advisable to:
4. Go to school in the US – By getting accepted into an accredited school of nursing in the US, you may be granted a student visa. If serious about your move to the US to study nursing, apply to various schools that meet your criteria, see which you get into, and then contact them to learn more about getting a student visa, tuition costs, financial aid, and more.
5. Work visa – If you meet the educational qualifications to become a nurse in the US, you can begin applying for nursing jobs. Because of the nursing shortage in the US, it is possible for a potential employer to prove that they cannot find a local to do the job and issue you a visa/work permit. Once you have the education/licensing requirements, job offer, and correct papers, you can move to the US to begin your new life as an American nurse.
Brooke Stafford is a nursing practitioner student and also writes for Family Nurse Practitioner Degrees. The site helps students find the right nurse practitioner degree to fit their needs.