Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGNFS) Qualifying
This exam is required from graduates of nursing schools
located outside of the United States of America who are interested
in practicing as registered nurses in the U.S.
The CGNFS qualifying examination is a
test of the candidates’ nurse knowledge and their understanding
and use of the english language. They will be awarded a CGNFS
Certificate when they have passed both the nursing section
and english language section of the examination.
To be allowed to work as a registered nurse, the candidate
must have a license in the state they desire to work. Licenses
are issued by the Boards of Nursing in the particular state
the individual is to work. For that, candidates must pass
the state licensing examinations (NCLEX). Most Boards of Nursing
require a foreign nurse graduate to get the CGNFS certificate
The CGNFS qualifying examination is multiple choice, objective
test. It is made up of three test booklets: two for testing
nursing knowledge and one for testing english language ability.
The duration of the test is one day.
This exam is given three times a year on the same day all
around the world.
Applications and forms can be obtained from CGNFS:
Commission on Graduates of
Foreign Nursing Schools
3600 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
Phone (215) 222-8454
Fax (215) 662-0425
Registering for the NCLEX Examination:
The registration fee for the NCLEX examination is US $200.00
(standard price). Registration may be done over the web, mail
or phone .
Once a foreign-trained applicant has completed the requirements
of CGNFS then the candidate may apply for licensure in the
State of their choice. They will apply to the chosen state
by examination by submitting a complete license application,
fee, and all other requested documents (see licensing screens
for the other required documentation). After a license application
is approved by the State Licensing Board to which the candidate
applies and registration for the NCLEX examination is complete,
the candidate will receive an “Authorization to Test”.
After receiving the authorization letter, the candidate may
schedule NCLEX examination appointment through the NCLEX
Candidate Web Site
contact Pearson VUE Customer Service to register for a location
most convenient and to register for the exam. The Candidate
has 30 days to register from the receipt of the authorization
to test letter.
A maximum of 5 hours is allowed for a candidate to complete
the exam. The exam is computer based.
NCLEX Examination Results
The candidate will not receive the results at the test site.
Results are mailed (normal mail only) directly to the board
within 48 hours after the candidate has completed the examination.
If the candidate fails the examination, he/she may take the
exam up to a maximum of 4 times. There must be 91 test free
days between each examination.
State Boards of RN Licensing
Once the board receives the passing examination scores,
the candidate will be issued a permanent license. Please
see the licensing screens, some states issue temporary licenses
to examination candidates to practice while pending their
For foreign-trained candidates already licensed in the US
and have already taken the NCLEX examination, may apply to
other State licensing boards by endorsement. Most States
require the applicant to submit a completed application,
fee, and verification from Examination State. Please also
look at the attached “RN/LPN Licensure Time Frame” chart
for turn around times on verifications, temporary licenses,
and permanent licenses. Please keep in mind that these time
frames are only estimated and are subject to change any time.