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  • The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is an immigration-neutral, nonprofit organization and is an internationally recognized authority on credentials evaluation pertaining to the education, registration, and licensure of nurses and other healthcare professionals worldwide. CGFNS protects the public by ensuring that nurses and other healthcare professionals educated in countries other than the United States are eligible and qualified to meet licensure, immigration and other practice requirements in the United States.


    1. A completed CGFNS Application
      • You can apply to CGFNS programs in one of three ways:
        • Request a copy of the application from CGFNS by mail or phone.
        • Apply online
        • Download application forms, complete them and send to CGFNS.
    2. A FULL transcript with an official school seal/stamp
      • Mailed to CGFNS directly from your nursing school, verifying the total number of hours of classroom instruction (theory) and hours of clinical practice you completed in each of the courses you completed during your professional training/nursing program.
      • A validation of your original registration/license as a nurse
      • Mailed to CGFNS directly from the authority which issues registrations / licensure in your original country of education (if applicable). If your diploma gives you the right to practice nursing in your country, your nursing school or the Ministry of Health must also validate your diploma to CGFNS.
    3. A validation from any other licensing authority where you hold a license as a registered and/or practical nurse (if applicable).
    4. A photocopy of your secondary school diploma (high school);
      • OR, if you no longer have your original diploma, an official letter signed by the principal, with the school seal/stamp sent to CGFNS directly from your secondary school verifying your full dates of attendance and date of completion/graduation.
      • Note: This step is no longer required if you graduated from high school more than 10 years ago.

    All documentation must be sent to CGFNS via mail/courier; CGFNS will not accept any official documentation sent either by fax or email.

    The mailing address is:
    Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)
    3600 Market Street, Suite 400
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-2651


    STEP 1. Complete an application form. This can be found in the Certification Program Application Packet or can be obtained on-line at www.cgfns.org.

    STEP 2. Prepare and send a nursing education form. Section 1 is to be completed by the applicant, while Section 2 is to be completed by your school of nursing.

    STEP 3. Prepare and send a request for validation of registration/license form.

    STEP 4. CGFNS will open a file and send an identification number. The identification number is for record-keeping purposes only.

    STEP 5. CGFNS will review your credentials and notify you of eligibility status for the qualifying examination.

    Enclose the application fee in US dollars, drawn on a US bank. Send an international money order or certified bank check payable to CGFNS or pay with one of the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard or Discover/Novus. The first application and examination fee is $295.00.

    The Application fee can be paid by:
    • Credit card payment — CGFNS accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discovery/Novus (CGFNS does not accept American Express)
    • International money orders or certified bank checks made payable to “CGFNS”.
    • On-line when you complete your application at www.cgfns.org
    • Personal checks are not accepted.
    • Do not send cash in the mail.
    • All fees must be paid in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank.

    The full application fee must be paid before your application and file will be reviewed.
    The fee covers the expense of processing your application, reviewing your credentials, and preparing, administering and scoring your exam.


    2006-2007 Exam Dates
    CGFNS has announced the dates of its Qualifying Exam for 2006-2007. Application deadlines listed below cannot be extended. The dates and deadlines are as follows:

    Examination Date Deadline for NEW Applications Deadline for Re-Applications Location/Test Date Change Deadline
    September 19, 2007 June 20, 2007 July 18, 2007 July 11, 2007
    November 14, 2007 August 15, 2007 September 12, 2007 September 5, 2007

    Exam Schedule
    The exam schedule includes morning and afternoon sessions, plus a lunch break. The day will begin with morning registration, followed by Part I of the nursing exam, which contains 150 questions. Then there will be a lunch break and afternoon registration, followed by Part II of the exam which contains 110 questions. Before each part of the exam, a CGFNS staff member will give you an exam booklet containing instructions and questions. The instructions will be read aloud in English, while you read silently. The CGFNS exam supervisor will tell you when to begin working on the exam and when you must stop.

    Passing The Exam
    The passing score for the CGFNS Qualifying Examination is set at 400 out of 800 items in the examination.


    To access your exam schedule (“roster”) information, you must:
    • Go to the official CGFNS web site, www.cgfns.org
    • On the first web page, locate the link “ON-LINE EXAM SCHEDULE INFORMATION,” and click on this link
    • In the new window, enter your permanent CGFNS identification number
    • In the “Select CGFNS CP Exam Date” drop-down box, select an exam date
    • Click on the button labeled “SUBMIT”
    • Your exam schedule information will be displayed. you may print this page for your records. If you are not scheduled (“rostered”) for that exam, you will be advised.

    On the day of the exam, you will simply need to go to the location of your exam at the appointed time. It will no longer be necessary for you to wait for your admission permit to arrive in the mail, or to present your admission permit to CGFNS staff on the day of the exam. You must take at least one (1) form of official, government-issued photo identification (such as your passport) with you to the exam location. You will not be admitted to the exam without proper identification.

    Examples of acceptable identification:
    • Passport
    • Professional Regulation Commission ID card
    • Nursing license (if it contains your photograph)
    • United States state driver’s license (not an International Drivers Permit)

    Changing Exam Date or Location, Your Name or Address or Cancellation of Application
    If you need to change your scheduled exam center or exam date or desires to cancel your application, CGFNS should be informed no later than 10 weeks before the exam you requested. Request should be done in writing, signed or on-line. E-mail requests for change of date, location, or name and address will not be accepted at any time. In your letter requesting any of these changes, remember to include your CGFNS ID Number and birth date.

    At the Exam Center
    Plan to arrive at your Exam Center at the time your Exam Permit indicates. If you are late, regardless of the reason, you will not be admitted to the exam. By not admitting latecomers, we avoid disrupting the exam in progress and give everyone the same amount of time to take the exam.

    Family and friends are not permitted in the exam room, nor are books, papers, cameras, calculators, tape recorders, cellular phones or pagers. Wear comfortable clothes and do not bring valuable items or large amounts of money to the exam. You will be given two special pencils to use, but you should bring your own eraser and pencil sharpener.

    You also may bring your lunch, so you can be sure you will be back from the lunch break in time. You will not be allowed to eat or drink while the exam is in session.

    When you arrive, CGFNS exam staff will ask you to sign your name on a register. Bring a passport and official government issued identification that includes your photograph.

    In the exam room, please follow exactly the instructions that CGFNS staff members give you. The exam personnel and you must follow certain rules about seating arrangements and behavior during the exam. For example, staff will assign you a seat that you may not change; a staff member must accompany you if you have to leave the room; and you may not talk during the exam. No exceptions will be made to the rules. During the exam, CGFNS staff members observe all of the test takers to make sure everyone follows these instructions.

    Only applicants who are officially scheduled by the authority of the CGFNS Headquarters are authorized to take the exam. Scores obtained and applications submitted by unscheduled individuals will be invalid, null and void. Re-application for a future exam and the corresponding fee will need to be submitted.

    * Source:www.cgfns.org

    The NCLEX® examination is designed to test knowledge, skills and abilities essential to the safe and effective practice of nursing at the entry level. NCLEX examination results are an important component used by boards of nursing to make decisions about licensure.

    Eligibility Requirements
    To take the NCLEX examination, candidates must satisfy these requirements:

    • Apply for licensure in the state or territory in which you wish to be licensed.
    • Meet all of the board of nursing’s eligibility requirements to take the NCLEX examination.
    • Register for the examination.

    Application Steps

    STEP 1: Apply for licensure in the state or territory in which you wish to be licensed by downloading an application form from the website www.ncsbn.org. Meet all the board of nursing’s eligibility requirements to take the NCLEX examination.

    STEP 2: Register for the NCLEX Examination with Pearson VUE through any of the following methods:

    1. Registering on the web
      • Go to the NCLEX candidate website www.pearsonvue.com/nclex and select the registration option.
      • Answer each question as directed
      • Payment shall be done through VISA, MasterCard or American Express
    2. Registering by mail
      • Mail to: NCLEX Registration, P.O. Box 64950, St. Paul, MN 55164-0950
      • Enclose payment $200 certified check, cashier’s check or money order
    3. Registering by telephone
      • Call NCLEX candidate services at 1800-1611-0155
      • Before you call, complete the registration form
      • Pay by using valid Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card.

    STEP 3: Receive conformation of registration from Pearson Vue.

    STEP 4: The Board of Nursing makes the candidate eligible to take the NCLEX.

    STEP 5: Receive Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson Vue through mail or e-mail if you provided an e-mail address on your registration.

    • If more than 2 weeks have passed after you have submitted a registration for NCLEX examination and received confirmation from Pearson Vue, and you have not received an ATT, please call Pearson Vue.
    • The ATT contains your test authorization number, candidate identification number and expiration date. Each ATT is valid for a period of time specified by the state board of nursing (varies from 60 days to 365 days; however the average is 90 days).
    • You must test within the validity dates of your ATT. These validity dates cannot be extended for any reason.

    STEP 6: You may take the examination at any Pearson Professional Center (PPC) located in the USA or its territories through the NCLEX Candidate Web Site www.pearsonvue.com/nclex or by calling NCLEX Candidate Services.

    HONGKONG: Pearson Vue Hongkong
    Unit 503, 5/F Grand Millenium Plaza
    181 Queen’s Road Central Hingkong

    Exam Fees
    The fee for taking the NCLEX» examination is $200. You may also have to pay other fees for licensure required by the board of nursing in the jurisdiction in which you are applying.. If you choose to schedule your NCLEX examination at an international test center, you will have to pay an international scheduling fee of $150 plus a Value Added Tax (VAT) where applicable. These fees will be charged when you schedule your examination appointment.

    Exam Schedules
    When scheduling your examination appointment via the telephone of NCLEX Candidate Services, you will be asked your preference for date and time of testing at the Pearson Professional Center of your choice. Also when you schedule through NCLEX Candidate Website, you will be asked to supply your user ID and password, which you will receive with your ATT. Make a note of when and at which Pearson Professional Center you have been scheduled for the examination. *


    Passing The Exam
    There is no fixed percentage for passing or failing an NCLEX examination. Scores are reported on a pass/fail basis. The score is determined by comparing the individual's performance to an established standard for safe and effective entry-level nursing practice. NCLEX examination decisions are not based solely on how many questions a candidate answers correctly, but also on the difficulty of the questions a candidate answers correctly. CAT administers questions with difficulty levels so that each candidate will answer about half correctly; these questions provide the most information. Thus, all candidates answer about 50 percent correctly: passing candidates answer 50 percent of more difficult questions correctly, and failing candidates answer 50 percent of easier questions correctly.

    CAT Test

    CAT tests are assembled interactively and are unique. The test that you will face is tailor made and is based on your knowledge and skills. At the same time, the computer will ensure that you meet the NCLEX test plan requirements. The same test will not be available to any other candidate. The computer stores a lot of test questions in a question bank. As you answer the first question, the computer estimates your competence and makes a preliminary assessment. Based on this assessment, the computer selects another question from the question bank. As you answer the second question, the computer will assess, again, your competence. Then, it chooses a slightly intelligent question. This process is repeated for each question. Your exam continues, in this way, until the computer decides whether you have passed or failed the exam.

    The result of NCLEX exam is not decided based, only, on the number of questions that you have answered correctly. It is also based on how many difficult questions that you have answered correctly. As the computer asks you questions with difficulty levels, and if you answer about half of the questions correctly, then, these questions provide most of the information about your success or failure. Thereby, all candidates answer about 50 % correctly. However, those who have passed the test are those candidates who answer, correctly, 50 % of more, of the difficult questions. Those who have failed the test are those who answer, correctly, 50% or more of the easy questions.

    The idea of the CAT test is to sequence your questions. First, the computer asks a relatively easy question. If you answer it correctly, then, it asks a slightly difficult question. As you continue answering correctly, the questions will get more and more difficult. When you start giving the wrong answers, then, the subsequent questions will become easier and easier until you start answering them correctly again. Then, again, you will start getting difficult questions. Each time you answer one question correctly, the next is difficult. Each time you answer one question incorrectly, the next question is easier. This process continues until a point where you answer 50% of the questions correctly. That point denotes your competence level. This is why all candidates’ end up answering, correctly, about 50 percent of the questions.

    After you have answered the minimum number of questions, the computer compares your competence level to the passing standard and makes one of three decisions:

    • If you are above the passing standard, you are considered to have passed the exam and your exam will be stopped.
    • If you are below the passing standard, then you are considered to have failed the exam and your exam will be stopped.
    • If your competence level is nearer to the passing standard but the computer is still not sure about whether you have passed the exam or not, then, the computer will keep on asking you questions.

    When you are taking the test, to judge how you are progressing, the computer screen will also contain a performance assessment box (PAB). PAB is a large box that is seen in the middle of the page. The box will have a vertical bar. That bar represents the passing point. Your performance is denoted by an ‘X’. For instance if your ‘X’ is close to the vertical bar, then, it is an indication that you are close to passing the test. If your ‘X’ is situated away from the vertical bar, then, you are very far from passing the test. Another indication about how you are progressing in the test, is the number of questions that you have answered. Based on that, you can quickly decide whether you need to take any further questions to pass the exam or stop the exam. The computer will also assess where your weaknesses exist.

    Rules for stopping and passing the NCLEX Exam:

    • Your NCLEX examination will end when you have answered the maximum number of questions or when the time limit is completed. Besides that, exam will also be stopped if your pass or fail status has been decided.

    Your NCLEX exam will come to an end if:

    • your measure of competence is known to be above or below the passing standard with at least 95 percent confidence (is significantly above or below the standard) and at least the minimum number of questions has been answered; or you have attempted the maximum number of questions; or you have been testing for the maximum time.

    You will pass the NCLEX exam in the following situations:

    • you answer at least the minimum number of questions, within the time allowed, and achieve a competence measure significantly above the passing standard; or
    • you answer the maximum number of questions, within the time allowed, and achieve a final competence measure above the passing standard (even if not significantly above); or
    • you answer at least the minimum number of questions, but not the maximum, using all of the time allowed, and have a competence measure above the passing standard consistently for all of the last 60 questions. Not all of the last 60 items need to be answered correctly, but the competence estimate must remain above the passing standard after each of the last 60 items answered.

    You will not pass the NCLEX exam in the following situations:

    • you answer at least the minimum number of questions, within the time allowed, and achieve a competence measure significantly below the passing standard; or
    • you answer the maximum number of questions, within the time allowed, and achieve a final competence measure below the passing standard (even if not significantly below); or
    • you answer at least the minimum number of questions, but not the maximum, using all of the time allowed, and have a competence measure that has not been above the passing standard for all of the last 60 questions.

    The official results will be posted to you by the state nursing board. *


    NCLEX-RN Test Plan:
    Categories Percentage of Test Questions
    1. Safe, Effective Care Environment
      1. Management of Care 7-13%
      2. Safety and Infection Contro 5-11%
    2. Health Promotion and Maintenance
      1. Growth and Development Through the Life Span 7-13%
      2. Prevention and Early Detection of Disease 5-11%
    3. Psychosocial Integrity
      1. Coping and Adaptation 5-11%
      2. Psychosocial Adaptation 5-11%
    4. Physiological Integrity
      1. Basic Care and Comfort 7-13%
      2. Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies 5-11%
      3. Reduction of Risk Potential 12-18%
      4. Physiological Adaptation 12-18%

    The exam will also focus on your knowledge about the process of nursing, the way you communicate with the patients, and your awareness of the American culture. It will also test your ability to do proper documentation, the self care you take while treating the patients and your ability to learn.

    To appear for the exam, you have to fix a date and time with NCSBN. The test is available all year, 15 hours a day, six days a week. The duration for each exam is 5 hours.

    The test:

    You will be provided a brief tutorial. You will also be given three sample questions that will allow you to practice the use of the exam interface mouse and calculator. For the sample questions, the word ‘SAMPLE’ is visible on the screen, across each sample question. The moment this word ‘Sample’ disappears from the screen, you will have to think that the actual test has started. You will find that there is no break between the sample questions and the actual test. Once you have answered the minimum number of questions, the computer will compare your competence level with the passing standard and will make one of the three following decisions:

    If you are above the passing standard, you are considered to have passed the exam and your exam will be stopped.

    If you are below the passing standard, then you are considered to have failed the exam and your exam will be stopped.

    If your competence level is nearer to the passing standard but the computer is still not sure about whether you have passed the exam or not, then, the computer will keep on asking you questions. This will go on until:

    • the computer has decided that you have passed or failed the exam or
    • the maximum numbers of questions were asked, or the time limit (of 5 hours) is completed.*


    Test Center Regulations

    To ensure that all candidates’ NCLEX® examination results are earned under comparable conditions and represent fair and accurate measurement, it is necessary to maintain a standardized testing environment. The following regulations are designed to help ensure such an environment.

    All candidates must adhere to these regulations:

    • No study aids (textbooks, notebooks, classroom notes, etc.) are allowed anywhere in Pearson Professional Centers.
    • No papers, books, food, pens, purses, wallets, watches, beepers, cell phones and all other electronic devices are allowed in the testing room.
    • No cameras, photographic equipment or devices are allowed in the test center.
    • No hats or coats.
    • Eating, drinking or use of tobacco is not allowed in the testing center.
    • Unauthorized scratch paper may not be brought into the testing room. • Note boards and markers will be provided by the test center staff. Note boards may not be removed from the test center.
    • Candidates may not leave the testing room without the test administrator’s permission.
    • Candidates must provide a fingerprint each time they enter the testing room.
    • JANUARY 2006

    Acceptable Identification
    The only acceptable forms of identification are listed below. Your identification must be printed in English language letters, must be valid and unexpired (clearly stated), and have a recent photograph and a signature signed in English.

    • Valid (not expired) driver’s license with photo and signature.
    • Valid (not expired) state/province identification ID) card with photo and signature.
    • Valid (not expired) passport with photo and signature.
    • Valid (not expired) United States military identification with photo and visible signature, not imbedded.
    • Valid (not expired) National identity card with photo and signature (in English language letters).

    No other identification is acceptable for admittance to the NCLEX examination. Learner permits are not acceptable identification for admittance to the NCLEX examination. ID’s from countries on the United States government’s list of embargoed countries will not be accepted.*

    *Source: www.ncsbn.org

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