Now You Know | Basic Requirements for USRNs

November 24, 2020  |  Unistaff

USRN Basic Requirements Article Header

Dreaming about your future job in the US? You’re doing research and that’s a good first step. But there’s so much you need to know! 


Your US career actually begins a few years before you even get there. It’s important to gain the right kind of experience in addition to your nursing degree. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the requirements that will help you qualify to apply as a USRN with a prospective employer. Now that the US Visa Bulletin is current, it’s the perfect opportunity to apply! This happens rarely and we don’t want you to miss your chance. If you read until the end, you’ll know exactly how to prepare and submit a solid application. Let’s get right into this installment of: Now You Know!


In the US, Filipino immigrants represented 28% of all immigrants working as registered nurses in 2018. Filipino nurses are recognized for their valuable contribution to the US healthcare system. With the global pandemic making the current need for more nurses even more urgent, aspiring USRNs are definitely encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Developing a nursing career in the US will not only benefit you financially, it is truly a life-changing opportunity.



To get started, you would first need to obtain the basic requirements of US employers. Then, you need to mentally prepare yourself for a long but fulfilling process ahead. After helping thousands of nurses secure their US placements, we can guide you through this application journey, too. 


Nursing Experience Required for Consular Processing       

With our decades of experience working with US employers, we have observed that the following experience requirements determine a nursing candidate’s chances of being selected to proceed with a job interview:

USRN requirements infogrpahic 1


Educational Qualifications

These are the documents that you need to submit to the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) before taking the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and securing your US nursing license. 

Educational requirements for USRN infograph

To learn more and become better prepared, now is a good time to take a look at our CGFNS Guide and NCLEX-RN Guide.


Professional Licensure and International Certification

  • National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)

National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)

Why is passing the NCLEX important? Because it is the key to getting a nursing license within the candidate’s chosen state in the US. If you have successfully passed the NCLEX, your chances of getting a schedule for an interview is much higher. The sooner you submit an application to us, the earlier your interview could be!

REMEMBER: Passing the NCLEX is a mandatory requirement across all the states before gaining a US nursing licensure and practicing as a registered nurse.

The NCLEX process is complex but manageable with enough preparation. Check out our previous posts to explore your options and learn how to ensure a successful NCLEX application


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  • English Language Proficiency Tests (IELTS / TOEFL)

IELTS logo

After meeting the initial education requirements, nurses who are planning to work as a registered nurse in the US must take and pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). It is also one of the VisaScreen requirements. 

Passing the IELTS or TOEFL exam ensures that candidates who work in a country that uses English as its primary language would not encounter any issues while performing the duties of their profession.

Be sure to check out the different types of IELTS, as well as our IELTS Guide and options for covering exam and licensing costs


Do I need to pass the NCLEX and IELTS before I can apply?


The simple answer is no.




You will need to pass the IELTS later on in the application process. So there’s no reason to wait until you have your perfect score! Even if you haven’t passed both exams yet, you can already kickstart your American dream. All you need to do is submit your application to


Now You Know!

Knowing these basic requirements is just the beginning. The process of getting to live and work in the US is complex. But with determination, hard work and the right guidance, you’ll make it there!

Get started today by becoming a USCDP Member for FREE! 

Join one of our online orientations to discover insights about the application process and the exclusive benefits you can enjoy as a member. Sign up here! 

We’ve helped thousands of nurses and other healthcare professionals to find employment in the US and obtain permanent residency status. We look forward to helping you on your journey to securing your dream job!




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Unistaff Content Team

This article was put together by Unistaff's team of researchers, creative writers and content creators. We pride ourselves by publishing the most updated pieces of content in our blog section to enable you to make well informed decisions.

Universal Staffing Services, Incorporated

Universal Staffing Services Inc. (POEA License No. 35-LB-022019-R) has been a trusted International Permanent Staffing Firm for more than two decades, maintaining its prestige and reputation as one of the best in the country. Our source of pride comes from placing over 30,000 top-class professionals in the Gulf Region, Africa, South Asia, South-East Asia, United States, and Europe in Academic, Engineering, Skilled, Administrative, Hospitality, IT and Healthcare settings.

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