A Filipino Nurse’s Guide to the CGFNS Credential Evaluation
Are you a registered nurse, aspiring to work in the US?
To get started on your journey, one of the main requirements is to take the NCLEX examination for internationally educated nurses. And a ‘Credential Evaluation’ from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is a prerequisite to some boards for the NCLEX exam. The CGFNS needs to review applicants’ nursing school transcripts and education history from their home country to make sure they’re qualified to even take the NCLEX.
Note: Majority of US employers interview nurses only when the nurse has their NCLEX! Be sure to complete this step first before looking around for vacancies.
It’s important to know that majority of the Board of Nursing are not in charge of reviewing credentials. That’s because it would take too much time for them to review these for every applicant. So the CGFNS takes care of this task for the most part. They are the most popular and well-known institution that evaluates submitted credentials. They determine if applicants meet the requirements.
Note: However, there are some boards that can directly take evaluation of documents into their own hands too. How does this affect your process? Know more by consulting our license processing partners mentioned at the end of this article.
Many applicants have no idea about the documents they need to submit to the CGFNS for evaluation. This is a common problem that will cause delays in processing applications. We know that some of you might be on the same boat. Applicants may be having a hard time gathering and submitting the complete list of required documents on time. This then leads to delays in receiving the Authorization to Test (ATT) from the CGFNS, and eventually will lead to delays in their job applications for the USA. But don’t worry! We’ve put together this article to help you get better prepared.
What is CGFNS?
The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is an independent, immigration neutral nonprofit organization that helps foreign educated healthcare professionals live and work in their country of choice by assessing and validating their academic and professional credentials. It was created to evaluate, test, and certify foreign-educated nurses.
Founded by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the National League for Nursing (NLN), the CGFNS is primarily funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It continues to operate in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Minimum Qualification for an Application
When you decide to apply, you’ll be required to submit your education and registration credentials. The CGFNS will then evaluate these documents to certify that you are a first-level, general nurse and that you meet all of the registration requirements to be licensed as a professional in the field of nursing.
Which of their services should you look into?
One of their key services is the CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service or CES.
The CES is a requirement in certain states and territories in the United States for state licensure of registered and practical nurses who were educated outside the United States. It is also used by U.S. schools and prospective employers to assess the education of nursing professionals who wish to continue their education or to be employed in the United States.
There are two types of Credentials Evaluation Services (CES) Reports:
· Professional Report – This report meets the specific requirements of individual state boards of nursing, incorporating their requirements templates and including a statement of comparability of an applicant’s education when measured against U.S. standards.
· Academic Report – This report is designed to meet the needs of applicants pursuing further education in U.S. institutions of higher learning.
Note: For foreign-educated nurses who primarily want to secure an employment in the United States, you will have to use the Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) Professional Report. The majority of the U.S. state boards of nursing require CES reports for foreign-educated applicants seeking licensure for either a registered or a practical nurse in their state. In addition to boards of nursing and schools, employers, recruiters and lawyers working on your behalf may request that you complete the CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service program and designate them as a recipient to receive a CES report.
The CES report is advisory in nature and does not make specific placement recommendations. This service does not include an examination. After all required documents, fees and a completed application are received and analyzed, CGFNS prepares a report and sends it to the recipient(s) that you designate. You will also have access to view and print the report in your online applicant account through the CGFNS Connect.
How to apply for a CES report?
1. You have to register and create your online account through CGFNS Connect and fill out the information fields. This account will help keep you informed about the status of your application, and help us inform you about documents we need from you, even if you choose to apply through postal mail rather than online.
2. After you created your user account you may now apply online to CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Services (CES) Professional. You can view the their Fee Schedule and Policies.
3. Prepare and send the Request for Academic Records/Transcripts form to any nursing or nursing-related post-secondary (tertiary) schools that you attended outside the United States, asking them to send your academic records/transcripts to CGFNS. Send CGFNS a photocopy of your secondary school certificate/diploma or results of external exams
4. Prepare and send the Request for Validation of License/Registration/Diploma form to all licensing authorities outside of the United States who have issued you licenses/ registrations, asking them to send CGFNS the completed form and any attachments.
5. When all the documents are received, CGFNS reviews all registrations/licenses and verifies that they come from the issuing source. You can check your status online at CGFNS Connect.
What are the documents you need to submit for credentialing?
1. Secondary School Diploma
You’ll need to submit a photocopy of your secondary school diploma or external exam certificate for the highest level of secondary education you have received. Secondary school or high school is a school between elementary school or primary school and university. The secondary school usually offers general, technical, vocational, or college-preparatory courses. If your secondary school diploma or certificate is not in English, you’ll need to have it officially translated.
Note: This requirement is waived if you completed secondary education more than 10 years ago.
2. License / Registration / Diploma Information
You must have an active nursing license to apply. You’ll need to send the license verification request form to the licensing body in your country of education. In case your license has expired, you must send an additional license verification request form to the licensing authority from which you have an active license.
Note: Any relevant documents received and validated by CGFNS within the past 3 years can be used to satisfy these requirements.
3. Professional Education Information
This includes your complete academic record or transcript from each educational institution you have attended for nursing.
REMEMBER: All of these documents listed here must be in English. If they are not in English, they must be translated by an official registered translator. And the translations must contain a Certificate of Accuracy signed by the person who translated the document. CGFNS can translate documents for an additional fee.
What are the additional requirements?
There are currently nine states in the United States that require an English Language Proficiency Report be attached to the Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) Professional Report: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wisconsin. If you apply for a Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) Professional Report for a state that requires the English Language Proficiency Report and you are not eligible for exemption from taking an English language proficiency examination, you are required to submit scores from an acceptable English language proficiency exam before your CES Professional Report will be issued by CGFNS to a specific state board of nursing.
The CES Professional Report confirms English language proficiency (both oral and written) based on passing scores from either:
The Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-Based Test TOEFL iBT or
The International English Language Testing System IELTS
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What are the forms you need to submit?
To supply CGFNS with the necessary information about your education, you will need to download the Request for Academic Records/ Transcripts form from your online account and send one copy to each health care post-secondary (tertiary) school that you attended outside the United States and request that they send us your academic records/transcripts. Please check before sending that the applicant’s section reflects what you have entered in your application.
You need to request validations for your current and initial license/registration/diploma obtained outside the United States. To do this, download and send the Request for Validation of License/Registration/Diploma or log in your online account.
CGFNS ensures your privacy and protection, so your application will only be discussed with you. But if you choose to let CGFNS disclose file information or provide file status information to another person, you will need to submit an Authorization to Release Information form, to designate an authorized agent. Or, if you choose to have all mail from CGFNS sent to someone else, you can do this by either completing the Authorization to Release Information form or providing the other person’s mailing address on your application form.
Please note: CGFNS will no longer be accepting mailed in credit card forms for security purposes. Credit card payments can be made online at the end of the application process. Non-applicants can create a “Third-Party” account in order to pay on the behalf of an applicant.
For more information about the CGFNS Certification Program, check out these Frequently Asked Questions about the program.
We hope this helped you gain a better understanding of the CGFNS credential
ing evaluation process and requirements. If you have any questions, or wish to seek guidance on your application, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But if you still think your schedule's too packed, then take a look at our partner license processing agencies who could help you with this process:
1. IPASS Business Processing Services Incorporated
IPASS Processing was founded in May 2016 at Davao City. In April 2019 the company branched out in Manila and February 2020 in Cebu due to the market demand. The huge growth of the company was brought about the constant need for medical professionals abroad. The company is proud of its dedicated processing professionals who enjoy their work in helping the clients achieve their goals. It is a client-centered business service and it focuses not only on the document processing but also provides holistic client approach. Learn more
2. NEAC Medical Exams Application Center Inc.
NEAC was established as a sole proprietorship in 2007 and has been incorporated in January 2014. NEAC is a legally established Company under SEC (Security and Exchange Commission).
NEAC is specially geared to facilitate the application process by assisting international nurses with the task of preparing their applications to obtain US Nursing licensure by NCLEX-RN® Exam and sends the completed and error-free forms to the designated State Board of Nursing. NEAC facilitates application preparation, certification and fee transfers to various State Boards of Nursing, third party credential evaluators and to the exam coordinator. Learn more
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Think you’re qualified already for a job vacancy in the US? Apply now in our Job Opening portal, and expect one of our recruitment officers to send you an email or give you a call shortly.