11 Easiest State To Apply For NCLEX For Foreign Nurses

Are you a foreign nurse looking to take the NCLEX exam? Are you wondering: What is the easiest state to apply for NCLEX for foreign nurses? If so, you’ve landed on the right site!

Join me and explore different states and their processes to find the most efficient and straightforward state for foreign nurses to apply for the NCLEX. Dive right in!

Easiest State To Apply For NCLEX For Foreign Nurses 

Applying for the NCLEX is daunting for foreign nurses due to various requirements and procedures that differ from state to state. However, some states have a more streamlined and accommodating process than others, including:

#1. Illinois

Illinois is an excellent choice for foreign nurses seeking to apply for the NCLEX due to its straightforward and relatively quick application process. 

The Illinois Board of Nursing requires foreign nurses to complete a CES Professional Report through the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) and pass an English proficiency test. 

The state does not require a social security number (SSN) for NCLEX application. So it’s much more convenient for international applicants. 

Illinois nurses

#2. New York 

New York is another state that has a more streamlined process for foreign nurses applying for the NCLEX. 

The New York State Board of Nursing requires a CGFNS Certification Program, which includes a credentials review and examination. The state also requires an English proficiency test. 

Like Illinois, New York does not require a social security number for the NCLEX application, making it an attractive option for foreign nurses. 

#3. Texas

Texas provides a relatively simple process for foreign nurses to apply for NCLEX. The Texas Board of Nursing requires a CGFNS Full Education Course-by-Course Report and passing the English proficiency test. 

However, unlike Illinois and New York, Texas requires a social security number. Despite this requirement, the state is still well-liked due to its high demand for nurses and attractive employment opportunities. 

#4. California

While California has a more extensive application process than the states above, it is still an attractive destination for foreign nurses. That’s because the demand for nursing professionals, salaries are high and also stands out as a state that doesn’t impose a limit on NCLEX retake attempts.

The California Board of Registered Nursing requires a credentials evaluation service report from either CGFNS or the International Education Research Foundation (IERF). 

Additionally, California requires passing the English proficiency test. A social security number is also compulsory for the NCLEX application. 

California nurses

#5. Florida

Florida makes the list because of its simplified application process for international nurses. The state does not require a social security number for the application. 

In addition, Florida approves the application for NCLEX before the Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) report, allowing candidates to start preparing for the exam early. 

Furthermore, the Florida Board of Nursing is known for its prompt response to inquiries, making the overall application experience smoother. 

#6. North Carolina

North Carolina is another state that endeavors to make the NCLEX application process easier for foreign nurses. 

Like the states above, North Carolina does not require an SSN for the application. The state also allows applicants to apply and sit for the NCLEX exam before receiving the CES report. 

Another positive aspect is that the North Carolina Board of Nursing offers detailed guidance on its website, providing clarity and transparency in the application process. 

#7. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a state that has a reputation for being foreign-nurse friendly when it comes to the NCLEX application. This state does not mandate an SSN and provides a comprehensive guide for international nurses on how to apply for the exam. 

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing is also known for efficiently responding to queries and aiding international nurse students in navigating the application process. 

#8. Nevada

Nevada rounds out this list with its simplified application process. While the state requires an SSN for application, it has one of the fastest processing times. 

The Nevada State Board of Nursing requires foreign nurses to verify their education credentials by CGFNS and pass an English proficiency exam. 

In addition, Nevada has a high demand for nurses, particularly in the Las Vegas area, which means there are plenty of job opportunities for international nurses. 

#9. Massachusetts

In the ninth spot, we have Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Board of Nursing is known for its streamlined application process. 

Foreign nurses must still meet the standard requirements, such as passing the NCLEX and English proficiency exams. Yet, the board offers clear guidelines on its website and is known for its helpful customer service. The Massachusetts Board does not require a social security number to apply. 

#10. Oregon

Oregon is another state that provides a simplified application process for international nurses. The Oregon State Board of Nursing allows foreign nurses to apply for the NCLEX without a US social security number. 

Additionally, the application process in Oregon is relatively quick, often taking less than 12 weeks from start to finish. This fast turnaround time benefits international nurses eager to begin their nursing careers in the US.

#11. Michigan

Michigan also makes it easy for foreign nurses to apply for NCLEX. While Michigan requires an SSN, it stands out for its efficient processing time. 

The Michigan Board of Nursing has an average processing time of just six weeks for foreign-educated nurses, shorter than many other states. 

Also, Michigan doesn’t require the CGFNS certification program. Instead, it accepts a CGFNS Course-by-COurse evaluation, which is less time consuming and expensive for international applicants. 

NCLEX Requirements For Foreign Nurses 

If you are a foreign nurse aspiring to work in the US, you must fulfill specific prerequisites to sit for the NCLEX, as shown below:

CGFNS Certification

The CGFNS Credential Evaluation Service provides an academic report that details your educational background in US nursing education. 

To apply, you must submit your academic records and licensure information to CGFNS for review. The organization will then verify the authenticity of your documents and compare your education to US standards. 

You can use the evaluation report to meet one of the eligibility requirements to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and immigration purposes. 

English Proficiency Test

English proficiency is a requirement for foreign nurses intending to take the NCLEX. The Board of Nursing often requires evidence of English proficiency. You can prove this by passing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). 

The required scores can vary by state, so ensure to check the requirements of the specific state you plan to practice. 

Official Certificates or Foreign Nursing Education Review

Besides language proficiency and credentials evaluation, foreign nurses must also provide official certificates of their foreign nursing education. This includes diplomas and transcripts from the nursing school attended and validation that the education received is equivalent to that of a US nursing program. 

The Bottom Line

I’ve shared with you the easiest state to apply for NCLEX for foreign nurses, such as Illinois, Florida, New York, Texas, Nevada, Michigan, and many more. 

Research and understand the specific requirements and processes for the state you want to apply for. Once you’ve decided, take action, start your application process, and get one step closer to your nursing career in the US!