Whether the nurse resides outside or within the U.S. when applying, the nurse must be in possession of:

  1. A diploma from a nursing school in his/her country;

  2. A license to practice nursing in his/her country;

  3. A full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the state of intended employment, or a certification that he/she has passed either the U.S. licensing examination (NCLEX-RN) but cannot obtain the license without asocial security number, or the examination given by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS); and

  4. A VisaScreen Certificate

In addition, unless the nurse was educated in an English-speaking country, she must achieve a certain score on tests in written and spoken English administered by TOEFL or IELTS in order to qualify for a VisaScreen Certificate. Passing scores for RNs are as follows:

TOEFL Paper-Based - 540;
TOEFL Computer-Based - 207;
Test of Written English (TWE) - 4.0;
Test of Spoken English (TSE) - 50
IELTS (Academic Module only) - 6.5;
IELTS Spoken Band - 7.0.

More information for these English proficiency exams can be found by visiting the following websites:

TOEFL/TSE web site:
IELTS web site:

(Updated 10/8/2012 by AG)

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