The steps you need to undergo when taking the NCLEX-RN examination may seem overwhelming and complicated. However, here are eight simple steps you may consider when applying for licensure in your chosen state.
Step 1: Choose a state where you wish to be licensed or registered. Find out the requirements from the chosen state’s board of nursing/regulatory body(BON/RB) by visiting the state’s BON official website. Online forms are found in each state’s BON website.
Remember, if you are a foreign applicant, meaning you did not take your nursing classes in the USA, you will have different set of requirements based on your chosen state. Some states require valid English Exam results and CGFNS-CES or Credentials Evaluation Service report for example before you can apply for the NCLEX-RN examination.
Some nurses choose common state BONs based on the simplicity of requirements, cheaper application fees, and others based on recommendations of friends who have already went through the process of NCLEX-RN application.
Step 2: Choose one of the approved agencies listed by your chosen state’s BON to evaluate your nursing education. Contact or visit the official website of your chosen agency and request the Full Education Course by Course Report or the Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) report by CGFNS. Your chosen state’s Board of Nursing must receive an original copy of the evaluation report directly from the agency that evaluated your nursing education. The agency will charge you for the evaluation services and you are responsible to pay for this.
The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is the most common organization required by the different states that evaluates nursing school transcripts of foreign school graduates like you. Ask your chosen state’s BON whether they require CES report or Certification Program (CEP) report.
The Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) report includes a full education course-by-course report. It does not require English Competency Exam or CGFNS examination. The Certification Program (CEP) report includes an English Competency Exam, the CGFNS exam and an education credentials evaluation.
Please contact the CGFNS for application information at: Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools 3600 Market Street, Ste. 400 Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651 Applicant inquiries: Phone: (215) 349-8767 Website: http://www.cgfns.org
The Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report Application costs $350.00. The report may take several months (2 months to 12 months) to complete. Please visit this link for the online application and the list of required documents you will need to process for the CES report: http://www.cgfns.org/services/ces-professional-report/
Remember, with CES report, you do not need to take IELTS or any other English Competency Exam prior to taking NCLEX-RN examination.
Step 3: Submit an application for licensure to your chosen state’s Board of Nursing. The purpose of this application is for you to be determined eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination. The application form and fee varies from state to state.
Step 4: Wait for the eligibility letter from the state board of nursing you applied for licensure. This can also be known as the approval letter from the BON of your chosen state. The waiting usually takes 2 to 6 months, depending on the processing time which varies from state to state. Once you receive the eligibility letter, proceed to step 5.
You will receive an instruction in that letter to register with Pearson VUE. Take note of the registration time limit. After receiving confirmation, your registration stays open for 365 days or 1 year.
Step 5: Register with Pearson VUE which is the testing vendor for NCLEX-RN.
You will pay the NCLEX-RN fee of $200.00 which is required by the Pearson Group to register for the examination. This fee is to be sent to NCS Pearson along with your registration information. The Pearson website is at http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex/.
Do this when you are ready to take the NCLEX-RN examination anytime soon.
You will receive confirmation of registration from Pearson VUE.
Step 6: Email your chosen state’s BON, informing them that you have already registered with Pearson VUE.
Step 7: Receive the Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson VUE.
Once you receive this ATT, you must take the NCLEX-RN examination within the validity dates provided.
Step 8: Schedule an appointment to test by visiting www.pearsonvue.com/nclex or by calling Pearson VUE. You may log into your Pearson VUE account and click “schedule a test.” Choose your testing center, choose the date you are most ready to take the examination, choose also the time of your examination from the available options.
You may schedule your NCLEX-RN examination in a domestic or international test center through email or over the phone by calling Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services.
Receive an appointment confirmation email and specific instructions on how to get to your chosen testing center.
Be aware that the list of available test centers outside of the U.S. may be changed without prior notice. However, the examinees will be notified in case the test center where they are scheduled to take the NCLEX-RN exam will be unavailable and may reschedule the examination at another available test center.
Here are some of the international test centers you might want to consider.
Pearson Professional Centers in:
- Manila, Philippines
- Hong Kong
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Tamuning, Guam
- Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
- Tokyo, Japan
- Osaka, Japan
- New Delhi, India
- Mumbai, India
- Melbourne, Australia
- Sydney, Australia
- London, United Kingdom
For domestic test centers (within USA), you may want to visit this link to check for yourself: https://wsr.pearsonvue.com/testtaker/registration/SelectTestCenterProximity/NCLEXTESTING/499953
Finally, when the big day comes, take the NCLEX-RN Examination with full confidence and optimism. Bring your passport and your ATT with you on the day of the examination. It also helps to bring along people you trust and who can boost your morale. They can wait at the examination venue or somewhere nearby your testing center.
Remember the steps in applying for the NCLEX-RN examination: Choose a state BON, have your credentials (professional license and nursing education) evaluated by a recognized agency like the CGFNS, apply for licensure to your chosen state’s BON, wait for eligibility or notice of approval, register with Pearson VUE, inform the state BON that you have registered with Pearson VUE, receive the ATT from Pearson VUE, and finally schedule your NCLEX exam.