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U.S. Nursing Licensure for Foreign-Educated Nurses

Each state in the U.S. is responsible for the licensure of nurses within that state. Variations exist among the states. State specific licensure information is available on board of nursing websites.

Contact a State Board of Nursing

To ensure public protection, all boards of nursing require a candidate for licensure to pass an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively. All U.S. boards of nursing use the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

NCLEX information is available in the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin and NCLEX International Candidates FAQs.

An excellent resource for foreign-educated nurses is the NCSBN Learning Extension course entitled Acclimation of International Nurses into U.S. Nursing Practice. This course includes information on:

  • Process and organizations that regulate U.S. nursing practice
  • Personal challenges of adapting to life in U.S.
  • Professional challenges of practicing nursing in the U.S. as a foreign-educated nurse
  • Resources for the foreign-educated nurse
Tags: International Licensure,International Nurses,Licensure in the U.S.,NCSBN