For foreign-trained nurses, choosing the right State Board of Nursing (SBON) to qualify for the NCLEX exam can be challenging. Considering that there are more than 50 state boards of nursing, each state has its own standards, qualifications, NCLEX registration procedure, and NCLEX exam fees, and this difficult, decentralized NCLEX application procedure can give you such a headache!
But don’t be alarmed! With this article, we can assist you in identifying the best states to apply to by letting you know the 5 criteria you need to consider before applying for NCLEX and even can help you select the best state for you where you can take your NCLEX!
1. RN Local License
A candidate is not required to be an RN license holder to apply for the NCLEX Exam. Several SBONs in the United States do not require any local license as long as the candidate completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
2. English Proficiency Exam
An English proficiency exam like the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) is required in some SBON to demonstrate foreign-trained nurses’ proficiency with the English Language before applying for NCLEX.
3. Social Security Number (SSN)
Each US citizen is given an SSN, a nine-digit numerical identification number the government provides to citizens and eligible US citizens who apply.
Foreign-trained nurses who wish to apply for a position in a state that requires a Social Security Number (SSN) must meet this condition to be accepted and give their SSN while applying for the NCLEX in some states in the US. But most states don’t require an SSN to be eligible to apply for the NCLEX.
4. Credential Evaluation
Credential evaluation or CES is required for several SBONs to ensure the authenticity of documents and the comparability of US nursing education standards with the foreign-trained nurses’ academic and professional credentials.
The CES thoroughly examines the credentials earned by the candidate’s nursing education outside of the US following state requirements.
5. Work Experience
Working experience must be considered before applying for NCLEX as most SBONs require specific years of working experience as a Registered Nurse, while some SBONs don’t.