Your Complete Guide to Taking the NCLEX as an International Nurse

Becoming a registered nurse (RN) in the United States opens doors to a rewarding career with diverse opportunities. If you're an internationally educated nurse, the path to obtaining your USRN license involves taking and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. While the process can be complex, this comprehensive guide will walk you through each step.

Understanding the NCLEX and Eligibility Requirements

  • What is the NCLEX-RN? The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) is a standardized test assessing your knowledge and skills to practice safely and effectively as an entry-level nurse in the US.
  • Eligibility: To be eligible, you must have:
    • Graduated from an accredited nursing program
    • Met the requirements of the state's Board of Nursing (BON) where you intend to practice

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the NCLEX

  1. Choose Your State: Research the nursing licensure requirements in different states to determine which one aligns best with your goals.
  2. Credential Evaluation: Your nursing education and license need to be evaluated by a recognized agency like the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to ensure they meet US standards.
  3. Apply for Licensure: Submit your "License by Examination" application to your chosen state's BON. Include all required documents and fees.
  4. Authorization to Test (ATT): Once your application is approved, the BON will issue an ATT. This is your green light to register for the exam.
  5. Book your exam appointment with Pearson VUE: After your ATT has been approved, you can go ahead and schedule your exam appointment. You can book your preferred date at a Pearson Vue Testing Center near you.
  6. Prepare for the Exam: Study diligently using NCLEX review courses, practice tests, and study guides. Familiarize yourself with the test format and content.
  7. Exam Day: Arrive early, bring your identification, and be prepared for a rigorous but fair exam.

Tips for Success

  • Start Early: The application process can take months. Begin your research and preparations well in advance.
  • Seek Guidance: Don't hesitate to reach out to your state's BON, CGFNS, or other nursing organizations for assistance.
  • Network: Connect with other international nurses who have gone through the process. They can offer valuable insights and support.

For further inquiries about the requirements, qualifications, and fees for the NCLEX USA Exam Application, feel free to email us at

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