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List of Non-CGFNS States

As tackled in an earlier article, several states have removed the requirement of taking CGFNS qualifying exams (Certification Program) prior to being made eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN® examination.

Non-CGFNS states include:

23. MICHIGAN (effective July 2007)

A chart released by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) showing CGFNS certification program (qualifying exam) requirements by each State Board of Nursing as is available here. The chart lists information gathered by CGFNS as of February 28, 2005.

For a complete list of State Boards of Nursing and their corresponding website addresses, visit the NCSBN website.

Discuss this Article at the Message Board.


Anonymous said...

Hi! I just want to know if your List of Non-CGFNS States is updated? Thank you :)

Lyle, RN said...

The information posted is accurate as of posting date. You can confirm the information posted at the individual state's website.

Anonymous said...

Gud am! just want to ask where can I confirm if hawaii don't really require cgfns because their website says otherwise. Thank you.

Lyle, RN said...

The State of Hawaii is a non-CGFNS state.

It means you do not have to take the CGFNS qualifying exam (Certification Program) to become eligible to take the NCLEX exam.

What they require from the CGFNS is the CREDENTIAL EVALUATION SERVICE (Course-by-course Evaluation Report). No exam is necessary for this one.

However, the Hawaii Board of Nursing will accept a CGFNS Certificate (issued after passing the CGFNS exam) in lieu of the CES report.

In short, the requirent is CGFNS CES but the CGFNS exam is also acceptable but not required.

You can confirm this information on their website.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for that information Ms. Lyle. May I further ask do you have any idea how long would it take for the CGFNS CES report to come out?

Anonymous said...

It's ok now Ms. Lyle. Got the answer from CGFNS site. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Gud pm! May I ask some questions pls:
1.) do I need to be licensed here first before I can apply for NCLEX in CA?
2.) If ever one failed the exam, is there a limit in taking the exam?
3.) how long is the validity of the ATT for CA?
4.)How do I go with the fingerprinting requirement?
Thank you very much!

Lyle, RN said...

Answers to the questions above:

1. No, just attach a letter explaining you do not intend to practice nursing in RP.

2. You can retake as many times as you want as long as you can afford to pay for it.

3. Usually 1 year.

4. Request for a fingerprint card at their website or at the U.S. embassy then go to NBI for assistance in fingerprinting.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info. and for your time. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

The statement that phil licensure is not correct as of May 2008. They demand a copy of your license or diploma allowing you to PRACTICE professional nursing or a letter from PRC stating why you are exempt from taking the exam.

Lyle, RN said...

Darren, here's the complete text of the CA Board's instruction on the matter:

Submit a copy of your license or diploma that allows you to practice professional nursing in
the country where you were educated. If you do not hold a license, a written explanation is

The above text is lifted from page 2 of the updated CA Board application form for NCLEX.

It is available at out DOWNLOADS section.

Anonymous said...

I applied for Vermont state, my license number will be released by the PRC on July 9, 2008 but I wanted to send my documents earlier than July 2008.
1.) Can I leave the license number blank and go ahead in sending my documents without my license number indicated?

2.) Will my application be forfeited?

3.) Also the application form is asking if I had working experience prior to my nclex application? Can i leave it blank also? Since I just passed my NLE recently and deciding not to do volunteer work, instead i decided to take the NCLEX exam first.

Hope you can fill me in with my queries. thank you.

chairwasher said...

hi! State of Illinois does not require CGFNS Certification Program right? I'm a bit confused because of this statement from the instruction sheet particularly on those who are applying educated outside US. the statement says "In lieu of the above, the educational requirement may be met by submission of
proof issuance of the following original certificates from the Commission on
Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS):
! CGFNS Certificate
! VisaScreen Program Certificate" question is, how will i get CGFNS certificate wherein CES is the required program by the state of illinois?

shy said...

gud pm! i badly need help..i don't know the steps in applying for Illinois.. should i take cgfns exam? then nclex? hope you can help me...

Lyle, RN said...

@ Jerson

Get a certificate from PRC that says you passed the local board and that your license is still being processed. This will be acceptable to the VT board.

About the work experience, you may put none.

@ chairwasher

The statement means that IF you have taken and passed the CGFNS exam (Certification Program), you can submit it INSTEAD of the CES.

But it does not mean that you need it (Certification Program). Just apply for the CES and submit it to the IL Board.

@ shy

No, you don't need to take the CGFNS Exam.

For general instructions on how to apply for the NCLEX, read this:

For specific instructions, download the application form for Illinois. Complete instructions is provided there.

You may download it at our APPLICATION FORMS section.

virulent16 said...

hi!i have a question about the ces.see i took the cgfns certification program and failed the said exam and now i am planning to take nclex at i have to apply for ces?thank you

virulent16 said...

hi!i took a cgfns certification program but failed it and now im planning to take the nclex exam at i have to apply for ces?thank you

Lyle, RN said...

Yes, you still need to apply for the CES as the CGFNS exam is different from the CES.

abbz said...

good day! i just want to know does vermont board of nursing requires fingerprint cards? pls advise. thank you.

Lyle, RN said...

Hello abbz! The state of vermont does not require fingerprint cards.

Complete instructions is provided in the application form available at out downloads section.

Alternatively, here's the direct link:

abbz said...

Thank you very much miss lyle for the info. . .

Lyle, RN said...

You are welcome, abbz! By the way, I am a guy. :)

katrina77 said...

hi....please help will i apply for state of maryland nclex?


Lyle, RN said...

Hi katrina77,

First, read this general application guide so you'll have an idea about the application process:

Second, read this for the specific instruction in applying for licensure by examination (NCLEX) in the state of Maryland. Scroll down the page, the one that you need to read is Nurses Educated OUTSIDE the United States

If you have other questions, feel free to ask. Goodluck!

c-rn said...

hi im confuse about the requirements of i need to take the cgfns first? how about the licensure by endorsement? pls help tnx(=

Lyle, RN said...


If you have NOT taken and passed the NCLEX-RN exam in any U.S. state, you will have to apply for Licensure by Examination.

Licensure by endorsement is only for those who have already passed the NCLEX from another U.S. state.

About the need to take the CGFNS exam first, it is NOT really a requirement but is acceptable for the VALIDATION OF EDUCATION requirement.

Here's what you need to do to apply for licensure by examination (NCLEX) in the State of ARIZONA, I am assuming that you have not taken U.S. exams (NCLEX or CGFNS) yet:

1. Download, read, and understand this INSTRUCTION document:

2. Go to and apply for (CES) Credentials Evaluation Service: Healthcare Profession & Science Report. Make sure to have this (CES report) forwarded directly to the AZ board. A copy will also be sent to you. The purpose of this CES report is to comply with the Validation of Education requirement.

3. Download, read, understand, and fill-up this APPLICATION FORM:

4. Send the application form, fingerprint cards, etc. in number 3 along with your payment to the AZ board.

5. While waiting for your eligibility, start doing a self-review by reading NCLEX review books and answering practice questions daily.

Good luck! If you have other questions, feel free to ask.

che said...

Hi! i just want to ask on how to repeat the exam for nclex new york?

What are the steps?

Lyle, RN said...

che, when you receive your official nclex results... it will also contain the application form and instructions for repeating the exam.

c-rn said...

lyle tnx for the info...(=

Unknown said...

Gud pm. I'm planing 2 take d nclex but im not sure weder 2 take it hir in d Philippines or in US. I have a US visa though n i am a board passer. D reason i want to take d nclex in us is bcoz i dont want 2 w8 long for my application to arive. I have relatives in cali, ohio, new mexico, illinios, but im planing to take d nclex in new mexico coz i heard its much faster der. Wat is ur advice. Wat r d steps in aplying in new mexico? wat r d needed documents i have to get in my school? If u can help me, it wil b greatly appreciated.

Lyle, RN said...


To get a general idea of the NCLEX application process, read the article entitled, GUIDE IN APPLYING FOR THE NCLEX in the FEATURED ARTICLES section of this site.

For specific instructions in applying for Licensure By Examination (NCLEX) in the State of New Mexico, download and print this application form:

Please note that the NM board requires proof that you passed an English competency exam i.e. IELTS, TOEFL, or TOEIC.

Also, you will need to submit to a fingerprinting process.

Complete instructions are provided in the NM Application form.

I suggest you secure all required documents by New Mexico and CGFNS (for the CES) before leaving for the U.S.

Good luck!

april said...

hi good am! i just want to ask,,i took the local board exam last june 2006 and pass and got my license,my problem is i am under the scam,can i take the nclex even if i did not retake the whole exam?

Lyle, RN said...

Most states require a passing score in the retake before they allow you to take the NCLEX.

If a state allows you to take the NCLEX and pass it even without retaking the local NLE, it will still be a waste of time as you will not be given a VisaScreen by CGFNS/ICHP which is required by the U.S. embassy before they give you a Visa to go and work in U.S.

The VisaScreen is a requirement of U.S. immigration law.

Please note that the CGFNS exam is different from the VisaScreen issued by the CGFNS/ICHP. Which is why it does not matter whether the state requires the CGFNS exam or not.

c-rn said...

hi lyle just want to ask how to get a fingerprint card (AZBN)? tnx(=

Lyle, RN said...


The AZBN will send a fingerprint card to the address you provided in the application form you submitted to them.

For instructions in complying with the fingerprint requirement, open this document:

c-rn said...

tnx lyle...(= i have another questions about CES. After i fill out the appplication and completed the needed requirements where do i need to pass it? on AZBN or in CGFNS? pls help im very confused about CES Report..tnx

Lyle, RN said...


CES application form and its requirements are submitted to the CGFNS.

Complete information on CES is provided on this page:

averageEVERYDAYsanePSYCHOsupergoddess said...

hi Lyle.. I read the article regarding the list of the Non-CGFNS states. Im just confused because I attended a seminar of a recruitment agency last May and it was said that New York State requires the CGFNS exam. But here in your website, it is listed as a non-CGFNS state. I don't know if I am just confusing the CVS for New York State for the CGFNS exam. Help me! Thanks in advance. :)

Lyle, RN said...

Hello Kay,

The best and most reliable source of information is the State Board of Nursing and the NY State Board of Nursing says that what they require is the CVS from the CGFNS.

Complete Information is provided on this page:

Recruitment agencies may have obsolete information so it is best that you get your information directly from the source.

To cut the long story short, the State of New York is not a CGFNS state, meaning you don't need to take the CGFNS exam to become eligible to take the NCLEX exam.

c-rn said...

hi lyle!! just want to ask if i need to take an english exam before applying NCLEX in AZ?
Thank you so much!!!(=

Lyle, RN said...


Complete instructions are provided on this page:

It says there that if the principal language of the country where your nursing program was given is a language other than English, you are required to take an English language exam like the IELTS.

We are an english-speaking country and English is officially our national language along with Filipino.

So, if your school used English nursing text books and the medium of instruction was in English, then there is no need to take the IELTS before applying for the NCLEX.

Just make sure your school dean or registrar certifies that your nursing education was in English.

dave787 said...

its comfiremd that california does ot allow foreign educated nurse to sit for nclex without license from country of orogin. this a good step for them to ask this requirments

Unknown said...

Is it ok if I aply 4 reciprocity 2 any state after I got my license in vermont since I have no plans of working der? Der is no ruling dat says dat u have 2 work der in order for u to be issued a license.

jenilyn said...

hi lyle...does california require filipino nurses to take any of the english exams prior to NCLEX?or is it even a requirement for obtaining a license or an interim?tnx... hav a great day!!!

Lyle, RN said...


Please check this page.

I already answered your concern there.

Lyle, RN said...


The State of California does NOT require any English Exam PRIOR to being made eligible to take the NCLEX nor does it require it for securing an Interim Permit.

Please note, however, that they require a U.S. social security number (SSN) before they issue your actual RN license.

Anonymous said...

hi Lyle,

Your website is very useful and informative. I can see you are so patient in answering questions from your readers. Thanks you!

I also want to ask something. =) I am planning to take the NCLEX-RN early next year. I want to apply for New Jersey although it is not a famous state to apply among Filipino nurses (I wonder why...hehe). I know I have to do the CES, right? I really don't understand CES. My friend told me it's like they will evaluate your credentials. Is that right? I heard it is expensive too. I hope you can enlighten me.

Thanks and more power. God bless!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sir Lyle, I have a question, I recently passed the board exams and am in the process of filing my application form for California. I am a US tourist visa holder and I am hoping to take the NCLEX exam in California. However, I've read in the application form that they require me to show my license, they say we are able to get our licenses after 2 mos. Would it be okay if I use the Certificate of passing the board issued by PRC? Also, do you think it would be faster for me to obtain my eligibility to take the NCLEX examination in california if i am in the US, put a US address and request for a livescan? or would it be too risky for me if I do that? Would really appreciate your response on this matter. I'm really confused on how to start. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sir Lyle, would I be able to apply for an interim permit in California even if I am not a resident of the US? And do you have any idea on how long it takes to get the eligibility status from California? Thanks again. :-)

Unknown said...

hi, i've sent my application to cali bon with a explanation letter that i did not intend to practice my nursing here in the philippines and yet they reply to me to send a photocopy of my license. what will i do? please help me

abbz said...

hi lyle it seems the link you've provided is not working anymore. i'm referring to jeremy's query dated July 22, 2008 7:17 PM. i'm interested into this bec his question is also the same as mine.=) hope you can help. thanks in advance.

Lyle, RN said...


CES is basically a service by CGFNS where they review all your documents and educational background to determine whether your education is similar to those who were educated in the United States.

Most states prefer the CES because it saves them the time, effort, and cost of doing the evaluation themselves.

Yes it is expensive, it may range from $328 to $378 depending on the type of CES report required by the State Board.

For a complete information on CES, visit

Lyle, RN said...


Yes, a certificate of passing will suffice but I believe they will still need a copy of your license and U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) before they issue your CA license once you pass the NCLEX.

Please note that the SSN must be submitted within 2 years from passing the exam otherwise, your records will be destroyed.

Yes, approval is usually immediate if the application is made in the U.S.

The interim permit will be useless since you are on a tourist visa. You are prohibited from working and may be deported and banned for 10 years. The issuance of interim permits is premised on the fact that the applicant has legal authorization to work in California.

California takes about 4-8 months.

Lyle, RN said...


Perhaps you did not make it clear in your explanation letter that you do not hold a local license.

If you indicated that you do not hold a local license, contact them and direct them to their webpage, specifically on the last paragraph under letter B:

Processing clerks sometimes miss out on things. Like in the case of a friend, she was issued eligibility after calling to clarify with the CA board directly.

However, if after contacting them and they insist on a local license, then you will have no other recourse but to take the local board.

Lyle, RN said...


The link is working perfectly. my response is posted at the comment section below the article.

If you are having a hard time accessing the link I provided, scroll up to the FEATURED ARTICLE section and click the article entitled, GUIDE IN APPLYING FOR THE NCLEX.

It will open the link that I gave.

holistic approach said...

it has been confirmed from ths CA BON they require local license unlike the past years, though there website is not that updated. you can even cal them and they will need it. things has been changing fro time to time.

holistic approach said...

interim permit are given to newly grad from the using school pending there nclex exam, usualy thats for 30days but some varies, once they sit for the nclex that interim automatically cancelled.

holistic approach said...

and even if you pass nclex theres nothing you can do after it, retrogression is active. so that will take your years to wait and evne if you have tourist visa that wont guarantee you since USCIS is not accpeting AOS or the adjustment of status due to retrogression. all you have to do this time is look for a hospital to gain experience as afull nurse. soon they will be also adding new requirments before they petition nurses, thats the experience.

Unknown said...

tnx lyle, but is it true that the california board of nursing does not accept nurses without license? you must be a registered nurse in the philippines? our instructor said that its effective last january 2008. thanks again!

Lyle, RN said...


Yes, it is possible.

Unknown said...

Hello. I checked the site for the CES..and there's a $328 fee for it. Im planning to apply nclex for TX, w/c would require CES. If I may ask, does CA also require this? if so, does this basically mean that i would have to pay the fee for the CES as well the nclex fee for the application?

Unknown said...

gd day, im planning to take the CGFNS..i am confuse.what should i do first? tahkx

KAYE said...

aloha mr. lyle! ds is kaye an rn here in palanning to apply for d nclex exam in hawaii..uhmm do u have any idea as to how long will i wait to receive my att?
and if i get d chance to pass the exam, i have read in a particular websyt dat renewal of license is being done during 30th of june every odd year..wat if im still here in p.i by the tym that ill nid to renew my license? wat will i do? can i have an authorized person in hawaii who will renew my license for me? thanks

Lyle, RN said...

lea, yes you will be paying for the NCLEX application and the CES application if you apply for NCLEX via TX.

No, CA does not require the CES but once you pass the NCLEX through CA, they will require a U.S. social security number (SSN) before they issue your license. If after 3 years you are unable to submit an SSN, your records will be expunged (destroyed).

So thread wisely.

Lyle, RN said...


Go to the choose Certification Program. Application forms and complete instructions are provided there.

Also, please check if the State where you intend to work requires the CGFNS exam as most states do not require it anymore.

It's the CES that is widely required by most U.S. states. CES is also a service of CGFNS International but does not include an exam.

Lyle, RN said...


I have no idea how long Hawaii takes in issuing eligibility and ATT to applicants.

About your other questions:

Assuming that the website you read is correct, it simply means that you will need to renew your USRN license every June 30 of 2009, 2011, 2013 and so on.

That means that if you pass the NCLEX this year, come June 30 next year, you will be required to file a renewal.

It's OK if you are still in the Philippines. Renewal is done by mail just like when you are applying for the NCLEX. You don't need to be there physically to renew.

PETIT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PETIT said...

cir lyle, what will happen if the CA will destroy our records if we are unable to provide US SSN?

1. How will we get our SSN po ba?
2. Who will provide it for us?
3. How long will it take for us to get an SSN after passing the CA NCLEX?

Lyle, RN said...


You will have to apply again as there will be no record of a nurse in your name in the State of California.

About the SSN..
1. You can apply for an SSN once you get a valid working visa, permanent resident visa, or a u.s. citizenship.

2. You will apply for it.

3. Passing the NCLEX does not in anyway qualify you for an SSN.

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