CGFNS English Requirements – Explained and Updated

In order to ensure effective communication and proficiency in the English language, the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) has established comprehensive English language requirements for nurses seeking to practice in the United States. These requirements aim to assess the language skills of foreign-educated nurses to guarantee their ability to provide safe and competent care to patients in English-speaking healthcare settings. The CGFNS English requirements encompass a variety of language skills, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and are designed to assess an individual's ability to comprehend and effectively communicate in English.

What Is the Passing Score for CGFNS Qualifying Exam?

The passing score for the CGFNS qualifying exam is set at 400. This score is determined through a computer-based scoring system, which is considered to be the most accurate and reliable method for scoring multiple-choice tests. Scoring well on this exam is a daunting task, as it requires a thorough understanding of the various concepts and topics covered in the test.

To achieve a passing score, candidates must demonstrate their knowledge and competency in areas such as nursing theories, professional practices, ethics, and healthcare systems. They also need to showcase their ability to apply this knowledge in real-world scenarios and make informed decisions.

The CGFNS qualifying exam evaluates the readiness of international nurses to practice in the United States. It assesses their understanding of essential nursing concepts and their capability to provide safe and quality care to patients. The exam aims to ensure that foreign-educated nurses meet the standards required for nursing practice in the United States.

Candidates who successfully meet or exceed the passing score will be considered eligible to pursue licensure and employment opportunities in the United States. Those who don’t achieve the passing score on their first attempt can retake the exam after a certain period of time.

Many foreign educated healthcare professionals wondering if they need to go through the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) process in order to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) may be relieved to know that it depends on the state board of nursing requirements. Approximately two-thirds of state boards of nursing either require or accept the CGFNS Certification Program as a criterion for approval to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required for licensure in the United States and Canada.

Do I Need CGFNS for NCLEX?

The CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) International plays a crucial role for foreign educated healthcare professionals who wish to live and work in their country of choice. As an immigration neutral nonprofit organization, CGFNS is committed to assessing and validating the academic and professional credentials of these individuals, making their transition smoother and more seamless.

One important aspect where CGFNS comes into play is the NCLEX-RN exam. The NCLEX-RN exam is a requirement for licensure in the United States and Canada, and the Certification Program provided by CGFNS is either required or accepted by approximately two-thirds of the State Boards of Nursing as a criterion for approval to take the NCLEX-RN exam. This highlights the significance of CGFNS in the entire process.

This process helps maintain high standards in the healthcare industry and ensures that only qualified individuals are granted licensure to practice in the United States and Canada.

It serves as a bridge, helping foreign educated healthcare professionals fulfill the necessary requirements and obtain the certification needed to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

The Role of CGFNS in the Licensure Process for Healthcare Professionals in the United States and Canada

CGFNS, or the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, plays a crucial role in the licensure process for healthcare professionals in the United States and Canada. It’s an organization that helps evaluate the credentials of internationally-educated nurses and other healthcare professionals who wish to practice in these countries.

Through it’s certification program, CGFNS assesses the education, credentials, and skills of healthcare professionals from around the world. This evaluation is important to ensure that these professionals meet the standards and requirements set by the respective licensing boards in the United States and Canada.

CGFNS also provides a range of services, such as supporting healthcare professionals in understanding the licensure process, offering resources for exam preparation, and helping with the visa application process for international healthcare professionals.

By working closely with state boards of nursing and other regulatory bodies, CGFNS helps facilitate the integration of internationally-educated healthcare professionals into the healthcare workforce in the United States and Canada, while ensuring patient safety and quality of care.

Source: CGFNS Certification ProgramĀ® – CGFNS International, Inc.

When it comes to applying for CGFNS, candidates often wonder whether IELTS is required. Fortunately, both the TOEFL iBT and the IELTS (Academic) exams can be used to demonstrate English language proficiency. However, there are certain criteria that need to be met, such as submitting scores that are less than two years old and ensuring that they’re sent directly to CGFNS from the testing agency.

Is IELTS Required for CGFNS?

Many individuals seeking to work in the healthcare field in the United States may be wondering if the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required for the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Alternatively, they might consider taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT examination. The answer lies in the fact that either of these exams can be used as support for the English Language Proficiency Report required by CGFNS.

It’s important to note that the exam scores must be recent and within a two-year timeframe. CGFNS requires that these scores be submitted directly from the testing agency to ensure the authenticity and accuracy of the results. This is done to guarantee that individuals meet the necessary language proficiency requirements to work in the healthcare sector in the United States.

For those unfamiliar with CGFNS, it’s an organization that helps assess the credentials of internationally educated healthcare professionals. This assessment determines if their education and training are equivalent to that of a nurse graduating from a U.S. nursing program. CGFNS examines multiple aspects, including language proficiency, to ensure that these professionals are prepared to work in an English-speaking environment.

Therefore, if an individual has taken either the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS (Academic) examination within the last two years, they can submit their scores directly to CGFNS. It’s recommended that individuals consult CGFNS directly for the most up-to-date information and requirements regarding language proficiency and the exams they accept.

As long as the scores are recent and submitted directly from the testing agency, individuals can meet this requirement and continue with the credentialing process.

What Is the Process of Obtaining a CGFNS Certification?

The process of obtaining a CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) certification involves several steps. Firstly, applicants need to complete an online application form and submit the required documents, including their nursing education, transcripts, and licensure information.

Once the application is approved, applicants need to schedule and complete the CGFNS Qualifying Exam, which assesses their nursing knowledge and competency. This exam is administered at various testing centers worldwide.

After passing the Qualifying Exam, applicants must provide a valid English language proficiency test score, such as TOEFL or IELTS. Additionally, they need to request their nursing school to submit their official transcripts directly to CGFNS for evaluation.

CGFNS then evaluates the transcripts to determine if the education meets U.S. standards. If necessary, applicants may need to provide additional documents, such as course descriptions or syllabi, to supplement their evaluation.

Lastly, once all the requirements are successfully met, CGFNS issues the certification, which is widely recognized for various purposes, such as immigration or professional licensure in the United States.

To obtain the CGFNS certificate and the Visa Screen Certificate, individuals must successfully complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. This involves achieving an overall band score of 6.5 and a speaking band score of 7. The IELTS registration process includes training and preparation for the exam to ensure candidates are fully prepared for these specific score requirements.

What Is the IELTS Score for CGFNS Visa Screen?

The IELTS score required for the CGFNS Visa Screen Certificate is an overall band score of 6.5, with a speaking band score of The score reflects the applicants English language proficiency, which is assessed through four components: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each component is scored individually and then combined to calculate the overall band score.

To register for the IELTS exam, applicants need to visit the official IELTS website and create an account. They can then choose a test location, date, and time that suits them best. The registration process includes providing personal information, uploading a valid identification document, and paying the exam fee.

Preparation for the IELTS exam is crucial to achieve the desired score. There are various resources available, such as study materials, practice tests, and training courses. These resources can help candidates familiarize themselves with the exam format and practice their English language skills.

Once the IELTS exam has been successfully completed and the desired score is obtained, candidates can apply for the CGFNS certificate and the Visa Screen Certificate. These certificates are necessary for foreign-educated healthcare professionals who wish to work in the United States.

By achieving an overall band score of 6.5 and a speaking band score of 7, applicants demonstrate their English language proficiency and enhance their chances of securing the required certification for working in the US healthcare industry.

In addition to Ohio, another state that doesn’t require the CGFNS exam is Oregon. However, applicants in Oregon are still required to undergo a credentials evaluation process and provide proof of English language proficiency.

Which States Do Not Require CGFNS Exam?

There are a few states in the United States that don’t mandate the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) exam for foreign nurses seeking licensure. One such state is Ohio. While Ohio doesn’t require CGFNS certification, it does necessitate a thorough credentials evaluation. This evaluation ensures that the nurses educational and professional qualifications meet the standards set by the state nursing board.

However, applicants must still undergo a credentials evaluation to verify the adequacy of their education and training. Additionally, proficiency in English is a prerequisite for licensure in Oregon, further highlighting the importance of language skills in the nursing profession.

They must still fulfill the necessary educational, professional, and language proficiency requirements to be licensed to practice nursing in these states.

By evaluating credentials and verifying proficiency in English, Ohio and Oregon prioritize the assessment of an applicants qualifications while setting aside the necessity of CGFNS certification. This approach allows for a comprehensive evaluation that considers various aspects of a candidates nursing education and experience, ensuring the delivery of safe and competent care to patients in these states.

Common Challenges Faced by Foreign Nurses Seeking Licensure in the United States

  • Lack of familiarity with U.S. nursing curriculum and standards.
  • Language barriers and difficulties with English proficiency.
  • Need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam, which may be different from the licensing exams in their home countries.
  • Cultural differences in healthcare practices and patient communication.
  • Finding the necessary resources and support to navigate the licensure process.
  • Understanding and meeting the specific licensure requirements set by individual U.S. states.
  • Securing financial resources to cover the costs associated with licensure exams and additional education.
  • Adapting to the U.S. healthcare system and it’s technology.
  • Obtaining a work visa or sponsorship to legally practice nursing in the United States.
  • Adjusting to the new environment and establishing a professional network.


These requirements are designed to assess candidates' ability to communicate effectively in both verbal and written forms, enabling them to effectively understand and convey medical information and engage in professional interactions with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals. By upholding high standards in English proficiency, CGFNS safeguards the quality of nursing practice and promotes patient safety, while also supporting the integration of internationally educated nurses into the healthcare systems of English-speaking countries.

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