The CGFNS certification program and exam is designed specifically for first level nurses educated and licensed outside of the United States who wish to take the United States registered nurse licensing exam called NCLEX-RN, which allows them to attain licensure to practice as a registered nurse in the United States. The program comprises three parts: a credential review of the nurse’s education, registration, and licensure; the CGFNS Qualifying Exam – a one day qualifying exam testing the nursing knowledge and bedside manner; and, finally, an English language proficiency exam. Upon completion of all three elements, the applicant is awarded a CGFNS Certificate.
The foundations of the Qualifying Exam are based on patient needs. The traditional clinical areas of nursing practice – nursing care of the adult, nursing care of children, maternal and infant nursing care, psychiatric and mental nursing, and community health nursing – are covered in the exam. The exam ensures that the applicant is as qualified as a nurse trained in the United States and has adequate understanding of several different patient groups and in different patient settings
In order to be eligible for this program, a nurse must hold both initial and current registration as a first level, general nurse as defined by the International Council of Nurse (ICN). A first level nurse is called a registered or professional nurse in most countries around the world. A second level nurse called an enrolled, vocational, practical nurse or nurse assistant is not eligible to be licensed as a registered nurse in the United States and, therefore, cannot take the exam. A general nurse must have received theoretical instruction and clinical practice in many nursing areas.
The Internet-based, five-day CGFNS Qualifying Exam®, which measures the applicant’s nursing knowledge based on the necessities of nursing in the United States, is held in March, July, September, and November yearly.