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How to work in USA as a Canadian Registered Nurse in 2021!

The first thing you need to do to work in the USA as a canadian registered nurse is to verify your nursing documents through the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). The link to their website is in the description of this video! State Boards of Nursing require that you first apply to CGFNS International, Inc. to have your academic and professional credentials evaluated to ensure that your documents are authentic and that what you’ve learned is comparable to U.S. nursing standards. From what I heard this process takes many months. However not EACH state requires you to do this if you completed your nursing degree in Canada. So, it depends on which state you are applying to work.


The second thing you need is the NCLEX exam done. After I think 2015 canadian nurses needed to complete the NCLEX in order to work in Canada. However if you do not have the NCLEX you need to do that before even applying to work in the USA as that is a requirement. Check out my website for a free guide on how to pass the nclex.


The third qualification you need is to have the proper license for the state you want to work. Some states have licenses that cover multiple different states, some require individual ones, so again, it depends on the state you are wanting to work in. From people that have worked there, they have recommended you get your documents verified first and then have your license exam or qualifications met for the state. That is because there is a delay between you getting your documents verified by CGFNS and you do not want to have to pay twice to have your license in a different state when you can’t work there yet.


The last thing you need is to get a job offer. So once you have your documents verified, you have your nclex and you have your state license it is time to apply for a job. Once you have the job offer the next thing you need to is to obtain a visa, before I begin talking about that I want to talk about travel agency organizations. While these organization may be recommended, I do not think it is worth having them take a cut of your pay for them finding a hospital to work at and helping you with the paper work. That is a topic for another video but in general it is better to do these things yourself. I also believe it is important to research about the hospital you want to work at before going there the US is obviously a country that does not have universal healthcare so some hospitals may have different levels of staffing ratio etc.. To make more profit. From what I heard though university hospitals are generally one of the best to work at but let me know what your thoughts are if you are a US RN watching this. That is also why it is better to find the hospital yourself, because you will have better options of hospitals you apply to.


Okay so the immigration processes can be tricky as well. The most common way to obtain your visa to work there is through the H-1B Visa.  U.S. law requires nurses to complete a screening program before they can receive an occupational visa. CGFNS is approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to validate the credentials of nine foreign healthcare professions for occupational visas, including registered nurses. Completing CGFNS’ VisaScreen®: Visa Credentials Assessment Service will satisfy the screening program requirement. You will need a “U.S.-based employer” that will serve as the petitioner for your visa. Your VisaScreen® certificate must be included on every visa or green card petition filed on your behalf. Once you have the job offer, you obviously tell your employer that you need a letter reporting your job offer. This will include the Proposed job title, Proposed job description, Description of compensation, Amount of time in the U.S. requested (up to three years for each adjudication). After you have all that you will all these items to the U.S.-Canadian border, including certain Canadian airports with U.S. Pay for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance which is approximately $60.  If approved, the nurse will be admitted to the United States.


Total cost for documents and everything approximately $1200 USD. Check out the description for more detailed information if you want to know the exact details of how much everything costs.


Anyway I hope you enjoyed this video. Again, this is a guide to help you understand the various steps, I obviously encourage you to do your own research and learn how to work in USA yourself.


Visa Screen:


VisaScreen Credential Assessment Service:


Useful articles:

8 steps on becoming a US RN:

6 thoughts on “How to work in USA as a Canadian Registered Nurse in 2021!

  1. I am a registered nurse from pakistan
    I have almost 10 year experience .
    I worked in military hospital . Got early retirement, i want to do job in canada please guide me.your videos are help ful butt there is no video regarding international nurses . waiting for your reply.

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