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New Zealand Nurse Registration Process

CGFNS & Teaching Council License

CGFNS Certification Program Overview

The CGFNS Certification Program is specifically tailored for first-level, general nurses who have been educated and licensed outside the United States. Its primary aim is to help these nurses evaluate their potential to pass the U.S. registered nurse licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN® examination, and subsequently obtain licensure to practice as registered nurses within the United States.

The program consists of three essential components:

  1. Credentials Review: A comprehensive assessment of the nurse’s educational background, registration, and licensure.
  2. CGFNS Qualifying Exam: This one-day exam tests the nurse’s knowledge and proficiency in nursing.
  3. English Language Proficiency Exam: Evaluates the nurse’s ability to communicate effectively in English.

Successful completion of all three elements leads to the award of a CGFNS Certificate, signifying the nurse’s readiness to pursue a career as a registered nurse in the U.S.

Reason for Creation

The CGFNS Certification Program was established in response to the significant influx of foreign-educated nurses immigrating to the United States during the late 1960s. U.S. immigration officials faced challenges in determining which foreign-educated nurses applying for occupational visas met the requirements for licensure as registered nurses. It was found that only a small percentage (15-20%) of these nurses were passing the U.S. registered nurse licensure exam (NCLEX-RN® examination).

To address this issue, the CGFNS Certification Program was introduced as a predictive exam and evaluation process. Its purpose was to provide a more accurate assessment of which foreign-educated nurses were likely to meet the licensure requirements and become registered nurses in the United States.

Eligibility Criteria

The CGFNS Certification Program is exclusively designed for first-level, general nurses who have received their education and licensure outside the United States and are interested in determining their readiness for the NCLEX-RN® examination and subsequent licensure as registered nurses in the U.S.

To be eligible for the program, nurses must meet the following criteria:

  1. Hold both initial and current registration/licensure as a first-level, general nurse as per the historical definition by the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
  2. Be recognized as a registered or professional nurse in their country of origin. Nurses with designations such as enrolled, vocational, practical nurse, or nurse assistant are not eligible for licensure as registered nurses in the U.S. and, therefore, cannot participate in the Certification Program.
  3. Have acquired theoretical instruction and practical experience in various nursing areas. Nurses who specialized in a particular field without obtaining education and registration as a general nurse are not eligible for the Certification Program.
  • Contact our Senior Advisors for more information.



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