I received this information from a good friend of mine. I always get asked this question in my emails. “Do you have to take the CGFNS in ________ (Name of State)?” This a the best way to explain it.
Each state has unique laws and regulations for Registered Nurses (RNs). Differences are apparent between states in requirements for foreign educated nurses.
Connecticut: an applicant for RN licensure educated in a foreign country must successfully complete the CGFNS exam prior to being accepted for examination and licensure in the state.
Arizona: As of August 1, 2002, The Arizona Board of Nursing will accept applications from foreign educated nurses who have not completed the CGFNS exam. These nurses will only need the TOEFL or similar English exam, if their nursing education was not in English. Additionally, nurses must have their nursing program transcripts evaluated for equivalency to U. S. nursing educational standards and validation of unrestricted licensure in their country of origin.
California: does not require CGFNS certification or require the foreign educated nurse applicant to pass the CGFNS qualifying exam. It does require that the nurse undergo a credentials review by specialists within the state licensing agency, not through CGFNS. California will review a copy of a credential certificate from another source, but the state must complete its own review of the transcript.
Maryland: has relatively flexible requirements relative to CGFNS certification. A course-by-course evaluation from CGFNS for foreign educated nurses is required. A CGFNS exam may be required after the Maryland Board of Nursing evaluates the applicant's credentials.
New Mexico: does not require CGFNS certification. It does require evaluation of nursing education credentials sent to the state board of nursing directly from a board-recognized credentialing agency or CGFNS.
New York: does not require CGFNS certification. It does require a credentials verification process by an independent organization such as CGFNS. (CGFNS certification is required for RN limited permit applicants; a limited permit authorizes the practice of registered nursing under the immediate and direct supervision of a licensed, currently registered RN, with the endorsement of the employer.)
Ohio: does not require CGFNS certification, but does require a credentials evaluation.
Oregon: does not require CGFNS certification, but applicants must have their credentials evaluated and prove proficiency in English.
Utah: requires applicants to undergo only the CGFNS credentials evaluation. That evaluation, in turn, will determine if the nurse applicant must obtain CGFNS certification before taking the NCLEX.
Michigan: As of June 2007, Governor Jennifer Ganholm has signed into law House Bill 4207, allowing Filipino and other foreign nursing graduates who wish to work in the state to apply to take the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX) without the need to pass the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) qualifying tests.
Unless otherwise mention above, all other States require the CGFNS exam.