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Is a local/Philippine license required to take NCLEX?
Topic Started: Sep 2 2010, 01:33 AM (3,167 Views)
NightinGail
Is a local/Philippine license required to take NCLEX?

There seem to be a big confusion on this matter. For example, in some nursing forums you will come across postings like this:
Quote:
 
I am a Fil-Am & I graduated nursing in the Philippines just last year. I applied for my NCLEX in California. I don't hold a license in the Philippines so I submitted as part of my requirements a written explanation why I don't hold a license in the Philippines. I just stated that I am an American citizen and I aim to pursue my nursing career in California.

Now I received a letter a week ago from the California BON (Board of Nursing) requesting for the following:

- A copy of my nursing license from the Philippines (a requirement of the board)
- As an American citizen I would have been allowed to take the exam in the Philippines but not allowed to receive a license. I could have used the results as an exemption to waive license requirement.
- Proof of citizenship via Visa, Naturalization document, birth certificate if born here or Greencard.


If the nursing school you graduated from is recognized as eligible to take NCLEX, you are required to submit a copy of your license OR diploma that allows you to practice professional nursing in the country where you were educated. If you do not hold a license, a written explanation is required. Also, provide copies of your certificates for midwifery and psychiatric nursing, if applicable. That would be true before Jan. 2008, during which applicants who are Filipino citizens but chose not to practice in the Philippines were allowed to make a letter of explanation to why they did not take the NLE or could not furnish a copy of the local license and a simple general explanation of "having no intention to practice in the Philippines" was enough for CA BRN (California Board of Registered Nursing) to waive that requirement, regardless if they are allowed to take the NLE or not by Philippine Law or if they took it but failed. At present, that explanation is not currently being accepted anymore by the Boards and only those who are explicitly not allowed to take the NLE, or unable to such as not holding a Filipino Citizenship are the ones that are being waived of that requirement. The ones being handed the "denial letters" by the Board starting at the start of the year (2009) are the ones that still made an explanation letter citing other reasons other than not being eligible to take the Boards per Philippine Law as some still do choose to not take the NLE (or failed it) even though they are actually eligible to take it.

NOTE: An American citizen means you have a blue passport and a social security card. An immigrant means you have a green passport. There's a big difference between a green passport and a blue passport. Don't call yourself a citizen if you don't have a blue passport. If you do have a blue passport, make a copy along with your naturalization or birth certificate so you can justify your claim. CA BON won't believe you until they see paper evidence.

It's a case by case basis or a really valid reason like you are a U.S citizen. This has nothing to do with racial discrimination, or the nursing shortage. This is about competency. California would rather have a nursing shortage than 60,000 incompetent nurses.

FYI: To make it really simple, if you have a green passport, take the LOCAL BOARDS. Just take it whether you don't want to or failed because you won't test for the CA BON. This new law has taken effect last year (2009). BUT...and this is a big BUT...there are people applying for California licensure who are foreign grads who are still being given the go signal to take the exam with the letter of explanation. It's really a case by case situation. For those Filipino immigrants don't worry yet. Just tell them a credible reason and make it reasonable why you didn't take NLE.

So there is your answer. As for those who do not fall in this category, you can apply in another state that does not require a local license (Nevada, etc.) and apply licensure by endorsement (reciprocity).

People not having Filipino citizenship has always not been allowed to take the NLE (the local nursing board).

It takes 6 months to process for international grads. The requirements can be seen at this website:
http://www.rn.ca.gov/
Specifically, go here and read about the requirements for foreign grads:
http://www.rn.ca.gov/applicants/lic-exam.shtml

There is a non-profit organization that helps foreign nurses get licensed in the US. Go to the website of the Commission on Graduated of Foreign Nursing Schools, CGFNS International for more information:
http://www.cgfns.org/

You will also have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
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DeborahCal
I wasn't aware of this. Good post, NightinGail!
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harrypott

Taking and passing the NCLEX-RN earns you a STATE license to practice as a licensed registered nurse. Additionally, you must graduate from an ACCREDITED nursing program in order to be eligible to sit the examination.

In order to take the NCLEX examination, you must apply for nursing license from your STATE board of nursing. That board will determine whether or not you meet its criteria for NCLEX examination-eligibility. You must then register to take the exam.
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