Website Q & A - February 7, 2007
As an RN from Canada, Can I Work Here Since I Have a Sponsoring
Dear Mr. Lee,
I am a registered nurse from Canada and came here three months
ago with my Canadian passport and a found a nursing home that is
willing to sponsor me under the TN NAFTA visa as a registered nurse.
I got my nursing education from China. Can I accept the offer from
the nursing home?
You should be aware that all registered nurses wishing to apply
for TN status now need the Visa Screen certification which is administered
by CGFNS (Commission for Graduate Foreign Nursing Schools). This
requirement has been in effect since July 26, 2004. The Visa Screen
certification requires proof of the nurse's education and foreign
license, an English proficiency test and passage of either a CGFNS
qualifying examination or NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination).
The English proficiency requirement is waived for a foreign registered
nurse who has obtained a nursing education in English from Australia,
Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the
U.K., and the U.S.. A Visa Screen certificate is valid for five
years. In your case, you would have to take the English proficiency
test as your nursing education was in China. In addition, although
U.S. state licensure reciprocity allows Canadian nurses to obtain
U.S. licenses and generally avoid NCLEX-RN, the Visa Screen certificate
requirement requires the Canadian nurses to pass either NCLEX-RN
or a CGFNS qualifying examination anyway.