CGNFS stands for Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.

The CGFNS Certification Program was created with the intent to predict and evaluate the potential of foreign-educated and also forecast which nurses were likely to meet the requirements for licensure as registered nurses in the United States. This lets you know whether or not you are eligible to appear for the NCLEX exam. CGFNS Certificate also helps applicants to qualify for an occupational visa. The CGFNS sends a report to the BON if you meet their requirements.

It is an exam for the foreign students which checks and verifies their credentials. First of all you need to check with your BON (where you wish to practice) that they desire this certification or not.

Being a foreign educated nurse you might find CGFNS satnding in your way even before NCLEX! 

Why there is need for this exam?

When the United States experienced a surge in the amount of foreign educated nurses migrating to their country it became tough to identify the number of qualified nurses. Most of them were not able to clear the NCLEX exam, so this was devised as a predictor exam to make sure they are eligible to work in the US and pass the NCLEX. This not only served as a means to filter out non eligible candidates but also make them for occupational visas.

The CGFNS Certification Program® is a three part program that consists of:

1.  It evaluates the credentials of the candidate, their secondary education, nursing education and licensure.

2.  The candidate has to appear for the CGFNS Qualifying Exam® which is based upon the Nursing knowledge.  

3.  They also check that the candidate should have passed any of the English language proficiency examinations (mostly TOEFL or IELTS). This has to be qualified within to years of passing the CGFNS exam to keep your score valid.

REMEMBER: It is a requirement for licensure by some State Boards of Nursing to take the NCLEX-RN® exam.

Exam Structure:

The CGFNS exam is conducted in two parts, with a total of 260 questions. It is a multiple choice and objective based paper. 

There are 150 questions in the part 1 exam with a time limit of 2 hours and 30 minutes. After a break of one hour,  you have to attempt the second part of the question which contains 110 questions.

The CGFNS exam requires the candidate to submit TOEFL, TOIEC or IELTS passing scores for an eligibility criterion.

Program highlights:

  • It determines the candidate’s probability of passing the NCLEX-RN.
  • The scores of this exam are used by U.S. Boards of Registered Nurses, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, universities and other employers too.
  • The CGFNS and TOEFL both, provide a number os test centres around the world which enables the applicants to save both time and money. This enables them to attain this certification in their home country before even travelling to the U.S.
  • CGFNS prepare two types of CES reports:
  • Professional Report – This report meets the specific requirements of individual state boards of nursing, incorporating their requirements templates and including a statement of comparability of an applicant’s education when measured against U.S. standards.
  • Academic Report – This report is designed to meet the needs of applicants pursuing further education in U.S. institutions of higher learning.
  • The CGFNS Qualifying Exam of nursing knowledge is offered three/four  times a year at more than 40 locations spanning the globe. (check) You should choose your location wisely so that you do not face any travel limitations.
  • For more queries about the CGFNS, visit their website

How to apply?

1. Register with teh CGFNS official website to create your online account. Thsi will keep you informed via mail abput the status of your application and any documents if required. 

2. Go throug the payment instructions and pay teh required fee. Afetr teh apyment is made, the CGFNS ID number is generated.

3. Now you have to prepare and send a request for ACADEMIC Report or professioanl Report; which of teh following you might need. Compleet al formaliteirs teherafter. CGFNS reviews all academic records/transcripts that they receive from your schools after you provide them with your academic documents.

4. The evalaution report is sent to teh designated recipient online. 

5. Now your exam will be scheduled and you need to pass it in oreder to furthur continue your Nursing education or work as a registered nurse in the USA.

About the CGFNS Exam: How to prepare for it?

  • First of all you need to get familiar with the eaxm pattern. This can be done by thoroughly reading teh Official Study Guide for the CGFNS Exam in PDF format provided by the authorities (CGFNS) through E-mail. 
  • Start your preparation well before the exam date.
  • You may go throug previous yer’s questions to get a close idea of the test. Practice sample questions too.
  • Lastly, an organised study plan and teh right approach will help. 

*For any more information about this exam and its requirements, you may visit their official website.

CGFNS and NCLEX: Do not be confused!

When we have a look at the syllabus that is required to be known for a candidate to pass the CGFNS, we find that it is quite to similar to that of the NCLEX. Why?….. because both of them test the Nursing proficiency!We should admit that there can be a slight change in the style of questions but the content remains the same. Moreover, the skills that you need to pass the NCLEX must super-seat the skills needed to cross the CGFNS exam since teh latter is a predictor exam.

But we find that some candidates find the CGFNS exam more difficult than the CGFNS. We believe it is an opinion based on personal experience which may vary. In that case if you really fear the CGFNS you may find the Board of Nursing which does not make the CGFNS certification mandatory to practice. Apply with that BON and be relieved of this tension. But the NCLEX still remians….

Ther is no escape whatsoever from the NCLEX. So, isn’t it better to start preparing for NCLEX, since the knowldge required for both the tests is same and any good NCLEX Review course will help you develop analytical and reasoning skills that you mostly need. It is better you stop searching for a CGFNS guide or review program rather go in for NCLEX review courses which will build a strong foundation in content and also help you develop critical thinking nad clinical decision making skills. Preparing yourself for a higher exam well in advance would of course get you through the CGFNS. 

Many NCLEX review courses provide the same content and classes as they provide for the CGFNS! Though the style of questions might be a little different you will easily get through and save both time and money.

Lastly, if you still fail the CGFNS you do have a chance to opt for a state in the USA who’s Borad of Nursig does not require teh CGFNS certification.

Editor’s Note:- We recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®. Click the below links for further information, or for all their courses and options for 30 days and 3 months crash courses, check out this link.

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