Were you working as a nurse in Nigeria and you wish to continue to work as a Nurse in the United States? There are several reasons why many Nigerians pursue Nursing the moment they land in the United States. One of the reasons being that, it is easy to get into the profession, you have to go to school for about 2 to 4 years then you can start earning a high amount of salary, starting from $20 per hour and upwards.
As a nurse in Nigeria, you bandaged wounds, cared for the sick, helped doctors out of sticky situations, administered medications and just did what nurses around the world are known for, ensured your patients’ wellbeing. No matter where you are on the globe nurses fulfill very similar responsibilities. Unfortunately, although you may have performed nearly the same job functions as a nurse in the U.S., becoming a registered nurse (RN) in America can be an exhausting process. But you’re in luck; this article aims to take the guess work out of obtaining licensure and gives valuable information to those who are considering the nursing profession for the future.
Nigerians who want to be Nurses…….
Even if you weren’t a nurse in Nigeria, perhaps you’re interested in becoming one and would like to understand the steps involved in the process. It’s actually not that complicated. Several schools offer different methods to obtain a license as a registered nurse. If perhaps you already earned a bachelor’s degree in Nigeria, then you can enroll in an accelerated nursing program at an accredited university or college here in the US. These programs are normally only a few semesters in length. The usual prerequisites include classes in human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, and nutrition. Most individuals are able to finish the previously mentioned prerequistes in a semester or two.
The other option is earning a degree from a technical school, for example, in practical nursing (LPN) and then enrolling in a bridge program option that will allow you to go from a LPN to a RN in just a few months. The last option is to enroll in a normal A.S. nursing program, where you’ll take both general education and nursing courses, which is normally 6 semesters (two academic years) in duration.
Nigerians who were already practicing Nursing in Nigeria:
You’re in luck. Currently in America, there is a shortage of nurses. For decades nurses have been recruited from other countries, especially the Phillipines and even some places in Africa to make up for the shortage in the United States. If you graduated from an agency accredited nursing school in Nigeria then you are definitely a hot commodity in the U.S. According to the American Nursing Association, you should contact The Commission of Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). This organization will then review your credentials and have you take a predictor exam to evaluate your likelihood of passing the NCLEX, which will be mentioned in further detail below.
The NCLEX is an exam developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It is known as the National Council Licensure Examination. Like many other careers, you must be deemed eligible to take the exam by your state’s board of nursing. Keep in mind that every state varies and these guidelines are just a general overview, and your state may have different requirements not mentioned above.
Exams you might have to take before becoming a Nurse:
NCLEX- NCLEX is an exam developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It is known as the National Council Licensure Examination. Like many other careers, you must be deemed eligible to take the exam by your state’s Board of Nursing (BON). Keep in mind that every state varies and these guidelines are just a general overview and your state may also have different requirements.
CGFNS- Some of the states in USA requires foreign Nurses to take CGFNS examination before taking NCLEX. You must contact your state’s Board of Nursing (BON) to get their important updates. However, for Nurses who have passed the NCLEX- RN in any state that do not require CGFNS examination and wishes to have license in another state, endorsement is possible and you can still check on the state’s websites for their requirements as requirements for endorsements differs from state to state.
ENGLISH EXAMINATION- Foreign Nurses who have received their diploma from Universities where English is not the mode of instruction is required to take English examination to show his/her English skills by passing one of the following qualifying examinations: Test of English as foreign language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), and Test of English in International Communications TOEIC.
No matter which path you choose to take to become a nurse in America, try becoming involved with professional organizations such as The American Association of Nigerian Nurses to network and build relationships with individuals who will understand and be able to help you through the process. Good luck and stay positive, the process will go by quicker than expected!
Are you a Nigerian studying to become a Nurse, please share with us the experiences you went through in becoming a nurse.