There is a steady demand for health care professionals in developed nations. Medical personnel from less advanced countries have been migrating to more advanced countries in search of a better life, a phenomenon currently described as brain drain. To work in the US as a Nigerian-trained nurse is desired by many young nurses in Nigeria.
How to work in the US as a Nigerian-trained nurse
The requirements and steps needed to work in the US as a Nigerian-trained nurse may vary depending on the US state you wish to work in, your qualifications and your experience. However, a general guide and steps will be explained in this article.
To work in the US as a Nigerian-trained nurse follow the steps below:
Step 1. Educational and work requirements.
Nigerian trained nurses must meet the basic educational requirements and experience needed to practice nursing in the united states. These requirements include graduating from an accredited nursing program, is licensed as a Registered Nurse in Nigeria (RN) and had worked as a registered nurse for at least two years.
step 2. Foreign Educated Nurses course
Nigerian-trained nurses will benefit from completing a foreign-educated nurses refresher course because it is a requirement for Nigerian-trained nurses to work in most states in the US.
The course has two components a theoretical part and a clinical practice part which is done under the supervision of a licenced registered nurse in the US.
Step 3. English Language Proficiency tests
Most nursing schools in Nigeria if not all have all their courses taught in the English language. This has led to a recent push to allow Nigerian-trained professionals work in the UK and US without sitting for any English language proficiency examination.
However, for now, all Nigerian-trained nurses are required to pass any of the accepted English language proficiency tests before they can work in the united states. The accepted English tests include the following; Test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC).
Step 4. NCLEX-RN Examination
This is another requirement to work in the US as a Nigerian-trained nurse. After successfully meeting the above requirements, the applicant should apply for the NCLEX examination in the state of intended nursing employment.
Registration can be done with Pearson Vue. The applicant will be required to pay the necessary fee.
NCLEX examinations are currently administered in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Taiwan.
Step 5. Evaluation of credentials and Licensure Exam
The US health department will scrutinize your transcripts and qualifications to ensure it meets their requirements. This evaluation of credentials is done for the US state boards of nursing by the Commission on Graduates of foreign nursing schools (CGFNS). This evaluation of the applicant’s credentials will attract some cost which the applicant will have to pay.
To work in the US as a Nigerian-trained nurse, the applicant will need to pass a licensure exam to be registered as a nurse by the US state board where you intend to work. For more information click here.
Step 6. Employment Visa
There are different ways to acquire an employment visa, however, it will be easier for Nigerian-trained nurses to use independent staffing agencies than trying to work with the hospitals directly.
These agencies have a lot of experience in helping foreign-trained nurses get employment visas.
Nigerian-trained nurses will need H-1B Temporary work visa or permanent work visa (green card) to work in the US as a Nigerian-trained nurse.
Step 7. Registered Nursing Job opportunity in the US
Nigerian-trained nurses who have completed all the above steps should search for jobs that suit their qualifications and carrier interests. A good place to start is the nurse.org job board. Checking out hospital websites for RN job openings might also help.