Nepal Nurse going to USA – steps needed Sept 18th 2014

UPDATE June 2019 click here to learn an interesting and fun way to improve your English comprehension especially with medical words and concepts

UPDATE May 2019

Today I found a series of videos from Ilha Panti. These are about a year old. Here is the first one:

and another:


I highly recommend this channel.

Click below. It’s considered to be the best explanation in Nepali language.

The same guy also did this one

“I want to go to USA and work. How can I do it?”


“I will have arranged marriage with Nepali guy who is living in Texas, USA. what do I do?”


“I want to get M Sc  in nursing in USA. (“and are there are any scholarships?””)

(note: I originally had trouble getting USA web links, I added them after about 300 people had seen)

I get asked about this all the time. “How can I go to USA and work?” My first answer is – we need you in Nepal! But if you must go, plan carefully.


I am not an immigration lawyer. I do not work for a consultancy. I have a recommendation as to a specific consultancy, but I am not employed by them in any way nor did they ask me to write about this.  I’m writing this because I don’t want you to make a mistake.

Here is a story:

I live in Hawaii and one day I got an email from a Nepali nurse who just moved to New York City. “Please help. My husband and I just moved to New York. I need a nursing job. Can you help me get a license and nursing job?”

My reply was ” Sorry. New York is 8,000 km away from Honolulu Hawaii and I don’t know anybody there. did you already take NCLEX?”

her answer. “No”

I told that I don’t know anybody in New York and she did not plan properly. They lived there for five months until they ran out of money and moved back to Nepal. She never worked as a nurse in USA.  she may have gotten a job as a “nurse’s aide” – performing personal care tasks which in Nepal are given to the family to do, such as cleaning incontinence and feeding and bathing. such jobs pay minimum wage and are often not enough to support a family.

It didn’t need to be that way.

From what I have seen, it takes more than a year of planning to get all the documents lined up.

you need:

all educational transcripts; IELTS or TOEFL; CGFNS; and NCLEX; then you need a work visa or a student visa that allows work; then you need a social security card. This is not the final list. You will need to pay for attorney to help you.

Let’s go one by one.

educational transcripts: if you have PCL with just SLC you probably will get your transcript rejected. So if you have just a PCL, stop right there. I have never yet heard of a PCL nurse whose transcript was sufficient unless they had SLC plus 2.  For all those PCL schools in  Nepal, they need to stop promising that PCL with only SLC is good enough. it is not true. In my opinion, CTEVT needs to begin mandating that all PCL nurses have SLC plus two.

Hate to tell you this, but if your intention was to go to USA, you should have gotten B Sc, not PCL. it’s probably too late, but – that is the case.

Note: there is no place anywhere where this is written down. If there is somebody who can prove that I am wrong by giving me the actual name of a person now working in USA as an RN with just a PCL, please email me at and give me their contact info.


DO AS MANY OF THESE STEPS AS POSSIBLE, BEFORE YOU MOVE THERE unless you have somebody to support you financially, because you will wait around and work until you do them.  I can’t stress this enough. IT MIGHT TAKE A YEAR to get all this completed.  Can you afford to pass the time with no income?  It will take money.

IELTS or TOEFL: you need a score of 7 (seven) or better in all areas, -speaking, reading, writing, comprehension. take the language test first.

CGFNS stands for Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. Click here to go to cgfns. USA has fifty states and you apply to a state, not the federal government. Most states ask for documents from CGFNS before you can take NCLEX exam. CGFNS application costs about $300 US Dollars. You begin the process by creating an online account.

CGFNS also administers “VisaScreen” in addition to credentials evaluation. click here to learn about Visa screen.

at that site, it says:

For nurses educated outside the United States, all U.S. State Boards of Nursing require credentials evaluation, certification, or verification as a first-step in the application process. Specific requirements differ by state.

NCLEX: only after you have done the above,  can you take NCLEX.  Click here for link to NCLEX. you can take NCLEX in Delhi, but you must choose one of the fifty states to apply. click here for list of all fifty state agencies for nursing. NCLEX costs about $300 USD. There is NO guarantee that you will pass. In USA, the first-time taker’s pass rate is 80% to 90%.

nclex prep photo shirley evans

According to this document from NCSBN, the pass rate for first-tme takers who are internationoally educated is 30% in 2014 so far. do not underestimate this exam.

M Sc program: you need to do all  of the above before you can apply for USA M Sc program. You must be a USA RN to enroll in RN-to-BSN program or in M Sc program.

WORK VISA: here is where you need a lawyer. I am told that USA Immigration Service will reject application for spelling errors, but won’t tell you where they found the error and what to fix. This will drive you crazy.

social Security number: nobody is allowed to give a job unless they can show record that you have this. The US government will fine the employer if they do not supply this. Every employer is strict for that reason.

I wrote about this two years ago!

link to my previous blog on free resources. click on it to find another link to a free document.

My recommendation: my friend Shirley Evans, RN, BSN, is part of SLI Group, in Chaubahil, and she has been doing NCLEX review in Kathmandu for ten years. click here for SLI Group link. She has a proven track record. She will meet with you and give personal evaluation about chances of success. Yes, her group charges money. Here is link to their FaceBook page.

If a consultancy says they have a USA nurse working with them, don’t pay any money until you ask for the name and to meet that person. Shirley’s photo is on the FaceBook page. She is a native English speaker. She has a good sense of humor.


Shirley tells me that there are some inaccurate things here. I will fix them when I learn what they are. In the meantime, the most important point is the same: make a plan make a plan make a plan

FINALLY,  I almost forgot.

If you are in USA, I invite you to go to Amazon and buy my book about Nepal health care. It’s a novel. and yes there is a love story.

The Sacrament of the Goddess

The Sacrament of the Goddess. IN USA its available on Amazon. The Special South Asian edition will be published in Nepal soon.

If you are in Nepal, be advised that The Sacrament of the Goddess is now available in Thamel at Vajra Books on Jyatha or at Tibet Books on Tri Devi Marg. or, go to the Facebook page,

About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

These blogs, and my books, and videos are written on the principle that any person embarking on something similar to what I do will gain more preparation than I first had, by reading them. I have fifteen years of USA nursing faculty background. Add to it fifteen more devoted to adult critical care. In Nepal, I started teaching critical care skills in 2011. I figure out what they need to know in a Nepali practice setting. Then I teach it in a culturally appropriate way so that the boots-on-the-ground people will use it. One theme of my work has been collective culture and how it manifests itself in anger. Because this was a problem I incorporated elements of "situational awareness" training from the beginning, in 2011.
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16 Responses to Nepal Nurse going to USA – steps needed Sept 18th 2014

  1. ambika bohara says:

    I didn’t know USA could be this tough for nursing… I’m in dilemma. … thanks for ur words

    • Do not despair. I am told by Shirley Evans that it is not quite so bad. When she helps me figure out what exactly needs editing, I will edit. in the meantime, start studying! no matter whether you go or stay, more study is always better!

  2. Akankshya says:

    Hi Joe.
    First of all thank you for providing such a useful information. In the blog you have said that +2 is required to work in the states along with PCL Nursing, and i know that is true. I just had one question to ask.
    Do you know that a 3 month course is offered in Nepal for the students who have completed 3 years of PCL, from CTEVT certified college, in any field, like pharmacy, radiography, health assistant?? including nursing. it is a three months course, named Pre-Requisite Course (PRC), in which the students are briefly taught the same subjects (English, Nepali, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) as +2. And on completion of the course, HSEB board gives you the +2 (science) equivalent certificate. this course is held only once a year, in selected places only. In Kathmandu, it is offered at Viswa Niketan College in Tripureshwor.
    I have completed the course too. My question is, will I be able to work or even forward my application to the states, since I have PCL and +2 certificate with me. I finished my PCL Nursing in the year 2008 and PRC in 2013.
    I am not actually planning to go to America, since I am already in Australia. It is just a random question for other nurses to give them correct information.
    It would be kind of you if you could help me clear out this confusion.
    Thank you
    Akankshya Gorkhali

    • Jiv says:

      I understand that PCL nurse needs +2 to do RN license in USA. Does RN through PCL needs plus two to sit for RN license?

      • generally, yes. BUT – I will refer you to all the other blog entries that lead to other experts. If I started discussing your specific case and giving specific advice to every question, I would soon get questions from others I have never met. I would not have any time left to do anything else – there are thousands of people who would ask all kinds of questions and I do this as a public service. so – please ask future questions to other expert, and read all blog entries first.


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  6. Chuda Acharya says:

    Hello there, I am trying to pull over my gf to Newyork from Nepal, she did PCL in Nepal. And I am trying to find ur contact details, but unfortunately I couldn’t. Can you please send me your contact details so I can reach you personally by phone or physical. I want her to come here as working or student visa. Need consultant please. Thanks

    • Hi – you didn’t look hard enough. 🙂

      But, in any case, everything you need to know can be found on this site, somewhere. I generally don’t get involved in specific situations or requests. I am not a consultancy. There is a group called NANA – Nepali nurses of north America. find them on FB or the internet. they may be able to help you – they are base din Queens.

      best wishes!

  7. Sweta says:

    Hi hoe
    I am a PCL nurse graduate on 2014 having 6 months experience. I want to apply US as a student visa. But before applying I heard about NCLEX so it’s good to do NCLEX here in Nepal first or go to USA and do NCLEX there. What I heard is that by doing nclex here in Nepal you’ll get the working visa but I wanted to do bachelor programme. Is it 100% sure that the US EMBASSY will offer you visa after doing NCLEX ? So please do me favour to get rid out from this confusion to do NCLEX here in Nepal or may I apply for USA and do NCLEX there ? Just because I want to do Bachelor programme .

    Thank you

    • Oh my!

      You need to study this, much more.

      I am *not* a consultancy, I just have this blog. You need to give more info, such as whether you have done +2 or not; What your IELTS score is, etc. But – don’t send to me – I don’t give specific advice.

      The USA does not “offer” you a visa – the government of USA does not recruit nurses. You can’t work as an RN without NCLEX, it’s true.

      You need to look through all the previous blog entries and learn a lot more.

      Best wishes!

  8. Nani says:

    Hi joe I am very confuse. I just had pass grade ten if I study staff nurse and finish my PCl course and if I want further study want to try student visa will i be able to try for a visa.

  9. Roshani dhakal says:

    I just passed pcl nursong last year in nepal but I want to go US for further study . What should I do?

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