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RN/LPN Licensure by Examination for Foreign Graduates

All applicants for RN/LPN licensure in Iowa must successfully complete the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN®)/Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN®). NCLEX® application materials will be provided when the following items have been received by the Iowa Board of Nursing:

  1. Complete the Professional Report application of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Credentials Evaluation Service (CES). For information about CGFNS CES applications please contact: (The Report will require validation of license/registration in the original country.) If you have not been licensed in the country educated in you do not meet the qualifications for Iowa RN/LPN licensure.
  2. Test of English as a Foreign Language minimum score of 540 (paper test), 207 (computer test) and 83 (Internet Based Test) or International English Language Testing Services (IELTS) minimum score 6.5, unless exempt. If the language of instruction and the textbooks in the nursing program were English you are EXEMPT from the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
  3. If you do NOT have a Social Security Number the document(s) that allow you access to the United States will be required prior to receiving authorization to test.

NOTE:  The Report submitted from CGFNS replaces the requirement for a transcript to be submitted directly from your school of nursing.  Do Not contact your nursing program to forward the transcript to the Iowa Board of Nursing.

Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
ATTN: CES Report
3600 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651 U.S.A.

Customer Service:
Telephone: 215.222.8454
(Between 8 - 12 Eastern Time US)

CGFNS Web site

Applicants should request that CGFNS submit the CES report directly to the Iowa Board of Nursing.

Upon receipt of the materials, an application for RN/LPN licensure by examination and NCLEX-RN/PN® registration materials will be provided to the applicant or you may apply for license by examination online. The computerized examination may be self-scheduled by qualified applicants on a year-round basis at approved testing centers.

Foreign Nurse Licensure Candidates: Frequently Asked Questions (English) (pdf file)

Additional questions may by directed to the Iowa Board of Nursing Email or 515.281.3255. 

CGFNS Facts at a Glance

Updated 12/17