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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). 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.  One of the following English Proficiency Tests must be completed in addition to the CES Professional Report: International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE), or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). ​Applicants shall be exempt from the IELST, PTE or TOEFL examination when the native language is in English; nursing education was completed in a college, university or professional school located in Australia, Barbados, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom; language of instruction in the nursing program was English; and language of the textbooks in the nursing program was English. 
  3. If you do NOT have a Social Security Number (SSN), you need the document(s) that allow you access to the United States and it will be required prior to receiving authorization to test. Without a SSN, you will be issued a single state license. 

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

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 3/2018