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Our client has the following fact pattern. They have a number of nurses that have received registered nursing licenses (by examination) from the Vermont Board of Nursing. These nurses have also properly received, from the Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure, full unrestricted nursing licenses, by endorsement. The nurses have job offers in the Virgin Islands. They are required to obtain Visa Screen certificates as part of their green card application process.

The client has heard that CGFNS is holding up or withholding the issuance of Visa Screen Certificates in such cases. In other, more general terms, if State B endorses (or reciprocally accepts) a nurse's license from State A, that CGFNS may still deny the Visa-Screen even though the "new" state, State B, has accepted the license. We have heard that this may happen where State A's requirements are "lower" (e.g. California, which doesn't require any CGFNS action) than State B's (e.g. Texas).

Is this true? Does CGFNS have a policy statement on this matter?

Answer by Judith Pendergast:

CGFNS/ICHP does not "hold up or withhold" any Visa Screen Certificate that could legally be issued. However, we can not issue the certificate until all the requirements, as stated by Federal law, are fulfilled. One of the requirements for registered nurses is that he or she must have passed either the CGFNS Qualifying Exam or the NCLEX exam. If your nurses have never taken the NCLEX or the CGFNS exam, they will not be issued a certificate until they have done so and have passed one of the exams.

I don't know if this is your situation but one circumstance where this occurs is when a Canadian nurse obtains his or her first U.S. license in a state that endorses Canadian nurses without taking the NCLEX exam.