Part of my application with the Alaska Board of Nursing is to have my credentials evaluated by a recognized authority. Since I didn’t get my degree from an American institution, I had to prove that my educational standards meet theirs. Hence my experience with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools – CGFNS. I decided to write an article about this just in case there are foreign (outside US) nurse grads who are planning to get it done or struggling with their NCLEX-RN and state BON application with a specific requirement about credentials evaluation who might need a little help.
1. So after making sure that the BON in the state where I wanted to apply at (Alaska) does require the CES, I went to the CGFNS website and clicked on the “Credentials Evaluation Service” tab.
It’s going to display a detailed explanation of what the service is, as well as differentiate the professional from the academic report. I’m for the professional report, which is what the BON needs. Next, I started the online application by creating an account.
After a few more clicks, I was able to reach this part…
I provided all the needed information. Then, I received an email verification, with the instructions to click on the link given, bringing me to the log in page. Once already logged in to my account, I’d been asked to upload my passport-size photo.
After successfully uploading, I chose “Purchase services from CGFNS International”, and then clicked on the “Credentials Evaluation Services”. This was the time when I started supplying them with infos regarding my educational background and nursing license/s.
The fee that I needed to pay for the CES was $335 – that was august 2012. And yes, that’s a LOT of money! But you know what’s more shocking? As of this writing the fee has gone up to $350. Sorry about that. But I guess you guys just have to move quickly, if you don’t want to pay some more – we just don’t know when they’re changing their minds and increasing the fee again.
Now it was time to download some forms:
1. Request for Academic Records/Transcripts form – After accomplishing the first part of this form, I submitted this to my school’s college of nursing. I also requested a copy of my official transcripts which will be sent to the CGFNS along with this form. It was just unfortunate that even though this was an office to office transaction, I still had to pick them up after 1 week (really depends on how fast – in my case, how slow – your school is in processing papers) and made sure everything was in an officially sealed and stamped envelope, and just mailed it myself.
2. Request for Validation of License/Registration/Diploma form – For this one, I went to PRC Baguio and had them fill this out. Good thing, unlike my school, they do the mailing of the document to the CGFNS themselves so I didn’t have to worry about going back there – La Union to Baguio is like a 3-hour commute – I can’t afford any more expenses! It just depends on which courier you choose for them to use: of course, the cheaper the fee, the longer it takes for CGFNS to receive it. I have to commend the PRC Baguio staff for handling my papers fast, I received a message from them the very next day, with the tracking number of the said package. Just one day in their office!! ^_^
The next thing I had to do was to obtain a certified copy of my high school diploma. This was the very first document that the CGFNS is going to receive directly from me.
I was always updated about the status of my papers through emails. Every time they received a certain document, I was notified right away. The same is said whenever they still needed some more documents, and they actually specified which those were.
So 1 month after I paid for the said service fee and sent out all the necessary documents and forms, I got the ultimate response from the CGFNS:
So I’m done with my IELTS, and CGFNS-CES… It’s time for the main NCLEX-RN processing!!! ^_^