US Nursing Licensure RN License Information

For nurses who have not undertaken their professional training in the following list of Exempt Countries, the American immigration process requires you to take and pass a certified English test, either the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the TOEFL/TSE (Test of English as a Foreign Language/Test of Spoken English) tests.

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Exempt Countries

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Canada (except Quebec, only schools approved for exemption are: McGill University, Dawson College, Vanier College, John Abbott College, and Heritage College)
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Approved English Language Testing


These tests are internationally recognized English language examinations that meet the criteria set by the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Services) for visascreen and healthcare worker certification and ICHP (International Commission for Healthcare Professionals).

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
  • OET (Occupational English Test)
  • Pearson PTE Academic
  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-based Test)
  • TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication)

For more information on the list of tests and scores, visit HRSA list of tests and scores.