About us

CGFNS International is an immigration-neutral nonprofit organization, globally recognized as an authority on credentials evaluation of the education, registration and licensure of nurses, health care and other professionals worldwide.

CGFNS is comprised of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, the International Commission on Healthcare Professions and the International Consultants of Delaware.

CGFNS and its divisions provide products and services that validate international professional credentials and supports international regulatory and educational standards for health care professionals.

CGFNS protects the public by ensuring that nurses and other health care professionals educated in countries other than the United States are eligible and qualified to meet licensure, immigration and other practice requirements in the United States.


The story behind CGFNS begins in the late 1960s when the United States experienced an increase in nurse migration from other countries. There was evidence that a high proportion of nurses coming in could not pass the state boards’ exams. This raised questions about the issuance of an occupational preference visa or a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor. There were also questions about the exploitation of foreign-educated nurses.

In 1972, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) discussed the problem, and the Secretary of HEW asked the Division of Nursing to look into the situation. The Division’s staff designed a project and contracted for two studies: one with the American Nurses’ Association for a survey of foreign nurse graduates and another with Pace University in New York where there was a foreign nursing center. The studies explored the idea of a screening examination that would determine the probability of a foreign nurse graduate passing the state board examination prior to receiving an occupational preferential visa and labor certificate.

When these two studies were completed, in 1975 HEW hosted a conference of 25 people. There was a representative from the American Hospital Association (AHA), the nursing orrganizations, the dental association, the Department of Labor, the Department of State, the the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the New York State Education Department and the International Council of Nurses, and state boards of nursing.

The recommendation that came out of the conference was the establishment of a private, independent, non-for-profit organization tasked with developing and administering a predictive testing and credentials evaluation program for foreign-educated nurses. The American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing agreed to sponsor the commission and provide money. And so, in 1977 the Commission on Graduates for Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) was born.

The organization has since expanded to perform credentials evaluations and verifications for other internationally educated health care professionals. CGFNS has reviewed and/or certified the credentials of over 500,000 foreign-educated nurses and other health care professionals for U.S. licensure and immigration.

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