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How do International students pursue Nursing in USA?

Posted on August 1, 2020
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How do International students pursue Nursing in USA

At the undergraduate level, international students have the option of pursuing an ADN or BSN. Nurses can choose from either an associate degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

ADN programs from career-focused colleges can be completed in 12-24 months. BSN programs typically take four years, but some can be completed sooner. The main differences between ADN and BSN programs are the length of time needed to complete each and the number of credits required graduating from the program.

However, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is more preferred degree in majority of the hospitals. Graduates with either degree are qualified to take the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, the licensing exam for registered nurses in the USA.

Requirements to study BSN in the USA for International Students

Academic Transcript Requirements – All higher-secondary official documents/ transcripts should be issued in English. If original documents are issued in a language other than English, certified English translations must also be submitted.

WES Evaluation is needed, and the GPA should be minimum 3 or more in the scale of 4 in relevant subject like Biology, Anatomy, health and hygiene, chemistry, pre nursing courses etc.

Standardized Test score – SAT / ACT is needed. Your score in SAT/ACT maths and science section is especially important. Competitive college may ask for SAT subject test like chemistry, Biology as well. (Good SAT score may vary between1440-1560/ ACT 32-35)

English Proficiency Test – IELTS 6.5 / TOEFL 100 needed

Personal Statement, LOR needed. Students must submit evidence of financial resources, sufficient to cover the total cost of the student’s full-time program.

Cost of Studying BSN

Pursuing a bachelor’s — Tuition fees for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) range anywhere from $40,000 to well over $100,000 each year in private institutions and large universities

MSN / Advanced course in Nursing.

Advanced nursing programs provide in-depth, specialized training that can lead to high-level certifications, licenses, and careers.

Individuals in specialized nursing careers earn higher salaries than those who practice general nursing. Professionals such as critical-care nurses and advanced practice registered nurses typically need a master’s degree, certification, and nursing licensure.

Requirements to study MSN in the USA for International Students

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from an ACEN (NLN), ACICS, or CCNE accredited program.
  • Current RN license in U.S. state/territory or locale where student will complete clinical requirements.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher in the undergraduate degree.
  • A pre-admission interview. If the applicant stays outside the country, a telephone interview may be conducted.
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • English Proficiency Test – IELTS (6.5) / TOEFL (100)
  • Pre-requisite statistics course within the last 10 years with a grade of B- or better
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s capacity and potential for master’s study from each of the following: The director or a faculty member from the most recent academic program attended (if applicant has been a nursing student in the last 5 years) or from a recent employer, and a person who can speak about applicant’s professional work.
  • A typed essay (500-word minimum) stating your philosophy of nursing; reasons for wanting to study in an area of concentration; what you expect from the master’s program; and your future career goals.


To pass Licensure exam one has to submit the credential documents that they passed BSN / MSN. Nursing professionals must hold a license to practice.

Although licensure and nursing education requirements vary by state, candidates must typically sit for the nursing licensure exam. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing administers licensing tests for practical and registered nurses. Candidates can take these exams after earning an associate degree or bachelor degree in nursing. Through the Nurse Licensure Compact, licensed nurses can transfer their credentials between participating states.

LVN vs. RN:

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) work under the supervision of RNs and handle tasks such as taking vital signs, collecting samples, and administering medication. LPNs must hold at least a certificate or a diploma from a community college, vocational school, or hospital. These programs typically take around 12 months to complete, though some are as short as 7 while others are as long as 24.

Registered nurses (RNs) handle issues related to more critical patient care while also supervising LPNs and nursing assistants. They need to have at least a 2-year associate’s degree in nursing, though 4-year bachelor’s degrees are becoming a common essential for employers. Some states may even require nurses with MSN degree.

Some of the Universities in USA for BSN/MSN program

  • University of San Diego
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Boston College
  • New York University
  • UCLA
  • University of Washington
  • Michigan State University
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