The California Board of Nursing is providing limited relief for foreign nurses who are affected by the recent change of the licensure requirement in California.

By way of background, as of April 26, 2010 the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) made two changes that impacts foreign nurses. The changes affect applicants who are filing initial applications for licensure and applicants who have applications pending.

1) Initial Application: the BRN will no longer accept an application for licensure by examination or endorsement unless the applicant has a U.S. Social Security Number. Previously the BRN would accept the application and issue an ATT (authorization to test for the NCLEX) and then hold the file until the applicant obtained a social security number. Now, the board will not accept an initial application WITHOUT a social security number.
2) Pending Application: the BRN will no longer provide extensions of file abandonment. Previously the BRN allowed a three-year period for the applicant to submit the social security number but the applicant could also request an extension of that time by providing proof that visa delays, etc. was delaying the issuance of the social security number. Now the BRN will not allow any extensions.

However, for those applicants affected by the second situation (file currently in process at the BRN and subject to abandonment) the BRN has announced a few options. First, once the SSN is obtained, the applicant can re-apply to the BRN by simply submitting a new Application Fee Schedule, transcript and fingerprint card but will not need to re-test. Second, the applicant may request the BRN to provide the NCLEX test results to another U.S. state (such as one that does not require a social security number). This latter option requires a $10 processing fee.

Also, if an applicant needs the BRN to provide the NCLEX-RN test scores to ICHP (CGFNS) for the Visascreen, the BRN will do so for a $60 filing fee.