Can an RN educated in Puerto Rico, who has not practiced as an RN for 10 years in the U.S., take a refresher course in the U.S.?

By | 2022-02-21T17:48:02-05:00 July 21st, 2014|0 Comments

Dear Donna,

From Facebook: I am a nurse from Puerto Rico and I have not worked as a nurse for 10 years. Can I take a refresher course here in the U.S.?

Educated in Puerto Rico

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Educated in Puerto Rico,

You typically need a U.S. RN license to take a refresher course in the U.S. That is because your clinical time, as part of the course, will be done in a hospital in the U.S. This license is obtained by taking and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. While RNs from Puerto Rico can work in U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals with their RN license from Puerto Rico, they cannot work in non-VA facilities as an RN without having passed that exam.

Contact some RN refresher course programs to see what they require. If you do not yet have a U.S. RN license, contact the state board of nursing in the state in which you live and plan to work to see what is required to obtain an RN license in that state for those educated in Puerto Rico. Find your state BON here ( You can also check with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (

You may be able to find some additional help and support from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (

Best wishes,


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