The U.S. Nursing Hierarchy: Where Do Foreign-trained Nurses Fit In?

Navigating the U.S. nursing hierarchy can be a daunting venture for foreign-trained nurses. This comprehensive guide illuminates the path for Mexican nurses, offering a clear picture of their potential place in the U.S. healthcare system. 

Certainly! Below are the developments for each level of the nursing hierarchy in the U.S., tailored for Mexican nurses:

CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)

– Provides basic patient care under the direction of nursing staff.

– Performs duties such as feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, and moving patients.

Required Qualifications:

– Complete a state-approved education program.

– Pass a competency exam.

Opportunities for Foreign-Trained Nurses:

– Quickest entry into the U.S. healthcare workforce.

– Opportunity to familiarize oneself with the U.S. healthcare system.

LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)


– Provides basic nursing care.

– Monitors patients’ health, administers basic care, and reports changes to registered nurses or doctors.

Required Qualifications:

– Complete an approved practical nursing program.

– Pass the NCLEX-PN exam.

Opportunities for Foreign-Trained Nurses:

– Increased responsibility and opportunities compared to CNA.

– Pathway to becoming an RN.

RN (Registered Nurse)


– Works as part of a team to provide complex patient care.

– Assesses patients’ conditions, administers medication, and develops patient care plans.

Required Qualifications:

– Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

– Pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Opportunities for Foreign-Trained Nurses:

– Broader scope of practice.

– Enhanced employment and salary prospects.

APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse)


– Highly trained nursing professionals in specialized roles (e.g., nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, or nurse-midwife).

– Can diagnose and treat medical conditions and prescribe medication.

Required Qualifications:

– Master’s degree in a specialized nursing field.

– National certification in the area of specialty.

Opportunities for Foreign-Trained Nurses:

– Highest level of nursing with substantial autonomy.

– Significant earning potential and job opportunities.

Each of these roles within the U.S. nursing hierarchy offers a unique contribution to patient care and the healthcare team. For Mexican nurses, understanding these tiers can guide their journey in the U.S. healthcare landscape, helping them make informed decisions about their career paths and professional development. By offering this comprehensive overview, we aim to equip Mexican nurses with the knowledge they need to succeed in the U.S. healthcare system. 

At Aleph Medical Staff, your growth and success in the diverse and dynamic U.S. healthcare environment are our priorities. Let’s embark on this journey together, paving the way for a fulfilling and impactful career in nursing. Your contribution is essential, valued, and respected in the global healthcare community.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Post


Signup our newsletter to get update information, news, insight or promotions.