Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Meyer, Kimberly


Background: The demand for diverse nurses to care for an increasingly diverse population in the United States is growing. Nursing programs need to have strategies in place to support nursing students who a speak English as an Additional Language (EAL). Adequate communication skills are an essential part of the nurse- patient relationship and can be complicated by language barriers. Strategies to improve this communication need to be evaluated to ensure that resources are dedicated to the most efficient strategies. Purpose: The purpose of this review is to determine the most effective strategies to improve communication skills in nursing students who have learned English as an additional language (EAL). Results: Using Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations (as cited in Peterson & Bredow, 2009), 18 articles were reviewed to find effective strategies for preparing EAL nursing students to communicate in English. This review of the literature found that workshops, technology, simulation, and accent modification can be used as strategies to improve nursing student communication. Conclusion: While there isn’t a set standard for communication competence, the articles examined used academic success, self-evaluation, communication confidence, and students’ perception of usefulness to others as measures of success. Of the 18 articles, 11 reported using workshops or classes to promote communication. Six out of the nine stated that students earned high grades after their workshops. Two reported higher communication confidence and two other studies reported higher communication competence. Implications for Research and Practice: Unfortunately, randomized controlled trials have not been conducted on this topic using a standardized tool for evaluating nursing student communication in those who have learned English as an additional language. For educators, it is important to take into account the specific needs of EAL nursing students to properly support their communication needs. In nursing practice, a future with diverse new graduate nurses who speak multiple languages will be beneficial to serve an increasingly diverse United States population.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons