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J Cult Divers. 2003 Winter;10(4):113-7.

English-as-a-second language (ESL) nursing students: strategies for building verbal and written language skills.

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University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA.


With the growing number of foreign-born residents in the United States, nurse educators face the challenge of educating students who may have difficulty with the English language. There are an estimated 28.4 million foreign-born residents in the United States, which is the largest number in the history of this country (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). The U.S. census report (2001) shows that the Hispanic/Latino population has increased by 57.9% since 1990 and now accounts for 12.5% of the total population. Another fast growing group is the Asian population that has increased by 48.3% since 1990 and now accounts for 3.6% of the total population. The Annual Report of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2001) shows that the minority representation in baccalaureate programs has also increased with the Hispanic/Latino students at 4.8% and the Asian/Pacific Islander/Hawaiian students at 4.7% of the undergraduate nursing student population. Several authors (Abriam-Yago, Yoder, & Kataoka-Yahiro, 1999; Lester, 1998; Davidhizar, Dowd, & Geiger, 1998; Dowell, 1996; Andrews, 1992) have discussed the importance of increasing the number of ethnic minority nurses to insure the quality of healthcare to an increasingly diverse population. As the nursing shortage deepens, recruiting minorities into nursing is essential to meet the increasing demand. This change presents unique challenges and opportunities in nursing education. Colleges and universities will need to develop innovative programs to attract these nontraditional students, and support programs to help them complete the nursing curriculum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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