As foreign-trained nurses become an increasingly integral component of our nation's healthcare system, it is important that efforts be undertaken to help them attain and maintain adequate proficiency in the English language. The objective of this Phase II project is to develop a web- based language-study program that will improve the medical English and communicative skills of foreign-trained nursing professionals. Evaluation of the Phase I prototype demonstrated that an interactive language study program was a highly feasible and desirable way to increase the medical English proficiency of foreign- trained nurses. During Phase II, a technically enhanced language acquisition software system with vastly expanded curricula will be developed and evaluated with 120 representative participants via a 12-month intervention. Criteria for evaluation include quantitative data based on healthcare professionals'acquisition of target language skills, as well as their qualitative feedback throughout the course of their studies.
In light of the significant nursing shortage in America, healthcare institutions are increasingly relying on a supply of foreign-trained personnel to provide adequate nursing care to their patients. An increasing number of these nurses of these nurses now come from non-English speaking countries and have suboptimal levels of medical English proficiency. Currently, there is a lack of medically-focused ESL resources available for nursing students and working professionals, in spite of their overwhelming interest to improve their chances for success on licensing examinations and better serve their patients. Using a customized software application to increase the communicative competence of nurses with limited English proficiency will translate into a plethora of benefits, including: enhanced communication between foreign-trained staff and their co- workers, greater quality of care for the patients they serve, and overall improved functioning of the healthcare delivery system.