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Investigation into English language competence for English as a second language students undertaking nursing training in an Australian university

The purpose of this pilot study is to identify the English language proficiency of undergraduate nursing students undertaking a three year Bachelor of Science (Nursing) program in an Australian University.

The aim of this study is to identify if students undertaking a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) Program show a change in English language proficiency from enrolment into the program to graduation.

The significance of this study is that it will identify if students’ English language proficiency changes from the IELTS score at enrolment to the IELTS score immediately before graduation and the factors that have accounted for this change. The results of the study is not only applicable to nursing but also to all disciplines that admit non-English speaking students.

Additionally, the study will identify the English language proficiency of students about to graduate from a Bachelor of Nursing Program and determine if they are meeting the requirement for registration as determined by the NMBWA.

This study will investigate:

  • Is there a change in English language proficiency, as determined by IELTS Scores, for ESL nursing students between enrolment and immediately before graduation?
  • Do students undertake any formal English language study in addition to their nursing studies?
  • What informal contact and exposures are student exposed to when living in Australia that may enhance or prevent English language proficiency?

ESL nursing students enrolled in Bachelor of Science Program in Western Australia. ECU International will forward information packs to ESL nursing students inviting them to contact the researchers to be part of this study.

Data is currently being collected with students undertaking IELTS testing and post test interviews. It is anticipated that this project will be completed ahead of scheduled timeline


Associate Professor Christopher Churchouse
Amanda Swift

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