Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Dr. Sedique Popal

Second Advisor

Dr. Luz Navarrette Garcia

Third Advisor

Dr. Jessica Blundell


The nursing shortage in the United States has been an ongoing issue due to nursing burnout and retirement. Together with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has further exhausted the healthcare system’s resources and healthcare providers. In order to sustain the healthcare system in society, a large number of internationally educated nurses (IENs) have been transferred to work in the United States. As a result of different nursing practices, cultures, and communication styles, many IENs experience language and cultural barriers at work. Difficulty in communication influences the quality of patient care provided, which can lead to negative health outcomes for patients and poor teamwork among healthcare providers. To ensure that IENs can be as competent as possible, the language and cultural needs of IENs must be addressed. The field project is a handbook that supports the language and cultural needs of IENs in a medical-surgical hospital setting. It was developed for IENs with an advanced English proficiency level and teachers of ESP in nursing programs. The handbook contains vocabulary, reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities based on common nursing situations. The case studies and activities were developed for IENs to build communicative competence. The goal is to highlight common medical vocabulary and communication styles rooted in American culture. IENs and teachers of ESP in nursing programs can use these activities to practice purposeful communication during patient care and with the interdisciplinary team. This field project was developed based on a combination of nursing and ESL teaching experiences. It covers basic communication skills within a small portion of the overall nursing profession. It is recommended that the project be further developed to support the language and cultural needs of IENs to a greater extent.