Aspiring nurse, but not bilingual (yet)


I am an aspiring nurse (you may have seen other posts) currently saving $$ for one year in order to take a year of pre-reqs before I can apply to a nursing program at MDC. I'd love to have the option of applying to UM or Nova and widen my options, but private schools are very expensive as we all know. Currently, I'm not bilingual. I probably have the spanish speaking skills of a two year old and can only hold very limited (VERY limited, as in I can understand a lot of what is said, but reciprocation is difficult) conversation. I would love to be completely bilingual, and plan to one day be at that point. However, do you think it will hurt my chances significantly of landing a job as a new grad RN/ADN and not even being bilingual in the miami area? The job market is tough here, but without being bilingual I'm afraid that I'll have even more trouble than most.

on eagles wings, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,035 Posts

Specializes in SDU, Tele. Has 2 years experience.

It may harm you. I see lots of job postings (in my case, for CNA) that state bilingual req'd. Some say bilingual preferred... I guess it might be the same for RNs and LPNs.

I am starting MDC this fall hopefully, so if you have any question's let me know.

Also, I don't know your ethnicity, but if you are Haitian and know Creole I think you can skip the Spanish. :) Lots of RNs I've met only understand a little Spanish but get by because of the large Haitian community we have.

Good luck!


134 Posts

I'd love to learn creole as well! My native language is English, but I respect and love to learn about other cultures and their languages :o)

on eagles wings, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,035 Posts

Specializes in SDU, Tele. Has 2 years experience.

Well you might just learn both. :) I'm super obsessed with languages myself... trying to learn Arabic now... picked up a book on ebay and I get CDs from the Library. Go to your public library and get "Pimsleur" Cds. Of course they will have manyyy in Spanish and Creole. Pim's the BEST audio language-learning program I've come across. You pop it in to the cd player while you drive and basically you learn by repetition.

Its really expensive to buy so I suggest just going to the library. Also if you want a book to learn from, there are many on amazon. And nothing better than getting someone to teach you!! I am sure MDC has Spanish classes this summer.

Good luck :)


139 Posts

I would definitely try to be bilingual, especially here in South Fl. It will probably be an asset to have an option to post for both types of jobs since some do require you be bilingual.

The good news is one of your prereq's is humanities and you have the option to chose a foreign language. I speak 2 already but one is not exactly helpful (English and Romanian) but I'm doing my humanities credit at BC and I picked Spanish. I think trilingual sounds great. lol :p


134 Posts

I already have a previous bachelors degree that I got back in 2001. I took Spanish as my humanities elective, but seriously that was back in 98 and 99. I will definitely be hitting the library in search of those CD's etc. I'm bummed I don't remember much from my spanish classes, but I make myself speak it as much as possible to anyone who will entertain me here. Luckily, the majority of people would rather speak Spanish than English here.


88 Posts

Hi Jmiami,

you can try rosetta stone.....I tried the sample that they had on their website

and it wasn't bad.....i search on ebay and found some of the cds reasonable.


Specializes in Public Health Nurse.

If you want to stay in Florida, definitely it will help you learn Spanish. If I stay in South Florida I plan to either pick Creolle or pick up German; which I took for a few years and I do not remember (I speak Spanish and English). However, do not let this stop you from continuing with your goal of applying. I go to MDC at the present time, and some of my classmates in the nursing program do not speak English and so far when we are doing clinicals there is always plenty of students who speak Spanish to help out. I am sure, it will be a plus once we graduate and we are looking for jobs, but for now, concentrate in getting everything you need ready and apply. MDC has a very tough nursing program and it is at a fraction of the cost and they produce more nurses than Barry, Nova and UM, so go for it. Barry University cost over $50K; though you graduate with a BSN, but MDC now has accreditation for the BSN. I have to work full time, so I am paying my way, with lots of sacrifices, but I do not want the loans at the end. I believe our program is about $6,500; which I think is great.

Good luck. Email me if you have any questions.


2 Posts

It is an unfortunate fact that not being bilingual in Miami will make it VERY VERY VERY difficult for you to get a floor nursing job. Nursing management is a different thing. Even if it is not written in the job requirement, it is still a factor that will weigh heavily against you in the employment process.