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will it be hard for me nursing school?

pandameow pandameow (New) New

i have english as a second language will it be hard for me when i am on nursing school?

i will start my nursing school this february 2010.


Specializes in Emergency. Has 6 years experience.

Nursing school is not easy. I imagine if English is your second language you could have more of a challenge. Was this question really necessary?


Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 3 years experience.

How long has English been your second language?

The nursing class behind me had a young man in your situation. He was from Nigeria and English is his second language. I don't know how long he had been speaking English. After nursing class, he would go home for the night, translate his notes from English to his primary language. He would study in his primary language. He said his nights were very long, and he didn't get much sleep. After his first quarter he dropped out. I enjoyed helping him in the lab with skills. He could perform his skills as well as everyone else. Many classmates helped him in the library also. I felt bad when he left, he has a nursing heart.

Hang in there, I wish you the best of luck.

While nursing school will probably be more difficult than if you were studying in your first language, it is something you can do with hard work. I am sure your ability to communicate in two languages will be a great advantage in the search for a job in the future. The best of luck to you.


Specializes in Wound Care, LTC, Sub-Acute, Vents. Has 5 years experience.

i have english as a second language will it be hard for me when i am on nursing school?

i will start my nursing school this february 2010.

it depends. how long have you been in the us and what is your country of origin?

i have english as my second language and i did not have difficulty during nursing school. i am from the philippines and english is widely used there. the only problem i foresee is your accent. don't be discouraged if your teachers and patients ask you to repeat what ever you said.

good luck with nursing school. remember, the us is a melting pot so we are all from other countries (except for the american indians).


p.s. sorry to the poster who said about translating it back to your language when studying. do not do that. it will be harder for you and will be time consuming.


There are a lot of ESL Nursing students in my class and most of them are having very specific challenges because of language skills. They have a hard time reading all the material because they read slowly and a difficult time in lab because the instructors present new material quickly then disperse us to work on it. They also have a difficult time finishing exams because it takes them longer to read the questions - which are already difficult to read for native speakers.

Clinical sometimes poses challenges because residents, who may already have trouble with hearing or cognition, take a while to get used to their accents and they have a bit more difficulty in giving verbal report. Their written documentation is generally better than their home grown classmates.

All that being said, the vast majority of these students are passing. They are not getting the A grades they are used to getting in the prereq courses, but they are passing their exams, checkoffs, and clinical rotations. As a very bright Indian friend of mine says, "As long as I pass, I am happy!"

So, yes it will be hard for you in nursing school. But not impossible. Many, many ESL nurses and student nurses can tell you it is doable.

Good luck!

Was this question really necessary?

Yes, it was. The prospective student is clearly for looking for information on specific difficulties an ESL student might have. The OP's question was not much different than others who ask about juggling work/family/financial/disability challenges related to nursing school.

Nursing school is not easy. I imagine if English is your second language you could have more of a challenge. Was this question really necessary?

Was this portion of your response?

I would imagine that it would be a little harder, but I'm sure you could do it if you really worked at it. I would really utilize as many resources as possible, like tutoring or study groups.

That's for you to decide, as it's totally subjective. Some people struggle through a two hour class dying for a cigarette and others do triathlons. You'll have to determine what your character enables you to do.

When I started nursing school, one of the fourth semester students gave a de-motivational speech. She said we'll cry at least once a week; we'll never get to see our friends and we'll all gain weight. She was projecting her own dysfunction on to us. I thought nursing school was easy; it just took a lot of continuous work. I have no clue as to your English reading level. Were you schooled in the states? If not, maybe that will be an advantage for you. I know several foreign nurses and doctors. If they could do it, what prevents you to?

tokyoROSE, BSN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 2 years experience.

English is my second language as well, but I've been in America for awhile now so it hasn't been a challenge for me. Sometimes I won't understand specific phrases or references, but my classmates are glad to help.


Specializes in telemetry, ortho, med-surg.

Nursing school is hard, period. With that said, try to get with a native English speaker for study group or a tutor. One of my best friends in my program had English as a second language. She would often misinterpret the meaning of words. I would rephrase a sentence and she would understand the content a bit better.