Psychosocial competency of the English as a second language nursing student: A comparative study

Hammett-Zelanko, Eugenia
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Nurses must be capable of recognizing the client's psychosocial and physiological needs. The nurse's ability to do so impacts the outcome of the healthcare experience and may impact future health care encounters. English as a second language (ESL) nurses and non-ESL nurses must both be able to identify the client's psychosocial issues. Little information exists on the ESL students' ability to identify the client's psychosocial needs. This study compared the 459 psychosocial needs scores of 25,782 ESL and non-ESL senior nursing students who took the HESI exam between September 1, 2005 and August 31, 2006 to determine if there was a significant difference in the mean scores of the two groups. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), correlation analysis, and regression analysis were performed using SPSS 13.0. Mean scores were 62.33 for the native English (non-ESL) examinees and 59.57 for the ESL group (p<.001). An ANOVA was conducted to determine if there was a significant difference in the mean psychosocial needs scores of ESL and non-ESL HESI examinees based on age, gender, educational program (Bachelors vs. Associate Degree Program), and ethnicity. All variables were significant at p<.01. However the Eta2 was negligible, thus suggesting that there was a weak, but significant difference in psychosocial scores based on native language. Pearson's Product Moment Correlation(r) and Spearman's Rho were .058 and .069 respectively suggesting that native language was a weak correlate of psychosocial needs scores. The regression coefficient calculation was F (8,71)=10.05 (p<.001), but the Beta values of the regression analysis were small and negated the regression analysis. The limited effect size (Eta2 ), small partial correlation coefficients, and Beta values were secondary to the large study population. The data suggests that ESL student's grasp of the client's psychosocial needs requires further study. Although underutilized in nursing education, concept maps have been used to teach psychosocial nursing and could be a possible solution for improving the ESL student's psychosocial needs scores.

Health and environmental sciences, Education, English as a second language, Nursing, Psychosocial competency, Students