Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education

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College of Nursing

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Background: Students of diverse ethnic backgrounds, including nonnative English speakers, also known as those who speak English as an additional language (EAL) are increasingly enrolling in prelicensure nursing programs. Information regarding success of EAL nursing students is limited, with emphasis on traditional prelicensure programs. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of recent EAL graduates of an accelerated second-degree baccalaureate nursing program by offering a firsthand account of being an EAL student in this type of nursing program. Theoretical Framework: Leininger's Theory of Cultural Care Diversity and Universality and Vygotsky's Theory of Socio-Historical Learning served as the theoretical framework. Methods: The research tradition of hermeneutic phenomenology utilizing the van Manen approach was applied to this study. Results: The study revealed five major themes: bridging cultures, needing more time, myriad of emotions, network of support, and finding my way. Several subthemes emerged to support major themes illustrating the complexity of being an EAL student in a fast-paced and challenging program. Conclusions: Exploring experiences of EAL graduates while enrolled in an accelerated second-degree baccalaureate nursing program offers insight into the challenges faced by EAL students and potentially influences nursing education, practice, and policy to improve the numbers of diverse nurses.




Health and environmental sciences, Education, Accelerated second-degree baccalaureate, English as a second language, English as an additional language, Non-native english speaker, Nursing student, Nursing student lived experience



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