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English and NCLEX

English and NCLEX

By James A. Rarick

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has made many studies over the past years. Not so long ago they determined that the amount of time between graduation from nursing school and taking the NCLEX is reflected in the final score. The longer the wait, the lower the score. Repeat test takers have less than half the chance of passing the NCLEX as first-time takers.

Overall, that might be true. However, I believe there is a deeper and more significant factor than just the passing of time for Philippine nurses.

U.S. educated nurses have an NCLEX passing rate of just under 84%. Philippine educated nurses have a pass rate of just under 48%. That is a big difference. But, is that difference due to the quality of education? I highly doubt it. I believe that the "other factor" is directly responsible for that disparity.

Philippine nurses have been recruited to the USA for a long time. Any significant educational deficiencies would have been exposed long ago. Nurses would have been summarily sent home in shame. That has not happened, of course. Additionally, Philippine nurses have passed their own licensure exams and the CGFNS by the time they get around to the NCLEX. That means they have demonstrated their knowledge repeatedly long before the NCLEX. Add to that, Philippine nurses have, for the
most part, been intensely qualified by recruiters who are looking for only the best. Then what is the big difference between the two groups?

I believe the difference, the "other factor", is in their basic English language skills.

The ability to effectively use the protocols and nuances of the English language is a huge step up over those that use English infrequently (and incorrectly when they do use it). The subtleties of the English language are generally lost on non-native speakers. To illustrate that point, at every seminar I have presented in the past
ten years, I always ask the attendees "if they mind if I take off my suit/sport coat". Without exception, they always say in unison: "Yes!" Their response actually means that I am denied the luxury of taking off my coat. They are not that unkind. They simply do not understand the question. That is just one example. I have thousands.

If I had a magic wand I would use it to dictate that all recruiters demand that their recruits speak English only, and that they use their nursing school textbooks to stay at a good level of knowledge retention. Next I would give them good English reparation materials and monitor their progress. I would then schedule their English tests after a critical assessment of their progress shows a high probability of
passing. Solid English skills can help with passing the CGFNS or the NCLEX. The reverse is not true.

With the English test passed, I would next schedule them as quickly as possible for the CGFNS or the NCLEX, while their English is still fresh! All too often it is the reverse that happens, and the nurse dabbles along, "practicing" English infrequently, and then for months or years struggles along trying to pass their English test.

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Correct!!! There is nothing wrong about having plenty of knowledge when it comes to dialects...

1. English is an "INTERNATIONAL" language

2. Tagalog is our "NATIONAL" language

3. Provincial dialect is our very own native "REGIONAL" dialect

I, myself knows both national and international language, and some regional dialects but this does not affect my being a Filipino.

The reality about english is...It brings money and send you anywhere. It is the language of business, commerce and trade. Definitely in the future will be the language of all nations...

Filipino Nurses are known for being an excellent health care workers around the world. I think it's because we are trained that way since we were young. We have the skills and knowledge but sadly, we don't use english as our main language, or for some are afraid to use it at all. I noticed when I was in the Philippines, while I was in nursing school, the students are very afraid to speak english, fearing that their peers will laugh or make fun of them for trying. I noticed that many students wants to speak english, but worried that their "grammar" is not correct, or perfect. I myself is aware that my grammar is not perfect either, but since I work with english speaking people, I don't have any choice but to use it. If you are nurse in the U.S.,or any english speaking country, you need to have a good communication skills in order to take care of your patients. It is very important that you are able to speak english, even if you don't have that perfect "American" accent, the important point is you understand what the patient is trying to tell you, or you are able to communicate to others in your working environment. Not all American speak perfect english.You will be surprise that most stuff you learn in your grammar class is not applicable to some native english speaker. I met people who doesn't know the english words we use in the Philippines. words such as "courting" or ligawan in the Philippines, they use "dating" instead.they don't say "for a while" when they answer the phone, but they say " one moment please", or " hang on a second". I don't really know how to explain it well, pero there are words or sentences that we Filipinos don't ever understand unless na lang if you live in the U.S. for many years. However, it's not a bad thing, if we practice speaking english, mahahasa tayo. I do beleive that if you read a lot of english magazines, ( not the kind showbiz magazines...).or practice speaking in front of mirror, I guess that will help. Never mind if you have a really strong Filipino accent because the key for successful communication is you are able to express yourself, that you have the confidence to speak up,be assertive and don't be shy. We have internet now, and I am so aware that many Filipinos uses internet a lot, so why not use it for you're advantage? read foreign newspapers from the internet. also you need to have a good listening skills. by listening, you will be able to catch what the other person is trying to tell you, blah blah blah. Never say never. don't let your fear stop you from using english as a second language. Think about the non-Filipino speaking people who visits the Philippines, yet they don't speak even a word of Tagalog, visaya, or Ilocano...I think it's ridiculous, don't you think?

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