Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the difficulties faced by nursing students who are recent arrivals to Australia, or any other host country.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify strategies to reduce acculturative stress and to ameliorate any negative impact on students' academic performance.
Methods: A total of 514 first year undergraduate nursing students studying in the western region of Sydney participated in the study. Demographic characteristics, English language usage measured by the English language acculturation scale (ELAS) and acculturative stress levels as measured by the acculturative stress index (ASI) were collected. Generational status was determined by asking the participant’s and both parents’ place of birth. Consent was obtained to link participants’ completed survey to their academic grades. The university Human Research Ethics Committee approved the study. A P value of <0.05 was considered as statistically significance.
Results: There was a statistically significant positive correlation between ASI scores and generational groups (r=0.50, p<0.001), and significant negative correlations between ASI score and length of residence in Australia (r=-0.23, p<0.001) and ELAS score (r=-0.42, p<0.001). Those who spoke other than English at home had higher ASI scores compared to those who spoke only English at home (p<0.001). An inverse and statistical significant relationship (p<0.001) was uncovered between the ASI scores and mean Grade Point Average (GPA) at the 12-month follow-up.
Conclusion: Results from this study highlight the importance of providing services that enhance students English language fluency and provide social support to build social connections, particularly for students who are new arrivals to Australia.