The Nursing as an Additional Language and Culture (NALC) Program for Student Success

Wednesday, 24 July 2013: 1:30 PM

E. Renee Cantwell, DNP, RN, CNE, CPHQ
School of Nursing, UMDNJ School of Nursing, Stratford, NJ
Daria B. Napierkowski, DNP, APN, C, RN
School of Nursing, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ

Learning Objective 1: apply teaching strategies that increase the success of culturally diverse nursing students.

Learning Objective 2: identify the activities and interventions that support student success in a nursing program.

Purpose: The Nursing as an Additional Language and Culture Program (NALC) is an educational intervention designed to enhance retention by minimizing barriers to success in an accelerated nursing program.

Methods: The NALC program is a nine day, pre ABSN program consisting of activities that introduce the nusring student to the new languages and cultures of the nursing profession.  Successful students and alumni of the ABSN program visit and discuss strategies for success in the nursing program. Mentors are developed and study groups are formed.  Preprogram TEAS testing is administered to provide insight as to students' abilities in the areas of reading, math, English and science.

Results: Prior to adjusting for TEAS scores, the risk ratio for attrition was 0.59 for whites, non-Hispanics, 0.96 for non-Whites, and 1.03 among those with unknown race/ethnicity.  After controlling for TEAS scores and race/ethnicity, the overall risk of being withdrawn from the program did not differ by NALC participation (RR=0.73, P=0.52).  Exploratory analysis found that among those who were withdrawn, there was no difference by NALC participation in whether withdrawal occurred by level 1 or a later semester (46.2%vs. 42.9%  χ2(1) = .02, P=0.88).


In an analysis of five cohorts, the mixed-methods research study yielded positive results.  When measured at the end of the fourth semester, attrition was equal between NALC and non-NALC students, and between Caucasian and minority students.  Given that TEAS scores were lower, on average, among the NALC participants, an attrition rate equal to students with higher TEAS scores indicates that the NALC program was successful in its goal of reducing attrition for the minority nursing student. NALC students also reported a high level of comfort with the faculty and fellow students and a moderate level of comfort with the nursing program, and rated program content and quality as excellent.