Authors: Paul Glew, Janet Starr, Erst Carmichael, Kathleen Dixon, Yenna Salamonson
This paper explores the impact of a literacy strategies program embedded into an undergraduate nursing program to support the learning of students in a School of Nursing and Midwifery at an Australian university. A study of student experiences of the literacy support interventions was conducted through interviews with students from the nursing program following their participation in literacy support. Students reported a high level of satisfaction and increased confidence in learning from the support. They often engaged in support to develop skills critical for assessment tasks and some students accessed the support specifically to develop literacy skills and proficiency in English as an additional language (EAL) in written and spoken communication. The thematic analysis of student interviews revealed that from the suite of support strategies, students highly valued the workshops and one-on-one consultation support from Professional Communication Academic Literacy (PCAL) support tutors. The paper integrates the findings from the experiences of the students with discussion on the emerging issue for university programs of identifying and supporting students in developing vital literacy and language skills for success in academic studies. The strategies and findings presented on the support program have transferability to similar student learning contexts in other nursing programs and schools.
Keywords: undergraduate nursing, academic literacy support; English language skills