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The gift of having another language.

I am appalled by Nursing Council's inflexibility on the issue of English requirements for foreign nurses. I refer to the article "Language requirements exclude overseas nurses from practice" on pages 16-17 of last month's issue. Council's inflexibility has prevented a good friend and colleague of mine getting her New Zealand registration, although we all understand her as well as any Kiwi.

I am frustrated she may never get her registration, as she doesn't earn enough as a health care assistant to pay for repeated International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests. She has achieved a level 7 pass in all four IELTS sections, but not simultaneously.

Whenever our ward has a patient and family with poor English, it is a relief that their nurse can speak their language and communication is possible. Doesn't having a fluent second language (or indeed, for many Indian and European nurses, a fluent third and fourth language as well) count for anything?

Henrietta Sushames, RN, Wellington
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Author:Sushames, Hanrietta
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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