Based on a qualitative study of 19 nurses' written narratives on their use of English in the nursing workplace, we explore the current and changing use of English for Nursing Purposes (ENP) in countries where English is learned primarily as a foreign language, using Taiwan as the case study. The study gathered qualitative data regarding why and how nurses use English in the workplace. The most significant themes that emerged regarding why English is used were quality of nursing care, professionalism, and career advancement: to "Keep abreast of medical/nursing research and new treatments," "Improve quality of care/provide health education," "Communicate with doctors and other health-care professionals," and "Communicate with foreign caregivers." Regarding how they use English, in contrast to previous studies (Lee, 1998; Yang & Su, 2003), our study's participants emphasized professional reading to improve patient care and communicating with foreign caregivers more than communicating with foreign patients, and instructing foreign caregivers rather than patients' family members on patient care. The results of this study may be useful in ENP course development and future research on the English language use of nurses and other health-care workers in Taiwan and other countries where English is learned primarily as a foreign language.
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