ESL Nursing Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Through activities in this lesson plan, you will be able to help your English Language Learners consider nursing as a possible career, while learning vocabulary related to nursing and healthcare professions.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will:

  • Identify and define vocabulary related to nursing.
  • Consider nursing as a profession.
  • Understand some of the duties of a nurse.
  • Conduct conversations in scenarios involving nursing situations.
  • Write sentences.


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

ELP 9-12.1

ELLs will construct meaning from oral presentations and literary and informational text through grade-appropriate listening, reading, and viewing.

ELP 9-12.3

ELLs will speak and write about grade-appropriate complex literary and informational texts and topics.

ELP 9-12.7

ELLs will adapt language choices to purpose, task, and audience when speaking and writing.

ELP 9-12.8

ELLs will determine the meaning of words and phrases in oral presentations and literary and informational text.

Materials Needed

  • Vocabulary handout (1 per student)
  • Whiteboard or blackboard
  • Projector or SMARTBoard
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Nursing video
  • Nursing scenario cards
  • Index cards (1 per student)


  • Acute
  • Administer
  • Admitted
  • Airway
  • Allergy
  • Anesthesia
  • Assist/assistance/assistant
  • Bath/bathing
  • Bedpan
  • Blood
  • Clinic
  • Condition
  • Conscious
  • Diagnosis
  • Disease
  • Doctor
  • Dose
  • Dressing
  • Drugs
  • Emergency
  • Exam
  • Infectious/infection
  • IV/intravenous
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Medication/medicine
  • Monitor/monitoring
  • Nurse/nursing
  • Order
  • Oxygen
  • Patient
  • Pediatrics
  • Pharmacy
  • Physician
  • Physical
  • Post-operative
  • Preventive
  • Procedure
  • Reaction
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Schedule
  • Sterilize/sterile
  • Toxicology
  • Unconscious
  • Unit
  • Ward
  • X-ray


  • To introduce the lesson, ask the students to brainstorm some of the people who work in a hospital. Write down their responses on the board. Circle the word 'nurse.'
  • Ask the students what a nurse does. Make sure the students know that there are different kinds of nurses, with different roles and responsibilities.
  • Show the students a short video about nursing. There are many available free on online video websites, such as 'A Day in the Life of a Nursing Student,' or 'Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Nursing School.'
  • After the video, put the students into pairs and have them discuss the video. Ask them to identify three things about nurses or nursing school that they did not know previously.
  • Give each student a vocabulary handout listing the words and their definitions. Read through the words and definitions with the students, having them pronounce the words with you.
  • Have each student identify ten words that they are unsure about and let them work in pairs or small groups to draw an image to go with each of those words to help them remember what they mean.
  • Assign one vocabulary word to each student. Have the students write a sentence that uses their vocabulary word on an index card. Instead of putting in the word, the student should put in a blank.
  • Collect the index cards and put them in a box or bag. Have each student select a sentence at random, read the sentence and identify the missing vocabulary word that belongs in the blank. The student who wrote the sentence should say whether or not it is correct.

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