School of Nursing

School of Nursing English Proficiency Requirements:

A high level of English proficiency is necessary for academic success in nursing as well as for patient safety. In addition to Pacific Lutheran University’s English proficiency requirements, all applicants to the School of Nursing whose first language is not English (including international and/or U.S. residents) must meet additional requirements.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants to the School of Nursing whose first language is not English with the exception of licensed practical nurses and registered nurses who hold current United States LPN or RN licensure. (LPN and RN students may be required to take the TOEFL or other testing before or during the course of the program, if so recommended by the Dean and/or School of Nursing faculty instructors).

Minimum TOEFL Scores for Consideration of Admission:

To be considered for admission to the School of Nursing, applicants must take the TOEFL Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and achieve:

Minimum Cumulative Score of:
86 combined

AND Minimum Individual Scores of:
26 in Speaking
20 in Writing
20 in Reading
20 in Listening

Test Preparation and Registration

TOEFL iBT Registration:

  • Complete information on the TOEFL iBT, including free test preparation materials, testing sites, and registration, is available online. Applicants may register for the TOEFL iBT by Internet, telephone (1-800-468-6335) or mail.
  • To request official TOEFL iBT scores to be sent to Pacific Lutheran University, enter Institution Code 4597.
  • Students who have taken previous versions of the TOEFL (computer-based or paper-based tests) should contact the School of Nursing at 253-535-7672.
  • Only official score reports will be accepted. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date (see score information online).

Policy for Continuing Nursing Students

Nursing students whose first language is not English should be aware that they may not be able to complete the program of study within the described time frame. Individual advising is available and is directed toward student success.

Current students who have difficulty in the program may be encouraged to take extra steps (e.g., enroll half-time in nursing courses, participate in ESL courses or activities) to increase the probability of their success in the program and on the certifying examinations.
Enrolled nursing students whose first language is not English are encouraged to meet with an advisor on a regular basis during their program of study.