PURPOSE: The purposes of this study were to: (a) develop a comprehensive communication course combined with a group program for improving communication skills; and (b) examine the effects of the comprehensive communication course on interpersonal communication, relationship change, self-esteem, and depression in nursing students. METHOD: The experimental group consisted of 82 nursing students, and the control group, 108 nursing students. Both groups each took communication courses from March to June, 2002 and 2003. A group program for improving communication skills was conducted for each 8 subgroups of the experimental group for 90 minutes once a week during the 6 weeks, while the existing communication lecture was conducted for the control group. Both groups were post-tested after the intervention for verifying the difference of variables between the two groups, and the experimental group was also pre-tested for verifying the difference between before and after the treatment. RESULT & CONCLUSION: Interpersonal communication score of the post-test in the experimental group was significantly higher than in the control group and the depression score of the post-test in the experimental group was significantly lower than in the control group. Interpersonal communication, relationship change and self-esteem scores were significantly increased and the depression score was significantly decreased in experimental group after the treatment. In conclusion, the comprehensive communication course that was developed in this study had positive effects on communication skills in nursing students.