Predictors of Early Academic Success and Program Completion Among Baccalaureate Nursing Students

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Title: Predictors of Early Academic Success and Program Completion Among Baccalaureate Nursing Students
Author: Alden, Kathryn Rhodes
Advisors: Dr. Duane Akroyd, Committee Chair
Abstract: ABSTRACT ALDEN, KATHRYN RHODES. Predictors of Early Academic Success and Program Completion Among Baccalaureate Nursing Students. (Under the direction of Duane Akroyd.) The Nursing Undergraduate Retention and Success (NURS) Model (Jeffreys, 2004) was the theoretical framework for a study that examined the predictive value of selected cognitive (cumulative GPA, science GPA, science credits, previous degree, reading comprehension, math skill), noncognitive (stress), and demographic (age, ethnicity) student profile characteristics on the early academic success and on-time program completion of baccalaureate nursing students. The sample consisted of 370 BSN students at a public university in the Southeast. Data were collected from an existing student database. The dependent variable, early academic success, was based on grades in nursing courses during the first two semesters. The dependent variable, program completion, was measured as on-time graduation at the end of six semesters or graduation being delayed or denied. Three of the independent variables (reading comprehension, math skill, and stress) were measures from the Nurse Entrance Test. The results of logistic regression analysis showed that for the model predicting early academic success (χ2 = 57.76, p < .0001), the significant variables were science GPA (OR = 2.93, p = .003), reading comprehension (OR = 2.52, p = .03), and math skill (OR = 3.03, p = .002). For the model predicting program completion (χ2 = 55.1, p < .0001), the significant variables were reading comprehension (OR = 6.03, p < .0001), math skill (OR = 2.38, p = .04), and previous degree (OR = .36, p = .01). The noncognitive variable of stress and the demographic variables of age and ethnicity were not significant in either model. The findings provide evidence to inform admission policies and to assist faculty in identifying and assisting students who may be at risk for academic difficulty, delayed graduation, or attrition. The study supports the use of a nursing aptitude examination as an admission screening tool and as a means to identify at-risk students. While the results are most pertinent for the institution that was the setting for study, there are implications for other BSN programs.
Date: 2008-12-01
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Adult and Community College Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4090


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