Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler School of Education


Martha M. Sanders

Committee Member

A. Jared Bucker


This applied dissertation was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a student success and retention program (SSRP) in an associate degree school of registered nursing. The nursing profession is facing an escalating shortage as society ages, nurses age and retire, and quality health care demands intensify. Because of strained educational budgets, facility limitations, and a severe nursing faculty shortage, increasing degree completion rates in existing nursing programs is suggested as a sustainable way to increase the number of nurses in the United States. Completion rates of nursing students were examined pre and post implementation of the SSRP using bivariate and quasi-experimental interrupted time series analyses. Fisher's exact test analyses showed a significant increase in overall student completion rates and a significant increase in traditional (i.e., White female) and nontraditional ethnic minority and English language learner students' completion rates post implementation of the student success program. Though study completion rates for male nursing students were increased, the increase was not significant. In addition, ARIMA analyses of the increased overall student completion rates proved inconclusive and were unable to show inference of cause for the effect (i.e., the nursing SSRP as the cause for the increase) using segmental regression analyses.The study findings contribute to the research and education communities' interest in supporting degree completion for all nursing students. Specific measures that focus on caring theory and caring relationships can help nursing educators increase the number of registered nurse graduates, by reducing attrition in both traditional and nontraditional students. Implications for practice include expanding registered nursing programs' focus beyond pedagogy to include more formal success and retention measures.

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