Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Applications for enrollment in the Associate Degree Nursing program at Fayetteville Technical Institute have for several years far exceeded the number of students who could be accommodated. During this same period. attrition from the program was among the highest of the nursing schools in North Carolina. The problem that must be fated is how to improve the qualified applicant pool without jeopardizing open access. If an objective means for screening candidates could be determined, the selection process could be improved and those candidates with the greater potential for success in the program and graduation would be admitted. An awareness of the factors which contributed to the success of graduates will also permit the development of programs and procedures that will enhance student retention. Based on the data for all 197 students who enrolled in the program over a three-year period. a Chi-Square analysis was used to determine the significance of the relationship between successful completion of the ADN program and fourteen variables associated with high school prerequisites, pre-admission preparation, and performance in the first quarter of the program. The high school prerequisite factors included high school class rank: grades in high school algebra, biology, and chemistry: and the years of elapsed time between the completion of these prerequisites and the start of the ADN program. Pre-admission factors included the grades in a mathematics prerequisite course, the number of college credit hours transferred to the program, credit hours completed in developmental courses, credit hours attempted in nursing-related courses prior to the start of ADN, and the grade point average attained in these curriculum related courses. The performance factors included the number of credit hours attempted in the first quarter, grades in the co-requisite biology and the introductory nursing courses. and the first quarter grade point average. The study revealed that successful students were better prepared academically. They had completed more of the high school prerequisite courses with higher grades. Successful students transferred a greater number of college credits, received higher grades in the mathematics pre-requisite. and they achieved a higher grade point average in the related courses completed before the start of the program. Successful students required fewer developmental courses and attempted fewer courses in the first quarter of ADN than did the non-successful students. Grades in biology and in the introductory nursing course. together with the GPA after the first quarter in the program, were found to be significant factors predicting success Two variables considered in the study were not found to be significantly related with success. These variables were the requirements that the high school prerequisites be completed within five years prior to enrollment and the number of related courses completed prior to the start of the ADN program. The study resulted in six recommendations. They were: 1. To disseminate the profile comparing successful and non-successful students to interested applicants, area high school counselors, and faculty advisors for their information and use. 2. To revise sone of the current admission pre-requisites and procedures. 3. To review the adequacy of entrance testing policies. 4. To develop a basic nursing skills course for the first quarter students to replace the current mathematics prerequisite course which would incorporate other knowledge and skills essential to early performance. 5. To review the ADN curriculum to determine if the current structure could be redesigned to reduce the workload in the early part of the program. Two alternatives suggested included establishing a "two-step" program where students would complete the Practical Nursing program before entering ADN or development of a health occupations preparatory curriculum that would include the related curriculum courses common to all allied health students. 6. To establish an institutional research program as a continuing, dedicated effort to address the persistent problems associated with oversubscription and attrition in Associate Degree Nursing and other curriculum programs.

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