Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Barton R. Herrscher


In order to determine whether variables exist that influence student persistence to graduation, a study was conducted on the effect of academic preparedness on successful completion of an Associate Degree Nursing program. Academic preparedness was determined by each entering student's assessment scores, completion of specific developmental courses, the number of credit hours earned toward the nursing degree plan, and the grade point average (G.P.A.) reflective of those hours prior to entering the first nursing course. Demographic information Included each student's age, sex, ethnicity, campus site of enrollment, and the semester of initial entry into nursing. The hypothesis was that there was no variable that significantly related to student persistence to graduation at the 0.05 level of probability. Student information files, assessment exam files, and stock transcripts were accessed to obtain the information. Although over 400 students enrolled during the study period at El Centro College and the Brookhaven College satellite, the sample totaled 285 students. Only those who previously took the District-wide assessment battery and for whom complete data on all variables were available were included in the study. Utilizing the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, the data were analyzed and described using summary statistics and a stepwise discriminant analysis. A student's G.P.A., score on the reading comprehension exam, and credit hours earned upon entry to the first nursing course represented in rank order the variables most influential in predicting persistence. Other variables of significance included the math assessment score, campus, ethnicity, and whether developmental math courses were taken. Conclusions drawn from the study focused on the student profile upon entering nursing, the actual level of persistence to graduation, and the variables most influential in predicting persistence. Students in the sample scored at either end of the spectrum on the math and reading assessments which implies a great diversity in entry level skills. However, prior to beginning the first nursing course, an average of 22 credit hours was completed with a mean G.P.A. of 3.04. Yet 64 percent of the students in the study did not persist to graduation in the two-year period. The efficacy of the model developed can be demonstrated in the finding that 70.53 percent of the sample were correctly classified as either a persister or nonpersister. Based upon the results of the study, three recommendations were made. First, those currently involved in the student advisement process at both colleges need to be cognizant of the influence of the student's academic preparedness upon success in the program. Students whose academic record is lacking in the areas studied may need additional counseling. Second, the Coordinator Council within the Associate Degree Nursing program should address the attrition/retention issue and determine retention strategies to serve the high-risk student. Third, the study could serve as a model for other programs regarding entry level skills and ultimate retention.

Files over 10MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "Save as..."

To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid OR email address and create an account for NSUWorks.

Free My Thesis

If you are the author of this work and would like to grant permission to make it openly accessible to all, please click the Free My Thesis button.

Included in

Education Commons