Student persistence in associate degree nursing programs at Mississippi community colleges

Kathryn Lee Fleming

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine factors of student persistence and attrition in addition to strategies that may help students persist in associate degree nursing programs at community colleges. Data were collected from nursing students enrolled in first-year associate degree nursing programs at participating Mississippi community colleges and analyzed using multiple regression and repeated measures ANOVAs. Tinto's Classic Model and Bean & Metzner's Nontraditional Model of Student Attrition were utilized in this study. This mixed methods convenience sample yielded 564 participants, and the results were as follows: environmental factors and demographic factors of student persistence were found to be significant predictors with gender being significant, and there was a statistically significant difference between academic, social integration, and environmental factors with environmental factors having a greater difference. This should be examined with a degree of caution since the Cronbach alpha of environmental factors was lower than .70. Further research should be conducted at other institutions and care should be taken to not generalize.