Predictors of Success in Associate Degree Nursing Programs

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Anna Brock

Advisor Department



Of vital concern to nurse educators and college administrators is students' success in a nursing program of study and subsequent successful performance on the NCLEX-RN® . If students accepted into a nursing program are unable to progress through the program of study, they are not allowed to take the licensure examination and ultimately enter the workforce as a registered nurse. Nurse educators are concerned because of the pervasive nursing shortage and high attrition in nursing programs is very costly to educational programs to the health care system and to the student. The purpose of the retrospective, correlational study was to identify predictor factors to assist nursing programs to determine admission criteria to be used as predictors of student success throughout the program of study, as well as predicting determinants of success on NCLEX-RN® . Students from two rural community colleges comprised the convenience sample. The dependent variables were nursing course GPA and NCLEX-RN® . The independent variables were the ACT composite score, ACT math sub-score, ACT reading sub-score, ACT English sub-score, ACT science sub-score, anatomy and physiology grades, and cumulative GPA prior to entering nursing school. The 2 relationships between variables were analyzed using analysis of variance and logistic regression. The results of the study showed all the independent variables in combination were predictors of success in the nursing program. The ACT English sub-score was statistically significant (p<.001) as a predictor of success in the nursing program of study. The variable of nursing GPA was the only independent predictor of NCLEX-RN success. The remaining independent variables showed no predictive values for predicting NCLEX-RN success.