Predictors of first semester attrition and their relation to retention of generic associate degree nursing students

Donna Katherine Jackson, Florida International University


In community college nursing programs the high rate of attrition was a major concern to faculty and administrators. Since first semester attrition could lead to permanent loss of students and low retention in nursing programs, it was important to identify at-risk students early and develop proactive approaches to assist them to be successful. The goal of nursing programs was to graduate students who were eligible to take the national council licensing examination (RN). This was especially important during a time of critical shortage in the nursing workforce. ^ This study took place at a large, multi-campus community college, and used Tinto's (1975) Student Integration Model of persistence as the framework. A correlational study was conducted to determine whether the independent variables, past academic achievement, English proficiency, achievement tendency, weekly hours of employment and financial resources, could discriminate between the two grade groups, pass and not pass. Establishing the relationship between the selected variables and successful course completion might be used to reduce attrition and improve retention. Three research instruments were used to collect data. A Demographic Information form developed by the researcher was used to obtain academic data, the research questionnaire Measure of Achieving Tendency measured achievement motivation, and the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), Form 8, Level A, Tests 1, 4, and 5 measured the level of English proficiency. The Department of Nursing academic policy, requiring a minimum course grade of “C” or better was used to determine the final course outcome. A stepwise discriminant analysis procedure indicated that college language level and pre-semester grade point average were significant predictors of final course outcome. ^ Based on the findings of the study recommendations focused on assessing students' English proficiency prior to admission into the nursing program, an intensive remediation plan in language comprehension for at-risk students, and the selection of alternate textbooks and readings that more closely matched the English proficiency level of the students. A pilot study should be conducted to investigate the benefit of raising the admission grade point average. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Health Sciences, Nursing

Recommended Citation

Jackson, Donna Katherine, "Predictors of first semester attrition and their relation to retention of generic associate degree nursing students" (2002). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3076647.