The relationship of aptitude, course grades, and program length, to performance on a standards based test (NCLEX -RN)

Lenora Yates, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was threefold: first, to investigate variables associated with learning, and performance as measured by the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The second purpose was to validate the predictive value of the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) achievement exit exam, and lastly, to provide a model that could be used to predict performance on the NCLEX-RN, with implications for admission and curriculum development. The study was based on school learning theory, which implies that acquisition in school learning is a function of aptitude (pre-admission measures), opportunity to learn, and quality of instruction (program measures). ^ Data utilized were from 298 graduates of an associate degree nursing program in the Southeastern United States. Of the 298 graduates, 142 were Hispanic, 87 were Black, non-Hispanic, 54 White, non-Hispanic, and 15 reported as Others. The graduates took the NCLEX-RN for the first time during the years 2003–2005. ^ This study was a predictive, correlational design that relied upon retrospective data. Point biserial correlations, and chi-square analyses were used to investigate relationships between 19 selected predictor variables and the dichotomous criterion variable, NCLEX-RN. The correlation and chi square findings indicated that men did better on the NCLEX-RN than women; Blacks had the highest failure rates, followed by Hispanics; older students were more likely to pass the exam than younger students; and students who passed the exam started and completed the nursing program with a higher grade point average, than those who failed the exam. ^ Using logistic regression, five statistical models that used variables associated with learning and student performance on the NCLEX-RN were tested with a model adapted from Bloom's (1976) and Carroll's (1963) school learning theories. The derived model included: NCLEX-RNsuccess = f (Nurse Entrance Test and advanced medical-surgical nursing course grade achieved). The model demonstrates that student performance on the NCLEX-RN can be predicted by one pre-admission measure, and a program measure. The Assessment Technologies Institute achievement exit exam (an outcome measure) had no predictive value for student performance on the NCLEX-RN. The model developed accurately predicted 94% of the student's successful performance on the NCLEX-RN. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Education|Health Sciences, Nursing

Recommended Citation

Yates, Lenora, "The relationship of aptitude, course grades, and program length, to performance on a standards based test (NCLEX -RN)" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3268670.