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 education|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.