Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Martha W. Tack, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Anderson, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Kathleen Cross, Ph.D.


Nurses are in very high demand and this situation has placed an unprecedented call for faculty in higher education institutions to produce more graduates. With more students applying to nursing programs and a limited number of nursing slots available, admission to nursing programs has become increasingly competitive. Given these conditions, a trend toward increasing admissions standards has been noticed as program leaders and faculty struggle to institute some type of sorting method to select the applicants who are most likely to succeed in their nursing education programs. Entrance examinations have been increasingly used as a major part of admissions criteria for nursing programs with an assumption that high test scores on entrance examinations will correlate with program success. The purpose of this study was to examine selected academic and non-academic variables of first-term nursing major students to identify variables that correlate with early in-program success, and second, to compare the predictive efficiency between widely used nursing entrance tests (i.e., NET, TEAS, CCTST, ATI-CTT). This study was a retrospective, descriptive, and correlational investigation of 651 baccalaureate nursing students at a single study site. The researcher compiled data from academic student records to examine 18 independent variables for predictive correlation with the criterion variable of term-one success. The results of data analysis demonstrated that of the variables investigated, 43% to 48% of the variance in term-one outcome was predicted by these two main variables: pre-nursing grade-point average (GPA) and critical thinking test score. Nursing entrance test scores did not add to prediction of term-one success. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated stronger predictive efficiency with the model utilizing pre-nursing GPA and ATI Critical Thinking Test scores. The researcher also found significantly lower term-one pass rates in minority, African American, and English-as-a-second language students. This area of investigation should be studied further. Additionally, by using results of this study, a model, the Early Academic Success (EAS) Prediction model, was developed for nursing leaders and faculties interested in investigating predictors of early academic success in their baccalaureate programs.


Additional committee member: Jacqueline Tracy, Ph.D.

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