Document Type


Publication Date


Date of Final Presentation


Committee Chair

Dr. Pamela Strohfus

Committee Member

Dr. Jane Grassley

Coordinator/ Chair of DNP Program

Dr. Pamela Strohfus

Abstract/ Executive Summary

Background: Multiple factors contribute to student retention and attrition rates in undergraduate nursing programs. Attrition rates are rising, which affects society as the population is aging and there is a need for more nurses. Identifying attrition risk as a method to increase student success is imperative in order to produce more nurses. The purpose of this project was to analyze and evaluate predictive factors and academic issues that affect student success at Oregon Consortium of Nursing Education (OCNE) schools in order decrease attrition rates in the science courses and increase associate degree of nursing (ADN) program completion.

Methods: This records-based correlational study included a random sampling selection of students from nine OCNE community college associate degree nursing programs in Oregon (n = 500). Deidentified transcripts were collected from students who were enrolled full-time in the nursing programs. The data included students’ grade point average (GPA), grades, and completion rates. Prerequisite GPA scores, anatomy and physiology (A&P) course scores, chemistry course scores, microbiology course scores, and prerequisite repeats, and ADN sciences (pathophysiology and pharmacology) course scores were obtained from each participating school via electronic records. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics 24 software with predictive analytics.

Results: Of 488 (n = 500) successful completions from OCNE ADN programs, there was a positive statistically significant correlation between prerequisite biological science GPA and ADN GPA (r = .128, n = 488, p = .005). The correlation between prerequisite science GPA and program completion showed a statistically significant negative, albeit weak, correlation (r = -.128, n = 500, p = .004). Analyses reveals a statistically significant positive correlation between A&P and chemistry course repeats and successful completion of ADN sciences.

Recommendations: OCNE admission standards must undergo ongoing and repeated evaluation to improve high academic standards. Current recommendations include revision of admissions point system and number of course repeats, investigation of A&P teaching methodology and content, and further studies to investigate direct cause and effect of student attrition beyond predictive correlational relationships.

Conclusions: The results of this study were congruent with evidence-based literature. There are four statistically significant and potentially predictive correlations, including: 1) The grade a student receives in a prerequisite science course correlates with the grade they will receive in an ADN science course; 2) Prerequisite science GPA correlates with the GPA a student receives upon completion of the ADN program; 3) Prerequisite science GPA correlates with the likelihood of completing the ADN program; and, 4) Repeating either A&P or chemistry correlates with a higher likelihood of completing the ADN program. In order to decrease attrition, higher standards need to be placed on the prerequisite science courses to ensure that students with high academic qualifications are admitted to nursing programs.

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