Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Student retention in associate degree nursing programs in North Carolina
by Smith, Linda D., Ph.D., East Carolina University, 2013, 136; 3564539
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics, dispositional factors (academic characteristics, motivation, emotional outlook, physical well-being, and past performances), situational factors (social support, financial status, time commitments, job responsibilities, and family needs), and institutional factors (social integration, faculty support, academic enrichment programs, and program characteristics) and students' successful retention at the end of the first semester in associate degree nursing programs in North Carolina. Additionally, as a newly developed instrument was used, the reliability factor structure and psychometric properties of the instrument were tested and compared to the original study in which the instrument was developed. A secondary aim of this study was to explore the relationship between institutional factors and first semester retention rates of associate degree programs. The study sample consisted of 439 nursing students attending 8 associate degree nursing programs in North Carolina. The relationship between socio-demographic characteristics, dispositional factors, situational factors, and institutional factors and students' successful retention at the end of the first semester was measured by specific items and factors on the Dispositional, Situational, and Institutional Questionnaire (Seago et al., 2008).

Data revealed a relationship between ethnicity, related courses completed, number of developmental courses, and other family members financially dependent and first semester retention. There was also a significant relationship between retention and autonomy, confidence in ability, and flexibility. Students not retained were 3.1 times more likely to have family members financially dependent on them compared to retained students. Students not retained were 2.3 times more likely to not have completed all their related courses compared to retained students and non-retained students were 2.1 times more likely to have taken 2 or more developmental or remedial courses compared to retained students.

Understanding and predicting student retention is a challenge. This study represents a beginning understanding of this relationship and provides implications for nurse educators when reviewing nursing admission requirements and orienting new nursing students to the program and college. With the nursing shortage expected to worsen over the next several years, nursing programs must not only attract qualified students but also employ strategies to retain students and graduate competent professionals.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Engelke, Martha K.
Commitee: Peery, Annette, Roth, Joyce W., Swanson, Melvin S., Winters, Carol
School: East Carolina University
Department: Nursing
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-B 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Associate degree nursing, Attrition, Nursing education, Nursing students, Retention
Publication Number: 3564539
ISBN: 9781303135224
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