Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning and study strategies of baccalaureate nursing students during first semester nursing courses
by Gatto, Susan L., Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2010, 113; 3410299
Abstract (Summary)

Background. Attrition rates from nursing courses and programs are reported to range from 3 to 55 percent with 20 to 80 percent due to involuntary attrition (academic failure). While trying to address the nursing shortage, nursing programs increased enrollment, but did not produce enough graduates since involuntary attrition also increased. While previous research indicates that learning and study strategies are related to academic performance, research that helps to explain baccalaureate nursing students' risks were lacking.

Purpose. The purpose was to identify the learning and study strategies and learner characteristics of baccalaureate nursing students with and without academic risk during first semester nursing courses.

Methods. This study used a descriptive, causal-comparative, research design. The Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) (2 nd ed.) measured the students' awareness and use of learning and study strategies. A questionnaire was developed to determine academic performance and learner characteristics from students at two baccalaureate nursing programs in a southern state.

Results. The 133 participants were mostly female (84%), NonHispanic White (81%), and ESL (5%). Age M=23.35 years (SD=5.770; range 19-49 years), GPA M=3.538 (SD=0.2746), and transfer credit hours M=24.41 (SD=35.610; range 0-240). Logistic regression analysis found the model fit questionable (-2 log likelihood of 150.854 compared with the initial -2 log likelihood of 181.048). The variance was low (Cox & Snell R2=.203, Nagelkerke R2=.273). The model correctly classified 70.7 percent of the participants, but that was only a 12.7 percent improvement over "chance" classification. A t-test for independent groups revealed significant (p<.05) differences between the LASSI subscales: anxiety (t(131)=2.941, p=.004), concentration (t(131)=2.663, p=.009), selecting main idea (t(131)=2.760, p=.007), and testing strategies (t(131)=3.462, p=.001) of students with and without academic risk.

Discussion. Contrary to other studies, in this study, age, number of transfer credits, and learning and study strategies did not predict being academically at-risk. A higher grade point average lowered the odds of being academically at-risk while being of a minority race and ESL increased the risk. The academically at-risk students were anxious, lacked concentration, could not select the main idea, and did not effectively use testing strategies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barone, Claudia
School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-B 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Health education, Social studies education, Nursing
Keywords: At-risk students, Baccalaureate nursing students, First semester, Involuntary attrition, Learning and study strategies, Nursing courses
Publication Number: 3410299
ISBN: 978-1-124-01419-7
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