Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Soko Starobin

Second Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers



The purpose of this study was to examine the pathway model of a nursing curriculum and evaluate the relationship and predictive ability of demographic and academic variables on the success or failure of those taking the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) and to determine the impact of noncognitive role variables to student outcomes. A retrospective exploratory study was conducted using a purposive sample of 225 students admitted between 2007 and 2009 to an associate degree nursing program at a large Midwestern community college. Demographic and academic variables of age, prior degrees, Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS®) nursing entrance assessment score, science and nursing course grades, ATI RN Comprehensive Predictor Assessment exit score and cumulative grade point averages were analyzed for predictive value of first-attempt pass on the NCLEX-RN. In a separate analysis, the program database was explored to determine the impact of the noncognitive role variables of employment, and caregiving responsibilities on student academic outcomes in the first year of the program.

Descriptive analyses supported the relationship of the TEAS entrance assessment with early nursing program success. Students with prior degrees were more likely to persist in the program and graduate. Descriptive analysis of the cumulative grade point average showed implications for transfer and completion of a 4-year degree. The results of the chi-square analysis revealed statistical significance in associations between passing or failing the NCLEX-RN in the cumulative GPA and the RN Comprehensive Assessment score and first nursing course in the first and second years of the program: PNN139 and ADN577, respectively. The independent t test determined there were no significant differences in academic outcomes related to students' noncognitive roles. An exploratory forward stepwise regression was employed to test the theoretical pathway model that examines the factors that predict the results of NCLEX-RN exam. The pathway model was not significant due to the limited variability number of observations in the dependent variable. Implications for nursing education and recommendations for further study are addressed.


Copyright Owner

Sandra Elaine Cooper



File Format


File Size

129 pages