Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Daniel C. Robinson


This study's primary purpose was to identify student, instructor, and program factors associated with student success in the Associate Degree Nursing program at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC). Involving one class, the research utilized quantitative and qualitative components;The quantitative study used two instruments. First, the National League for Nursing (NLN) Comprehensive Nursing Achievement Test was given as a pretest at the beginning of the class's first semester in the program and later, as a posttest, at the end of their sophomore second semester. "Value-added" scores (the difference between pre- and posttest scores) were calculated for each student. Second, a researcher-designed questionnaire was used to gather student demographic data. Pearson product-moment correlations were conducted between "value-added" scores and each of five demographic data. Low correlations resulted between "value-added" scores and four demographic data (family income, study time, time employed, and community service time). The fifth demographic characteristic, student age, correlated a high negative with "value-added" scores, i.e., older students showed less increase in nursing knowledge between pre- and posttest scores than younger students. In addition, mean "value-added" gains were computed for a sixth demographic factor, marital status;The qualitative portion compared perceptions of high-achieving and low-achieving students in regard to five areas. The first four areas included the relationship between student achievement and (1) student/family living situations; (2) students' prime motivator/motivation; (3) student behaviors (study time, job, and community involvement); and (4) instructor/program input. The fifth area involved student satisfaction with the Associate Degree Nursing program. Qualitative data was collected through individual hour-long personal interviews with the top and bottom ten students, according to class rank. Class rank was determined by total points students earned by the end of the sophomore first semester;Top and bottom students expressed some differences in perceptions, such as in family/living situations. Conclusions and implications which related to classroom, program, and college policies, activities, and support services were described. Recommendations for further research included studies involving expanded student numbers; varied interview questions; and additional competencies, such as development of the affective domain, critical thinking, time management, self-esteem, and interpersonal skills.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Mary Furleigh Woerner



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

242 pages