ATTRITION IN AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE NURSING PROGRAM AS RELATED TO SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS

VIRGINIA ANN HARWOOD, Purdue University

Abstract

This study focused upon the high attrition rate in schools of nursing, particularly Purdue University's Associate Degree in Nursing program. The nation-wide attrition rate is nearly fifty percent and, at Purdue during this study, it was forty-three percent.^ The population studied included the 166 students associated with classes who entered the associate degree program in January and September of 1978. Variables examined were Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, high school grade point averages, Pre-Entrance Exam scores, age, marital status, personal responsibilities, and student opinions.^ The first step in data analysis was computation of descriptive parameters for the study population as a whole and for each of the three sub-groups, Group I (those who graduated with the class in which they started), Group II (those who withdrew), and Group III (those who were added to the classes). Analyses of variance were, then, used to determine if any significant differences existed among the group means on admission criteria and scores relating to study habits and attitudes.^ On admission criteria, significant differences at the .95 level of confidence were found among the three groups on grade point averages in high school sciences. Mean scores on the mathematics portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, also, differed significantly for the three groups. The latter finding stands in conflict with earlier studies which found the verbal portion of the SAT to be a better predictor of success in nursing education programs. This may be a reflection of the quantitative orientation found in other schools of Purdue University.^ Academic failure accounted for twenty-seven percent of those who did not finish the program. Other major reasons indicated by students for attrition were that the curriculum was too demanding and that classes and clinical experiences did not meet the students' expectations. Marriage, children, employment, and other personal responsibilities were, also, cited. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Subject Area

Education, Administration

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