Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Winters, Jill

Second Advisor

Frenn, Marilyn

Third Advisor

Cashin, Susan


The current nursing shortage and declining national pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) demand that colleges of nursing select and retain students with greater likelihood of success. While some investigators have identified possible predictors of NCLEX-RN success, little is known about predictors of failure. The ability of Assessment Technologies Institute's Comprehensive Assessment and Review Program (ATI CARP) to predict NCLEX-RN success or failure is unknown. The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine predictors of success or failure on the NCLEX-RN for graduates of a Midwestern, single purpose, Baccalaureate nursing program. A convenience sample of previously collected academic achievement data for 296 graduates between May, 2002 and May, 2007 was included. Descriptive statistics demonstrated the majority of graduates were Caucasian (96%) females (93%), with an average age on admission of 22.2 years. Logistic regression analyses indicated older age on admission, higher ACT Comprehensive scores, course grades in Pharmacology, Adult Medical Surgical I, Community Health Nursing: Family Focused Care and Community Health Nursing: Population Focused Care were able to predict success on the NCLEX-RN examination. ATI CARP scores for Fundamentals, Maternal Newborn, Medical Surgical, Leadership, Community Health, and Pharmacology were able to predict NCLEX-RN success as well. The end-of-program variables, ATI RN Comprehensive Predictor exam results and cumulative GPA also were predictive of NCLEX-RN success. Regression models were less effective at predicting NCLEX-RN failure. The age on admission, course grades for Pharmacology, Adult Medical Surgical I, and Community Health Nursing: Population Focused Care were able to predict NCLEX-RN failure to a significant degree. In addition, the ATI content exam scores for the Fundamentals, Medical Surgical, Maternal Newborn, Leadership, Community Health, and Pharmacology examinations were predictive of failure. Similar to predicting success, lower scores on the RN Comprehensive Predictor and lower cumulative GPA were associated with NCLEX-RN failure. Findings provide preliminary evidence that the ATI CARP, course grades, and age on admission may predict NCLEX-RN success, and to a lesser degree failure. Future studies including data from graduates from multiple programs with more diverse student bodies are needed to improve the generalizability of the findings.



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