Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The purpose of this investigation was to identify academic variables, both before and during the nursing program, that predicted the practical nursing student’s success in educational and licensure processes. The predictor variables were (a) high school grade point average (GPA); (b) Practical Nursing Entrance Exam (PNEE); (c) number of support course credit hours successfully completed prior to nursing school; (d) Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE); (e) first, second, and third nursing course percentage grade; and (f) LPN Assessment Test. The criterion variables included (a) percentage grade for the first nursing course, (b) LPN Assessment Test pass rate, and (c) National Council Licensure Examination for practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) pass rate. The sample (N=62 consisted of practical nursing (PN) students who attended and/or graduated form a Midwestern vocational technical school/college during the time between August 1991 and June 1995. Due to incomplete data on some nursing program entrants, statistical analyses were conducted on variables with complete data sets and, thus, the sample size for each analysis varied. The investigation found: (a) there was a moderate, positive correlation (r = .35, p < .05) between high school GPA and the first nursing course percentage grade (FNCPG); (b) the third nursing course percentage grade (TNCPG) was the most important academic predictor in discriminating between the LPN Assessment Test pass and fail groups; (c) passing the LPN Assessment Test correlated with passing the NCLEX-PN (r = .32, p, .01); and (d) the PNEE composite score (R-.59) and TABE total reading score (R= .57) were the best predictors of the LPN Assessment Test percentage score when each test was analyzed separately. Based on these findings, the high school GPA, TABE, and PNEE can be analyzed by a nurse educator to help identify a student at-risk for failing in the first semester of his/her PN education. As the student progresses through the nursing program, nursing course grade and the LPN Assessment Test become significant academic predictors of success in the educational and/or licensure process. Nurse educators can utilize this knowledge as they plan and initiate appropriate teaching methodologies and/or counseling designed to support the student’s success in the admission to, progression thru, and graduation from a practical/vocational nursing program.


Eileen Deges Curl

Date of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1997 Beryl A. Dinges


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