Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The purpose of this study was to evaluate predictors for student success on the National Council's Licensure Examination for the Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Predictors selected for examination were the General Educational Development (GED) diploma, a traditional high school diploma, National League for Nursing (NLN) Maternal-Child examination scores, and final grades in Anatomy and Physiology I. A convenience sample of records from nursing students graduating from a small associate degree nursing program in a Midwestern state in 1994-1997 was utilized. Using descriptive analysis as well as inferential statistics, comparisons and correlations were made between the predictor independent variables and the criterion dependent variable of NCLEX-RN success. NLN Maternal-Child examination percentile results were found to be a significant variable addressed in this investigation. A significant correlation (r = -.356, n = 123, p = .01) was found between NLN Maternal-Child percentile scores and NCLEX-RN results. Note the correlation is negative because as the NLN Maternal-Child percentile scores increased there were more reported passes on the NCLEX-RN (pass=l and fail=2). Secondly, a statistically significant greater number X2 (1, N = 126) = 7.450, p = .006 of students who initially passed Anatomy and Physiology I passed NCLEX-RN than those who did not pass Anatomy and Physiology I on the first endeavor. Finally, more nursing graduates with GED's (n=5) failed the NCLEX-RN than did nursing graduates who began nursing school with a traditional high school diploma (n=15). The difference between passing NCLEX-RN in the group with a traditional high school diploma and the students with GED's was not statistically significant, X2 (1, N = 126) = 1.827, p .177. Results from this investigation may be used in several ways. Nursing educators can direct entrance criteria and select students who are most likely to succeed in nursing. They may choose to make a passing grade in Anatomy and Physiology a prerequisite for entering a nursing program. As indicated in the literature review, educators can look at GED holders and older students with traditional high school diplomas and target them as being at high risk for failure in an attempt to implement early remedial interventions for them. Students who score highly on the NLN Maternal-Child examination may be selected as mentors for other students and as study group leaders.


Karolyn Kells

Date of Award

Fall 1998

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1998 Priscella Zeller


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