Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Jack Rhoton, James H. Lampley, Louise L. MacKay


The WSCC ADN program had 66.57% persistence rate between the years 2000-2004. This retrospective study analyzed 28 demographic, pre-clinical, and clinical variables to identify correlates for persistence within the WSCC ADN program. The population size was 730 first-time candidates or the entire population of five consecutive clinical classes graduating between the years of 2000-2004. The candidates were identified and the variables tabulated using the WSCC student information system. SPSS 13.0 software was employed to conduct descriptive, frequency, multiple regression, multivariate analysis of variance, and univariate analysis of variance tests. The criterion variables included persistence within the entire population, gender-specific persistence factors, and age-specific factors within the traditional and non-traditional populations that persisted.

Descriptive and frequency analysis found that most candidates were female (90.82%), Caucasian (96.44%), and classified as non-traditional (63.97%). Females and particularly non-traditional females maintained the highest persistence rates. The mean pre-clinical and clinical admittance ages were 25.04 and 28.39 years. Seventy percent of the candidates lived within the WSCC service area. The mean distance commuted was 37.71 miles.

Statistical tests revealed that nine predictor variables influenced persistence within the entire population. The largest contributors of variance were 2nd semester clinical GPA (η2 = .33), cumulative pre-clinical GPA (η2 = .15), and grades in microbiology (η2 = .14). These variables along with the number of course withdrawals and/or grades of “F” were found to be major indicators for persistence within the female and male sub-populations. The number of full-time semesters was a more significant contributor in the male population (η2 = .12) than the female population (η2 = .02). Data analysis revealed that non-traditional students who persisted had higher human anatomy and physiology II grades while the traditional students had a higher rate of transferring coursework into the nursing program.

These findings will aid in the direction of the recruitment, evaluation, and selection of potential candidates for this very demanding program of study while validating the importance of prerequisite core knowledge. The findings should serve as predictive evidence to better identify and inform potential “at-risk” candidates of the factors that affect persistence in this nursing program.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.