Honors Program

Honors in Nursing

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Frances Jackson

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Joellen Edwards


Test anxiety has been a problem for many individuals not only in the workforce, but also in many schools and colleges (Driscoll, Evans, Ramsey & Wheeler 2009). According to Driscoll et al., when compared to high school students and the general public (17%), nursing students are shown to have over double (55-60%) the rate of moderately high to high test anxiety. Cognitive test anxiety can account for a 7 to 8% drop in test grades, which can drop test score’s an entire letter grade (Cassady & Johnson, 2001). The purpose of this research is to explore the level of test anxiety in East Tennessee State University (ETSU) nursing students using the Cassady Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale. This study, “Test Anxiety and Nursing Students” was conducted at a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for students at a large regional university. The Cassady Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale was administered to 220 nursing students one week prior to a major test at the end of the class period. All of the students completing the surveys volunteered to do so. After collection, data was analyzed using IBM Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) version 18.0.2. This study confirmed the findings of Driscoll et al. (2009) and Cassady et al. (2001), that nursing students have a higher occurrence of test anxiety. Intervention has the potential to improve test scores. This allows for ETSU students to have a better first-pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and improve student retention rates. In addition, it provides the opportunity for further research interventions to reduce test anxiety for nursing students.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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