Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kathleen McKee


An associate degree of nursing program in the southeastern region of the United States has had significant increases in student attrition over the past few years. Admission requirements did not include an entrance exam, such as the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), which may be useful in decreasing the deficiencies associated with poor student progression. Guided by the Knowles' theory of adult learning and Bandura's social learning theory, the purpose of this correlation study was to explore the relationship between the TEAS scores and the cumulative grade point average (GPA) of first-year students to determine if success at the completion of students' first year in the nursing program can be predicted from the overall TEAS score and its subsections of reading, math, science, and English. Archival data for 130 nursing students enrolled from 2012 to 2013 were analyzed using stepwise multiple regression. According to the study results, there was a significant correlation of the total TEAS score and student GPA after the first year of nursing school. The first semester GPA was positively related to the TEAS English score and the TEAS science score; however, there was no significant correlation found for TEAS math and reading scores with students' GPA. A 3-day workshop and a student mentoring program were developed to address academic deficiencies of at-risk nursing students, particularly in English and science. Positive social change can occur through improved retention, which will lead to a higher number of nursing graduates eligible to take and pass the National Certification Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses, provide job security for graduates, and improve the present critical shortage of nurses in the United States.