Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wendy Edson


High nursing student attrition has been a pervasive problem in the nursing program at the research site of this study. The purpose of this project study was to investigate the relationship between attrition and nursing student characteristics, including age, gender, ethnicity, English as Second Language (ESL) background, licensed practical nurse (LPN) licensure, grade point average (GPA), the number of preadmission college credits, and the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) scores. This correlational study of archival data was guided by Jeffreys's nursing undergraduate retention and success model and included a convenience sample of 240 students admitted to the program between the Spring 2011 and Fall 2013 semesters. Point biserial and phi coefficient statistical analyses indicated that significant relationships existed between attrition and ethnicity, GPA, TEAS scores, college credits, and LPN status. There were no significant relationships between attrition and age, gender, and ESL background. Student characteristics correlated with higher attrition included ethnic minority background, more college credits, lower TEAS composite and math scores, lower GPA scores, and not having LPN licensure. These research results were the basis for policy recommendations for changes to the admission process within the nursing program and for early identification of students at risk for attrition, with the goal of providing early supportive measures. The overall goal of the policy recommendations was to decrease attrition at the local research site, which may help foster positive social change by promoting the educational and professional progress of nursing students. Nursing student attrition can negatively affect a nursing program's finances and reputation. For students, attrition represents lost time, lost finances, and a limited possibility for achieving socioeconomic progress.