Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wendy N. Edson


At a community college in Florida, the associate of science in nursing (ASN) program has experienced low persistence rates especially after the first semester of study. Framed by Jeffreys's nursing undergraduate retention and success model, a mixed-method approach was used to investigate first-semester and final-year ASN students' perceptions of factors influencing persistence and successful persistence strategies. In the quantitative sequence, first-semester students (N = 95) completed the Student Perception Appraisal-Revised-2 (SPA-R2) survey measuring perceptions of 5 persistence factors (environmental, institutional integration, personal academic, college academic, and friend support persistence). ANOVA and t tests were conducted by age, gender, language, ethnicity, marital status, employment, and number of dependents to identify differences between students' perceptions of factors influencing persistence. Results showed that: for males, environmental and personal academic factors were significant; for those employed 1 to 10 hours, the institutional integration factor was significant; and for the 45 to 49 age group, all persistence factors were significant. In the qualitative sequence, final-year students (N = 12) were interviewed to understand the persistence factors that contributed to their success. Thematic analyses revealed that family, peer, and financial support, as well as employing strategies for study habit modification and personal motivation influenced students' persistence toward program completion. Findings were used to develop an online curriculum plan for incoming ASN students that includes training on study habits and encourages students to form support systems to promote students' program completion resulting in positive social change in the nursing community.

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