Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Janet Reid-Hector


The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) first-time pass rate for an associate degree in nursing (ADN) program was below the national mean, presenting a problem for graduates who failed the NCLEX-RN and could not enter the workforce as registered nurses. Knowles's assumptions of adult learning, Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve, and Zull's neuroscience research served as the theoretical frameworks for this study. The purpose of this study was to identify which academic and time-lapse variables predict the graduate's first-time passage for the NCLEX-RN. Archived academic records and NCLEX-RN results for all 786 graduates from one ADN program who took the NCLEX-RN for the first time in 2015 were reviewed. Binary logistic regression analysis of the data identified multiple academic and one time lag factor as significant predictors for first-time NCLEX-RN passage. Key results included positive relationships between academic variables (prerequisite grade point average [GPA], nursing GPA, cumulative GPA, final course grade in 1 medical surgical course) and NCLEX-RN passage. An inverse relationship was shown between NCLEX-RN pass and the number of nursing component failures and time lag between clinical capstone completion and first NCLEX-RN attempt. Results informed a policy recommendation to provide timely intervention and resources for students at risk, with a goal of promoting success on the first attempt of the NCLEX-RN. Increasing the numbers of graduates who successfully complete the NCLEX-RN on the first attempt and promptly join the nursing workforce will demonstrate positive social change by mitigating the nursing shortage, which promotes safe patient care.