Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Although licensed registered nurses (RNs) comprise a significant percentage of the U.S. health care workforce, there is a lack of qualified nurses to meet patient needs. This shortage is expected to intensify as practicing nurses leave the profession. The problem that prompted this study was that an attrition-reduction program implemented in the nursing program at a U.S. midwestern community college did not show a reduction in the average attrition rate. The academic integration construct of Tinto's theory of student departure was used to examine archival academic performance records of 145 students enrolled in the local program from 2010 to 2012. The central research question focused on the correlations between academic progression requirements to student attrition rates in 1st-semester associate degree in nursing (ADN) courses. The correlation was computed using the point-biserial calculation. Findings from the data analysis indicated a statistically significant correlation between 2nd-semester licensed practical nurse (LPN) courses and success in 1st-semester ADN courses, but at a higher benchmark than the current requirement. There was no statistically significant correlation between the standardized exit examination and success in 1st-semester ADN courses. The resulting project was a white paper policy recommendation for the institutional and community stakeholders. The project was evaluated with an outcomes-based evaluation method to measure the effectiveness of the revised progression requirements by measuring attrition rates in the 1st cohort of nursing students who were held to the revised progression requirements. The project contributes to positive social change by providing recommendations to decrease student attrition rates, which, in turn, may help to reduce the global nursing shortage.