Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership


This ex-post facto study was conducted to determine whether grades in pre-program science courses, pre-program cumulative grade point average (GPA) and grades in selected nursing theory courses predict pass/fail performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for graduates of an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program. A small, rural community college in western Michigan participated in the study. The subjects included 159 graduates, (143 females, 16 males) admitted to the program beginning fall semester 1992 through May 2001. Data was obtained from the college data files. The independent variables were the four pre-program science courses, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Chemistry; and Microbiology; the cumulative pre-program GPA; and the grade from the first three nursing theory courses in the first two semesters of the program. Pearson Product Moment Correlation and logistic regression were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that significant but weak correlations were found between success on the NCLEX-RN and the pre-program science courses. Anatomy and Physiology I was the weakest of all the variables. The pre-program cumulative GPA was moderately significant in predicting performance on the NCLEX-RN. The GPA in the three selected nursing theory courses were the strongest variables to correlate with performance on the NCLEX-RN. GPA in the Drug Therapy course taught during the second semester of the program was the strongest predictor overall (p<.000). Results of the study indicated that selected pre-program and beginning nursing theory courses could be used to predict pass or fail on the NCLEX-RN and would act as an “early warning” system for at-risk students.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access