Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Charles C. Warfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Third Advisor

Dr. Shirley VanHoeven


The problem and challenge for nurse educators in Practical Nursing/Associate Degree Nursing (PN/ADN) ladder programs is to identify admission criteria for Licensed Practical Nurse (PN) applicants entering the advanced standing level. The selected admission criteria should include those which are most likely to indicate success in the program and on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN). Identifying such criteria would promote the most efficient use of scarce educational resources and help avoid loss of time, energy and financial resources for potential nursing students.

The records of 79 LPNs who entered a PN/ADN ladder program at the advanced standing level were examined for nine selected pre-admission variables. The same student records were examined to determine level of success in the educational program as indicated by GPA in ADN theory and clinical courses and the NCLEX-RN score.

Pearson r correlations were performed on the data to identify the level of relationships between the admission variables and the measures of success.

Correlations at the .05 alpha level occurred between ADN theory GPA and, from highest to lowest, PN theory GPA, PN overall GPA, PAAPN composite raw score, number of non-nursing courses completed, and PAAPN science and verbal raw scores. The levels of correlation ranged from .646 to .248. Correlations at alpha level .05 occurred between ADN practice GPA and, from highest to lowest, PN overall, theory, and practice GPAs, and PAAPN science raw score. The range of these correlations was from .516 to .243. Correlations with NCLEX-RN scores at the .05 alpha level, from highest to lowest include PN theory, overall, and practice GPAs, PAAPN science, composite, verbal, and mathematics raw scores, and number of non-nursing courses completed prior to enrollment. These correlations range from .756 to .228.

Only three of the nine admission variables--PAAPN science raw score, PN theory GPA, and PN overall GPA--were related to all three success measures. The highest levels and greatest number of relationships occurred between the admission variables and the NCLEX-RN score. The years since PN graduation showed no relationship to any of the success measures at the .05 alpha level.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access