Resilience, motivation, and self-efficacy as predictors of student completion and success in an associate degree nursing program


May 2023

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Healthcare in the United States depends on a consistent supply of healthcare workers, in particular nurses, who can navigate the increasingly complex and stressful environments present in the health care system to provide quality care. Nursing schools are critically important partners in creating a pool of new nurses, but many programs have obstacles that prevent acceptance and retention of students. Additionally, attrition rates of up to 50% have been recorded for both associate degree and baccalaureate nursing programs (Harris et al., 2014) with graduation rates recorded between 80 and 87 percent (NLN, 2016) for the same. Efforts to determine the underlying causes of nursing student attrition have produced numerous rationales and potential factors related to the losses. The volume of potential mitigating factors has made it difficult for programs to focus specific action on alleviating student attrition. The purpose of this study was to examine the collective and individual influences of the personal characteristics of resilience, motivation, and self-efficacy, on student completion and success in an associate degree nursing program in order to eventually generate solutions to the attrition issue. The research design was non-experimental, cross-sectional, descriptive, and correlational. The independent variables were resilience, motivation, and self-efficacy. The dependent variables were student completion of the nursing program, and student success, defined as their cumulative grade point average. Three survey instruments and demographic survey were used to collect data from student participants. A total of 90 associate degree nursing students in the last semester of their program completed surveys with valid identification numbers and access to program completion data and final grade point average. Parametric and non-parametric statistics were used for data analysis. The study results show that while there are correlations between the three factors, none of the factors, either individually or collectively, had a significant effect on student GPA or completion of the program. Based on these findings, implications for nursing education and recommendations for further study were made.



Health Sciences, Nursing