Predictors of early retention in rural baccalaureate nursing programs




Woods, Dokagari

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The purpose of this study was to determine predictors of student retention in generic baccalaureate nursing programs. The following question was addressed: How well do the independent variables of Self-Directed Learning Readiness (SDLR), nursing self-efficacy (NSE), and program admission predict retention of students enrolled in the first two semesters in a baccalaureate nursing program?

Three instruments were used, a demographic form created by the researcher, Jeffries (1993a) Self-Efficacy Tool (SET) to determine self-efficacy strength (SEST), and the 40-item self-directed learning readiness tool for nursing students developed by Fisher, King, and Tague (2001). For the purposes of this study, retention is considered to be continuous enrollment in the first two semesters of a nursing program with a grade of "C" or better and eligibility to continue in the program. The settings for this study are three nursing programs in rural state universities in Texas. A convenience sample of 171 beginning unlicensed, first degree nursing students was used. Descriptive statistics, confirmatory analysis of the NSE and SLDR, and Pearson Product Moment correlations were included. Multiple logistic regressions were used to answer the research questions.

Gender was the only variable shown to have a significant relationship with retention. Females, compared to males, were 10.7 times more likely to remain in the nursing program. The logistic regression model including gender, self-directed learning readiness, nursing self-efficacy, and school attending was significant and accounted for 23.0% of the variance. Without the variable of gender, the model was found to be insignificant.



Health and environmental sciences, Education, Attrition, Early retention, Nursing programs, Rural nursing students, Self-efficacy