Multidimensional Variables Influencing Program Completion: A Three-Year Cohort Study of Associate Degree and Practical Nursing Students

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Student Considerations

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Student retention to program completion is an international concern for administrators and faculty in schools of nursing. The purpose of this study was to examine multidimensional variables that might influence retention to completion of a Practical Nursing certificate or Associate Degree in Nursing. Age, motivation, learning strategies, and program completion, as operationalized as cumulative grade point average (GPA) were examined. Participants representing three cohorts of associate degree and practical nursing students (n = 228) completed the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire when they started in a Midwestern U. S. community college. Statistically significant relationships were found with both age and motivation scale, and five subscales. The cumulative GPA was statistically significant, with five MSLQ subscales. The results indicate that a relationship between several variables may facilitate or interfere with program completion.


This article was published in Teaching and Learning in Nursing: Vol 15, Issue 3. (2020).