• Predictors of the First-year Nursing Student at Risk of Early Departure

      Martin, Kathleen M. (2008)
      Purpose and Objective of Project: The purpose of this project was to identify factors associated with early attrition, with particular emphasis on factors associated with minority nursing students. A logistic regression model was used to determine the predictive power of a variety of student "pre-entry attributes" (Tinto, 1993). These characteristics are a sub-set of the model proposed by Vincent Tinto (1993), and are derived directly from the theoretical framework. Tinto's (1993) theory of college student departure, "A Longitudinal Model of Institutional Departure", guided this author's identification of variables which may affect nursing student retention. The theory of college student departure utilizes a longitudinal approach to the problem of college student departure. Tinto's model (1993) describes the interaction of student "pre-entry attributes" with student goals and commitments, institutional experiences and academic and social integration (p. 114). Several pre-entry attributes were analyzed to determine which of these characteristics, if any, place nursing students at an increased risk of attrition in the first year of a two-year nursing program. This study took place at Frederick Community College, an accredited, two-year institution located in Frederick, MD. If predictive attributes are identified they may be used by the Frederick Community College nursing administrators and faculty to improve the identification of students who are at increased risk of early departure from the nursing program. Early departure is defined as the failure or withdrawal failing from one of the three first-year nursing clinical courses. The attributes under investigation include student course-taking behaviors. Should certain coursetaking pattems be predictive of early departure from the nursing program, admission policies may be examined and modified to consider these conditions. Early identification of the "at risk" student has been posited as an important first step in reducing nursing student attrition (Campbell & Dickson, 1996; Symes, Tart, & Travis, 2005).