Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Curriculum and Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Cynthia Swafford



The School of Nursing at Southern Adventist University offers both Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science in nursing degrees. A majority of the students who sit for the NCLEX-RN are associate of science in nursing graduates. The pass rate dropped from 94.9% in 2010 to 88.8% in 2011. The pass rate went up to 93.3% in 2012, but dropped again by almost 5% in the following year, and to an all-time low of 76.5% in 2014.

Unlike most AS nursing program student populations in the nation, the majority of SAU students are young and considered traditional-age college students. A greater understanding of nursing student characteristics that potentially influences NCLEX-RN outcomes for this unique population of traditional undergraduates could result in the attraction of younger students into the nursing profession and ultimately entering the nursing workforce. No specific and current peer-reviewed studies were found in the Review of Literature that correlate associate degree nursing program admission criteria among traditional-age college students, such as those at Southern Adventist University.


The purpose of this study was to identify academic and non-academic factors that may predict NCLEX-RN success on first attempt among nursing graduates who completed the associate of science nursing program at Southern Adventist University.


A total of 838 student records were entered into the final cohort in this study. Logistic regression and Chi-square test were utilized to answer research questions for this study. A descriptive statistical analysis of the demographic data was also performed evaluate the academic and non- academic variables of the sample population.

Results and Conclusions

The study identifies that predictors of NCLEX-RN success in this study sample are ethnicity and three of the eight core nursing courses: Adult Health III, Mental Health, and Adult Health I. Ethnicity is a substantive negative predictor variable in all models. The study demonstrates Hispanic and Black students are less likely to pass the NCLEX-RN than Caucasian students.

Successful NCLEX-RN outcomes among traditional students will not only add younger nurses to an increasingly older nursing workforce and help ease the anticipated RN shortage, but it will also provide additional information to the body of literature on these complex issues.

Subject Area

Nursing students; National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses; Nursing--Examinations; Southern Adventist University. Nursing Dept.--Students