Date of Award
Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Jud Simonds DNP, RN, RN-NE, RN-BC
Introduction: Student success in higher education is a vital focus for the health of a community and the improvement of an individual’s life. It is equally detrimental if a student leaves an educational program without a degree. The purpose of this project was to improve the early identification of students at risk of attrition in a nursing program by using an electronic dashboard interfaced with a self-reporting student survey to identify determinants that are statistically significant factors for student attrition. Background: The current accreditation benchmark for nursing program completion is 70% for Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. Concordia St. Paul University (CSP) College of Nursing had a completion rate of 82.2% in 2021 and 76% in 2022. There is statistical evidence that gender, location of birth, English as the primary language at home, and race/ethnicity are associated with completion of a nursing degree. CSP is dedicated to bettering the lives of students through earlier identification of attrition risk and assisting in the fulfillment of academic goals. Methods: Using Jeffery’s nursing universal retention and success model and the Iowa model of evidence-based practice to promote quality care (IMEBPPQ) for project implementation, I created a framework and guiding principles for the project. Upon entry into the Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing (ABSN) program at CSP, students reported demographic data using a survey that interfaced with a privacy-protected electronic dashboard. Seven factors and determinants were determined to be supported by quality research and tracked by the College of Nursing leadership team. Results: Out of 110 students who entered the program in the spring semester of 2023, 47 filled out the self-report survey. The response rate was 50% for the Oregon nursing program and 23% for the Minnesota nursing program. Of the 47 students, 85.1% were doing their nursing program in Oregon and 14.9% were doing their nursing program in Minnesota; both programs are offered through CSP. The following, identified with an asterisk, are nonmodifiable factors that could impact the successful completion of the nursing program and self-reported by nursing students in the ABSN program (n = 47): 21.3% male*; 78.7% female; 25.5% with no previous diploma or degree*; 17% born outside of the United States*; 29.8% with parents born outside of the United States; 12% with English not the primary language in the home*; 17% Hispanic or Latino*, 17% Asian*, 6.4% Black/African American*, and 76.6% White. Evaluation: The project was successful at capturing data that can influence program completion at CSP. By using the self-report survey, administrators were able to identify 17 of the nursing students admitted in the spring semester of 2023 who had two or more risk factors for attrition. These 17 students, or 15% of the newly admitted cohort, were not identified as at risk when entering the nursing program with current academic alert criteria in place.
Digital USD Citation
Gifford, Tennille, "Improving Nursing Student Retention: Early Identification of Determinants Causing Attrition in Nursing Academic Programs" (2023). Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscripts. 246.
Copyright held by the author