Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Gross, Jacob

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Chlebowy, Diane

Committee Member

Chlebowy, Diane

Committee Member

Choi, Namok

Committee Member

Sun, Jeffrey

Author's Keywords

NCLEX-RN; student success; BSN program


Nursing programs are experiencing a decline in National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) pass rates among graduates. While researchers have attempted to identify predictors of performance on the NCLEX-RN, identification of predictors remains elusive. Although the literature is replete with studies exploring NCLEX-RN predictors, prediction under the new 2013 NCLEX test plan and passing standards is not well established. Considering the ever-evolving diversity in students, combined with recent changes in the NCLEX-RN, further exploration of predictors of performance is warranted. Using a correlational design, the study sought to identify the predictors of NCLEX-RN performance for Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates. The focal research question for this study was, “Do baccalaureate nursing students’ academic outcomes predict NCLEX-RN performance?” To answer this primary question, the researcher conducted a retrospective review of student records at a single pre-licensure BSN program. A binary logistic regression was performed to model the relationship between academic outcomes and NCLEX-RN outcomes. The analysis revealed a combination of nursing program academic outcomes predicted NCLEX-RN performance. Most particularly, the use of the Adult Health course exam average, score on the Adult Health ATI exam, ATI Comprehensive Predictor performance, and graduation GPA can predict NCLEX-RN outcomes, when controlling for student profile characteristics and academic factors. This study suggests nursing exam scores and standardized test scores can aid in predicting NCLEX-RN performance for BSN graduates. Findings from this study can provide nursing educators a foundation for understanding the factors associated with NCLEX-RN performance and offer a framework for identifying students who are at-risk for NCLEX-RN failure. Moreover, study findings can provide insight into the additional needs of students in preparing for NCLEX-RN and guide educators in developing early intervention programs for high-risk students. Given the national decline in NCLEX-RN pass rates, early identification of at-risk students and implementation of interventions targeting high-risk students can offer a solution for reducing the number of graduates unprepared for the NCLEX-RN and alleviate the burden associated with failure.