Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Stephen K. Miller (Director), Dr. Kyong Hee Chon, Dr. Aaron W. Hughey, Dr. Beverly Siegrist

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


Schools of Nursing are faced with the difficult task of selecting students for admission into nursing programs. This responsibility is challenging as the number of students applying to programs typically outweighs the number of students who can be admitted. As a result, faculty must identify methods for selecting students who have the greatest likelihood of being successful. As noted in the literature, attrition that occurs as the result of being academically underprepared is found in the beginning of nursing programs (Murray, Merriman, & Adamson, 2008). The central research question represents the purpose of the study: To what extent do prerequisite grades and HESI A2 subscores predict success in the first year of a baccalaureate nursing program?

This study utilized quantitative analysis to explore the relationship of different combinations of prerequisite coursework (prerequisite science and math courses, science block, cumulative undergraduate work) and HESI A2 subscores (Reading Comprehension, Anatomy and Physiology, and Math) on the four dependent variables (1st semester nursing GPA, 2nd semester nursing GPA, grade in Nursing 324--Pathophysiology, and grade in Nursing 341--Medical Surgical Nursing I). All data were preexisting and gathered from electronic records of a BSN program at a regional university in south central Kentucky and the program’s online Evolve account.

Population parameters were calculated for all variables, independent and dependent alike. Simultaneous and hierarchical regressions were used to explore each research question. The results of the study indicate the greatest amount of explained variance for the 1st semester nursing GPA, 2nd semester nursing GPA, and the grade earned in Nursing 324, with Adjusted R2 values of .34, .30, and .24, respectively, was the combination of cumulative undergraduate work (CUGW) and HESI A2 subscores. The predictor with the greatest explained variance for the final outcome, Nursing 341, was the CUGW alone with an Adjusted R2 of .18. The study also found that a one credit hour Microbiology lab was significant with each of the four outcomes variables. These findings indicate that programs of nursing should use both cumulative undergraduate GPA at time of application and preadmission test scores when making admission decisions.


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Nursing