Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Smith, M. Cecil

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Nursing students--Illinois; Nursing schools--Admission; Nursing--Study and teaching (Associate degree)--Illinois


An examination of program admission criteria in this community-college nursing program found that the reading comprehension portion of the academic admission examination was a significant predictor of success in the first nursing course. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of pairing a study-reading course with the entry-level nursing course on the success of associate-degree nursing students. In this randomized control-group pretest-posttest experimental design, students admitted to the nursing program who scored less than the designated cutoff on the reading comprehension portion of the academic achievement measure (n = 49) were required to participate in a study-reading course. The eight-week study-reading course, based on cognitive and metacognitive processing theory, focused on an approach to reading and learning from textbooks in which students adjusted their reading behaviors throughout the reading process. Course participants integrated such concepts as activating prior knowledge and monitoring their understanding of textbook material while reading material in their nursing fundamentals textbook. Based on the findings in this study, three conclusions can be drawn related to the effect of a paired study-reading course on the academic success of community-college nursing students. First, students who participated in the study-reading intervention reported a significant increase in study-behavior use on both the Study Behavior Inventory and on written self-reports of study behaviors used while reading nursing textbooks. Second, gains in study-reading behaviors did not insure success in the beginning nursing course. Other factors, both academic and nonacademic, may have prevented student success in the nursing program. Third, nursing students also appeared to lack confidence in their ability to select the correct answers on nursing examinations. Students may need additional training to develop their confidence in knowing what they do know and do not know on nursing examinations. This study has implications for further investigations into the influence of a paired study-reading program on the success of community-college nursing students who are underprepared for college reading. Nurse educators need to support students who are interested in a career in nursing. Recommendations for nursing education practice and research based on conclusions from this study are offered.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [116]-131).


viii, 181 pages




Northern Illinois University

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