Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kortegast, Carrie A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


Background:Nursing schools across the country are struggling to respond to the rising demand for registered nurses. Factors that impact baccalaureate nursing student attrition must be addressed to increase the number of well-educated and skilled nurses.Method:Utilizing a non-experimental, longitudinal, survey design, the relationshipsamonglife stress, state anxiety, academic resilience and targeted program completion wereexplored withone cohort of baccalaureate nursing students (n=46). Results:No statistical association was found between life stress levels or scores and graduating on target,or between academic resiliencescores and graduating on target. However, therewas an association between level of state anxiety and graduating on target (p=.009). Having a moderate level of state anxiety predicted whether students graduated on target (p= .044) in that students with moderate levels of state anxiety were 4.7 times more likely to graduate on target then their counterparts who reported high levels of state anxiety. Further, state anxiety admission scores predicted whether students graduated on target (p= .002). Being an English Second Language (ESL) student was associated with graduating on target (p= .004) and being an English second language learner was associated with state anxiety (p= .031). Conclusion:These findings are valuable in identify students who may have difficulty graduating on target and need additional support in persisting to graduation. Further research is needed to determine how state anxiety impacts nursing students’ ability to complete their program on target,especially English second language students. Additional research is also needed to identify what resources can best support students and reduce attrition.Keywords:baccalaureate nursing students, life stress, state anxiety, academic resilience, targeted program completion


117 pages




Northern Illinois University

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