Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of selected course grades and performance on the NCLEX-RN of associate degree nursing students. B. F. Skinner's theory of behaviorism was applied in this study to predict behavior patterns in nursing education and outcomes on the NCLEX-RN. Pass rates for the NCLEX-RN have been declining as the licensing exam continues to get more difficult. This study of 7 63 associate degree nursing students from 1996-1999 examined many demographic and academic variables, however, no definite predictors were found. Pearson's Product-Moment Correlation and Kendall's tau were used. A statistically significant relationship (p< .001) between passing the NCLEX-RN and higher grades in human development, physiology, sociology, and anatomy was identified. A statistically significant relationship (p< .001) was also found with entrance GPA A chi-square analysis revealed statistically significant (p< .001) differences in gender and race and the ability to pass the NCLEX-RN. -Findings varied from school to school and will be reported to schools participating in this study related to their individual program predictors. Further prediction studies will contribute to the evaluation of this problem and lead to strategies for improving NCLEX-RN pass rates.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nursing -- Study and teaching (Associate degree) -- South Dakota -- Examinations]
Prediction of scholastic success
Academic achievement



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University