An analysis of selected variables that predict persistence of re-entry women in an external degree baccalaureate nursing program

Date of Completion

January 1988


Education, Sociology of|Education, Guidance and Counseling|Health Sciences, Nursing




While many re-entry women begin baccalaureate study in nursing, little is known about phenomena that contribute to persistence in higher education. Little research has been conducted on the external degree baccalaureate nursing program as an alternative to traditional study.^ The purpose of this study was to identify a set of variables indicative of group membership as a persister or non-persister of a sample of re-entry women enrolled in an external degree program, specifically, the New York Regents Baccalaureate Nursing Program, and to examine the strength of these variables in several contexts. Self-report data were collected regarding life situation, employment and education variables, along with data on factors indicative of satisfaction with degree requirements, interpersonal supports, external study issues and goal attainment. These variables were cast as possible predictors of persistence of students enrolled in this program. Achievement data was added to this list for a New York State sub-sample.^ This was a survey research project with an ex post facto design. The population for the study was comprised of 800 participants from the external degree program. An instrument developed by the investigator was used to collect data.^ Discriminant function analysis was applied to data for the sample. Findings revealed the following as significant predictors of group membership as a persister or non-persister: Factor 1 (Degree), NLN Accreditation Status, NLN Decision and Factor 2 (Interpersonal Support). Post-hoc tests of differences between two means for Factors 1 and 2 were highly significant. Post-hoc Chi-Square Analysis of NLN Decision and NLN Status were not reported as significant, suggesting interaction status for these variables.^ A second discriminant analysis exercise was employed for analysis of the New York State sub-sample. The following emerged as significant: Factor 4 (Goal Attainment), Years Elapsed, Factor 3 (External Study Issues), Credits Accrued, Factor 1 (Degree) and NLN Decision. Post-hoc tests of mean differences on Factors 1 and 4 yielded significant results. Post-hoc Chi-Square Analysis of differences between credits accrued and years elapsed were also significant. Replication of the study with more and different predictor variables was recommended for further study. ^