Admission academic metrics and later success in an accelerated master’s entry program

Elizabeth Ann Doyle, Deborah Fahs, Linda Honan


Background: Accelerated master’s entry programs for non-nurse college graduates leading to advanced practice, which are both rigorous and fast-paced, utilize academic metrics to evaluate prospective candidates, including GRE scores and GPA levels. Because this program saw an increased rate of failure from the program (with medical-surgical nursing being associated with > 93% of failures), the aim of this study was to examine if either of these metrics were associated with later success in the program.

Methods: A retrospective, descriptive study analyzed admission metrics and first year academic performance to determine if any criteria were associated with academic success. Data collected included age, gender, race, ethnicity, GPA, GREs and scores on the seven required courses in the first 25 weeks. T-tests, correlations, ANOVAs and multiple regression were used to determine if any significant relationships existed.

Results: Admission data from 333 students revealed no differences in the mean GPA related to academic success.  Students who failed out of the program (n = 15) had significantly lower GRE quantitative, verbal, and writing scores. Additionally, quantitative and verbal scores correlated with exam scores on many didactic courses, and explained 25.4% of the variance in the first medical-surgical exam scores (p < .001), with GRE quantitative scores having the most effect.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated verbal and quantitative scores were the only predictor of academic success suggesting admission offices might consider whether this current trend of omitting GREs is meeting the needs of students, faculty, universities and the public at large.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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