Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing



First Committee Member

Michele C. Clark, Chair

Second Committee Member

Mary Bondmass

Third Committee Member

Tish Smyer

Graduate Faculty Representative

Sajjad Ahmad

Number of Pages



The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) is the examination that nursing graduates must pass to attain the title of registered nurse and practice professionally. Each year a substantial number of nursing graduates are unable to enter the nursing profession because of failure on the NCLEX. Failure on this examination is a concern, especially since this country desperately needs nurses. Currently, the United States (U.S.) is faced with a nursing shortage. This shortage significantly impacts the U.S. health care system and requires urgent attention so that the health care needs of the people in this country are met.

Ensuring success on the NCLEX is a complex role for nurse educators. It is vital that nurse educators attain knowledge about the predictors of NCLEX success so that they can design strategies and interventions to optimize student performance. Numerous studies are noted that examined the predictors for NCLEX success, reflecting great interest in this area. However, most investigated the academic predictors; few studies examined the nonacademic predictors. This study aimed to provide new knowledge to nurse educators to assist them to (a) identify interventions that will facilitate success on NCLEX, and (b) identify the strategic points for intervention during a nursing program.

This quantitative study used Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977) as the theoretical framework to guide it, and investigated the academic, nonacademic, and self- efficacy variables that influence NCLEX passage. Academic variables focused on pre-nursing scores/grades and nursing course grades, while the nonacademic variables focused on personal and environmental factors/stressors and self-efficacy expectations. Seventy-nine (79) universities in the U.S. with accredited baccalaureate nursing programs were contacted to distribute recruitment materials to students. Data was collected via an email survey using Survey© (SM) and was collected at one point, after the participant took the NCLEX for the first time and received results.

Logistic regression was the primary data analysis method used to identify the academic, nonacademic, and self-efficacy variables that influence NCLEX passage. A support vector machine (SVM) model was used as a secondary testing method. Correlation analysis using Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was done to identify relationships existing among self-efficacy, academic, and nonacademic variables of NCLEX passage.

Logistic regression findings revealed that the variables of significance were the medical-surgical grade, home and family events and responsibilities, and self-efficacy expectations. The final adjusted model revealed that the variables of significance were the medical-surgical grade and self-efficacy expectations. The SVM model showed that the medical-surgical grade and the pharmacology grade were the variables that could best predict NCLEX outcomes. Correlation analysis revealed that all academic variables showed a positive correlation with self-efficacy expectations and negative correlations between the nonacademic variables and self-efficacy expectations.


Examinations; National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses; NCLEX(R) Success; NCLEX-RN(R); Nonacademics and NCLEX(R) success; Predictors NCLEX(R); Nursing students; Self-efficacy; Self-efficacy and NCLEX(R)



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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Included in

Nursing Commons