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University of Vermont Theses & Dissertations

Allen, Kenneth
An Examination of Correlation Between Preadmission Indicators of College Readiness and Clinical Performance of Nursing Students
A significant body of literature supports the proposition that the development of a culturally competent healthcare workforce is enhanced by diversity in the cohorts of students graduating from post-secondary educational programs related to careers in health and healthcare. However, increasing diversity in these programs is contingent upon increasing acceptance rates of historically disadvantaged students, such as students from racial/ethnic minority groups and/or low socioeconomic status, into highly selective post-secondary institutions, such as state flagship universities, and highly selective majors such as nursing. A significant barrier to increasing enrollment of disadvantaged students at more selective post-secondary institutions is the combined effect of admissions practices which rely heavily on scores associated with a group of pre-admission indicators of college readiness and generally lower scores on these indicators by students from disadvantaged backgrounds as compared to their more affluent counterparts. A growing body of research is emerging concerning relationships between the traditional indicators of college readiness and subsequent academic performance; however, to date, little research exists concerning the relationships between the pre-admission indicators of college readiness and the clinical performance of students enrolled in clinically based health related majors. This study utilized a retrospective cross sectional observational design to examine the relationship between pre-admission indicators of college readiness at a state flagship university in New England and the clinical performance of nursing students in senior year clinical practica. The results of linear regression analysis failed to identify any statistically significant correlation between any of a group of five commonly used pre-admission indicators of college readiness and student’s clinical performance. The findings raise new questions concerning the usefulness of these commonly used criteria in the selection of students for admission into programs of nursing.

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