International Education Journal

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Undergraduate nurse variables that predict academic achievement and clinical competence in nursing


Ian Blackman
 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University 
ian.blackman@flinders.edu.au 

Margaret Hall 
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Flinders University 

I Gusti Ngurah. Darmawan 
School of Education, Adelaide University 

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Abstract

A hypothetical model was formulated to explore factors that influenced academic and clinical achievement for undergraduate nursing students. Sixteen latent variables were considered including the students' background, gender, type of first language, age, their previous successes with their undergraduate nursing studies and status given for previous studies. The academic and clinical achievement of 179 undergraduate nursing students were estimated by measuring their performance using two separate assessment parameters, their completing grade point average scores and outcomes of their final clinical assessment. Models identifying pathways leading to academic and clinical achievement were tested using Partial Least Square Path Analysis (PLSPATH). The study's results suggest that undergraduate nursing student achievement can be predicted by four variables, which account for 72 per cent of the variance of scores that assess academic and clinical performance at the completion of the third year level of nursing studies. The most significant predictors and those that had direct influence on undergraduate nursing student achievement were: (a) grades achieved in topics undertaken at the beginning of their last year of study and (b) those achieved just prior to course completion (c) where the undergraduate nursing students had undertaken their final allocation for clinical experience, and (d) students' self rated need for clinical supervision at course completion. Measures of performance according the grade point average scores, student gender, age and type of first language used were not directly related to the performance outcomes. 

Partial least squares path analysis, undergraduate nurses, predictor variables, achievement

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Blackman, I., Hall, M. and Darmawan, I.G.N. (2007) Undergraduate nurse variables that predict academic achievement and clinical competence in nursing. International Education Journal, 8 (2), 222-236.
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