Predictors of academic performance in a cohort of pre-registration nursing students

Margaret McCarey, Tony Barr, Janice Rattray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    70 Citations (Scopus)


    The recruitment, selection and retention of nursing students have become crucial in securing the future workforce required by the NHS. Concerns regarding the academic performance of what is a changing student profile led to an audit being performed to explore the predictive relationship between entry qualifications, age, gender, attendance and academic performance in a cohort of pre-registration Diploma of Nursing students. Data was collated from a cohort of 154 students. Statistical analysis demonstrated that students with higher level entry qualifications performed consistently better than those with lower level qualifications. Mature students, over the age of 26, achieved better average marks in coursework and examinations that their younger peers. Year 1 performance predicted year 3 performance in both examinations and assignments. Non-attendance was shown to have an impact on academic performance with a correlation existing between high absenteeism and poor academic achievement. The findings highlight interesting issues for nurse educators relating to academic student support particularly in first year; recruitment and selection of the most suitable candidates; absenteeism monitoring and curriculum design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)357-364
    Number of pages8
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - May 2007


    • Predictors
    • Academic performance
    • Nursing students


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