Attrition and success rates of accelerated students in nursing courses: A systematic review

Doggrell, Sheila Anne & Schaffer, Sally (2016) Attrition and success rates of accelerated students in nursing courses: A systematic review. BMC Nursing, 15, Article Number-24.

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Abstract

Background

There is a comprehensive literature on the academic outcomes (attrition and success) of students in traditional/baccalaureate nursing programs, but much less is known about the academic outcomes of students in accelerated nursing programs. The aim of this systematic review is to report on the attrition and success rates (either internal examination or NCLEX-RN) of accelerated students, compared to traditional students.

Methods

For the systematic review, the databases (Pubmed, Cinahl and PsychINFO) and Google Scholar were searched using the search terms ‘accelerated’ or ‘accreditation for prior learning’, ‘fast-track’ or ‘top up’ and ‘nursing’ with ‘attrition’ or ‘retention’ or ‘withdrawal’ or ‘success’ from 1994 to January 2016. All relevant articles were included, regardless of quality.

Results

The findings of 19 studies of attrition rates and/or success rates for accelerated students are reported. For international accelerated students, there were only three studies, which are heterogeneous, and have major limitations. One of three studies has lower attrition rates, and one has shown higher success rates, than traditional students. In contrast, another study has shown high attrition and low success for international accelerated students. For graduate accelerated students, most of the studies are high quality, and showed that they have rates similar or better than traditional students. Thus, five of six studies have shown similar or lower attrition rates. Four of these studies with graduate accelerated students and an additional seven studies of success rates only, have shown similar or better success rates, than traditional students. There are only three studies of non-university graduate accelerated students, and these had weaknesses, but were consistent in reporting higher attrition rates than traditional students.

Conclusions

The paucity and weakness of information available makes it unclear as to the attrition and/or success of international accelerated students in nursing programs. The good information available suggests that accelerated programs may be working reasonably well for the graduate students. However, the limited information available for non-university graduate students is weak, but consistent, in suggesting they may struggle in accelerated courses. Further studies are needed to determine the attrition and success rates of accelerated students, particularly for international and non-university graduate students.

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ID Code: 94847
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: ACCELERATED NURSING STUDENTS, ACCELERATED PROGRAMS, INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, NON-UNIVERSITY GRADUATES, uNIVERSITY GRADUATES, HERN
DOI: 10.1186/s12912-016-0145-7
ISSN: 1472-6955
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: 2016 Doggrell and Schaffer.
Copyright Statement: Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to
the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver
(http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 13 Apr 2016 02:06
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2016 23:31

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