Locus of Control & Motivation Strategies for Learning Questionnaire: Predictors of Student Success on the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam & NCLEX-RN Examination
Carpenter, Jane H.
University of Kansas
Curriculum and Teaching
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ABSTRACT The two purposes of this study were to determine whether locus of control (LOC) was predictive of how a student would perform on the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam and the NCLEX-RN, and if the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) provided information that would help determine predictors of success on these two exams. The study examined additional variables prominent in the literature including but not limited to, the number of Cs a person earned while in nursing school, and grades in courses such as pharmacology, pathophysiology, and medical/surgical nursing. The influence of a job was also investigated. It was believed that an individual with an internal locus of control (LOC) would be more likely to be successful on the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam and the NCLEX-RN. Internal LOC was found to be statistically significant related to the NCLEX-RN. Using logistic regression a student with an internal LOC when entered into the model with the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam was 6.7 times more likely to pass the NCLEX-RN. Using regression analysis this was not found to be true in relationship to the ATI Comprehensive Predictor. The model that was the best predictor of a student's success on the ATI exam included the MSLQ subscales of Test Anxiety, Organization, Self-Regulation, Pharmacology course, the first Medical/Surgical class, Job not healthcare related, and the ATI Medical/Surgical Content Mastery Exam. These seven variables were the best at predicting success. A sub-hypothesis related to student performance on the ATI Medical/Surgical Content Mastery Exam believed that a student with an internal LOC would be more successful, this did not prove to be true. The students with an external LOC had pass rate of 50% on the exam at a Level two proficiency compared to 45.28% passing with an internal LOC. The number of students in the sample that were determined to have an external LOC was very small (n=12) while the results in this study were not statistically significant it is possible that a sample with a larger sample of students with an external LOC may produce different results. An additional finding was a student working in a healthcare related job or not working scored 2.278 points higher on the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam than those working in a non-healthcare related job. The second hypothesis examined the MSLQ subscales that were predictive of success on the two exams. In terms of the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam the subscales that entered into the model were test anxiety, organization, and self-regulation. When determining the MSLQ subscales that were important related to success on the NLCEX, control of learning beliefs and organization were the only two subscales in the model. Those subscales statistically significant in terms of a student achieving Level 2 proficiency on the ATI Medical/Surgical Content Mastery Exam were test anxiety, rehearsal, organization, and peer learning. When evaluating test anxiety it was determined that as the MSLQ test anxiety score increased for the individual, the odds of passing decreased. Of the individuals with a test anxiety subscale score of 2.9 (scale of 1-7) or less all were successful on the NCLEX-RN. Results indicated that of those students with a test anxiety subscale score of 5.0 or higher, ten students failed the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam and four students failed the NCLEX-RN. An additional hypothesis stated that a student's results on the ATI Medical/Surgical Content Mastery Exam would be predictive of his or her performance on the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam. This hypothesis was found to be true. A student scoring at Level II proficiency (mastery of content per ATI Faculty Resource Guide, 2007) was likely to score 4.391 points higher than a student at Level 1 proficiency. As the level of proficiency increased so did the percentage of passing the NCLEX-RN. A student who scored below level one had a 58.33% pass rate on NCLEX-RN compared to a level two proficiency pass rate of 92.68%. When looking at student grades in the first medical/surgical course only 70.59% of the students obtaining the letter grade of C passed the NCLEX-RN. The percentage improved with the second medical/surgical course, 80.77% of students with a C passed. Of those students earning a C in pharmacology only 75% of the students passed the NCLEX-RN.
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