Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Lock, Vida

Subject Headings

Education, Nursing


As the US population becomes more diverse, schools of nursing are faced with the formidable challenge of graduating diverse groups of competent students who will pass the NCLEX-RN® and serve an equally diverse public in the safest manner possible. Although institutions of higher learning have adopted plans to enhance diversity among nursing graduates, tension is created between these initiatives and the academic rigor required by nursing education. In particular, schools of nursing in diverse urban metropolitan areas face unique challenges educating increasing number of men, minorities, and students for whom English is a second language (ESL). Stanton-Salazar’s (2011) Social Capital Framework indicates academic success is impacted by the amount of social capital students bring to the educational setting. Nursing students from urban areas often bring less social capital, thus prompting nurse educators to closely examine and revise pedagogical methods. This study identified and analyzed the predictive power of demographic and academic variables on students’ success on the NCLEX-RN® at a large urban university’s pre-licensure nursing programs. Linear logistic regression model results indicated GPA is an extraordinarily strong predictor. However, revised logistic regression models excluding GPA amplified the predictive power of the other variables including ESL status and ATI™ Comprehensive Predictor Examination score. ATI™ emerged as the most robust predictor of success on the NCLEX-RN®, demonstrating even a small increase in ATI™ score significantly impacted students’ likelihood to pass the NCLEX-RN®. Gender and minority status were not significant predictors of students success on the NCLEX-RN®. Attrition rates for male, minority, and ESL students averaged twice those of females, non-minorities, and native English speakers. Recommendations to promote success for these students included opportunities to enhance social capital, deeper investment in a holistic admissions process, pedagogical innovations, and full integration of ATI™ formative and summative strategies into the nursing curriculum. By promoting success for all students, male, minority, and ESL scholars can be viewed not from a perspective of potential failure, but rather from that of rich potential for contributions to the profession of nursing.

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