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academic success, nursing students, remediation, retention, strengths



  1. Brown, Janine MSN, RN, CCNE
  2. McDonald, Meghan MN, RN
  3. Besse, Cheryl MN, PNC(C), CCCI, RN
  4. Manson, Patti MScA, RN
  5. McDonald, Reid MSc, PEng
  6. Rohatinsky, Noelle PhD, RN
  7. Singh, Madeline BSN, RN


Background: Attrition from nursing programs is an ongoing concern. Capitalizing on nursing students' strengths and supporting areas for remediation will maximize student success.


Purpose: This study explored undergraduate nursing student strengths and areas for remediation at program entry and across all years of nursing education study.


Methods: We used a cross-sectional design and collected data via the Academic Success Inventory for College Students survey tool. Baseline data were collected on first-year students after program start, and data were collected for all years of study at the end of the academic terms.


Results: Compared with other undergraduate students, nursing students exhibited strengths in study skills, in self-organization strategies, in their certainty of progress toward career goals, in recognizing the importance of their studies, and in levels of socializing that did not hinder academic performance. At some data collection points, they had strengths in motivation, confidence, and concentration. Nursing students indicated areas for remediation in studying or test-taking anxiety and their perception of the educator's ability to organize, teach, and assess student progress.


Conclusion: Nurse educators' pedagogical approaches should augment nursing student strengths. Remediation is required to support student success relative to anxiety, and students need orientation to the process of learning.