Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


Design and Implementation of Nursing Student Clinical Experiences and Program Effectiveness as Measured by NCLEX-RN Pass Rates

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Vannatta


This study examined the characteristics of design and implementation of student clinical learning experiences and program effectiveness in baccalaureate nursing education programs in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio as measured by NCLEX-RN pass rates. Questions were asked to elicit information regarding clinical curricular design in the following areas: clinical hours, clinical sites, clinical categories, faculty characteristics, factors influencing curricular design, and clinical evaluation methods. The survey instrument Clinical Experiences in Baccalaureate Nursing Programs (CEBNP) was sent to the 56 baccalaureate nursing programs in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The questionnaire consisted of 80 items, most of which were fill in the blank or open-ended. Fifteen surveys were returned. The sample consisted of 14 institutions. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of curricula design and implementation of nursing student clinical experiences with NCLEX-RN pass rates in nursing education programs in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential methods. Descriptive techniques were used to summarize the data on the dependent variable of NCLEX-RN pass rates. Descriptive statistics of simple, grouped and cumulative frequency distributions were constructed to summarize the data and understand the characteristics of each nursing program. T-test of independent samples and ANOVA were used to assess group differences. Factor analysis was utilized to reduce the number of variables and to determine which variables and subscales clustered together. Pearson correlation was used to evaluate the relationship of NCLEX-RN overall pass rate with several survey items and factors. A forward multiple regression was conducted to determine clinical program characteristics that best predict overall NCLEX-RN pass rates. Two statistically significant correlations were found. Clinical days per week in level one had a negative correlation with the overall pass rate for institutions in the sample. The number of long-term care clinical hours had a positive correlation with the overall pass rate for institutions in the sample. Multiple regression revealed no statistically significant predictors of NCLEX-RN pass rates. Public institutions had a statistically significantly lower overall pass rate than private institutions in the sample. Despite similar NCLEX-RN pass rates among the institutions in the sample, there was great variability in the design of clinical experiences. No specific structure was identified as best practice in the design and implementation of clinical curricula. Implications of these and other results are discussed in terms of influence on clinical curricula design in nursing education. Ideas for future research are also discussed.