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Int J Nurs Stud. 2012 Nov;49(11):1432-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.06.006. Epub 2012 Jul 6.

Staying the course: factors influencing pre-registration nursing student progression into year 2: a retrospective cohort study.

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  • 1The University of Hull, United Kingdom.



The retention of student nurses continues to concern the education sector internationally. Evidence shows that individual factors are correlated with a high risk of attrition, including age, disability, entry qualifications, financial issues, and placement experience. This paper is a report of a study that aimed to examine factors connected to progression and attrition by mapping student characteristics against Year 1 progression data.


The study used a retrospective cohort design. Students within five cohorts in a single University in the north of England were invited to be included (n=807). Quantitative data were collected from the University's information system (October 2009-January 2010). Of the total potential participants, 695 were included (13.8% excluded). Multinomial logistic regression was used to ascertain factors that predicted progression.


As age on entry increased, the likelihood of non-progression from year one became less: i.e. older students appeared to be more likely to progress than their younger counterparts (p<0.001, likelihood ratio chi-square test). Students who lived away from the local area outside term-time were significantly less likely to progress than those whose term-time and holiday domicile were the same (p=0.007, likelihood ratio chi-square test). Students with dependents or previous care experience seemed more likely to progress than those without, although this was not statistically significant in a multivariable regression model.


With the changing demographic profile of students, the new 'all-graduate' programmes need to consider student characteristics that are correlated with likelihood of progression and not just focus on those that precipitate exit.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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