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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Predictive validity of an innovative selective admissions process for baccalaureate nursing students Billows, Jennifer Elizabeth

Abstract

In 2006, the University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Nursing (SON) received UBC Senate approval to limit admission to their baccalaureate nursing program to third-year, with advanced standing entry. The judicious selection of nursing students is increasingly salient in light of the looming retirement of 'baby-boomer' nurses, the goal of minimizing attrition from educational programs, and the resource-intensive admission procedure currently utilized at UBC, in which the applicants' academic and non-academic backgrounds are evaluated. A retrospective, correlational study of all 1,343 applicants to the program, for entry between January 2003 and January 2006, was undertaken. A series of multiple, logistic, and ordinal regression analyses were conducted to determine whether the current selective admission tools used by the SON added any valuable information over that obtained through the consideration of admission grade point average (GPA), in the selection of students who would be both academically and clinically successful in the program. The admission tools included a supplemental application, comprised of a personal statement and structured resume, which outlined the applicant's leadership, volunteer and employment experiences, motivation for choosing a career in nursing, and ability to work with others. Interviews were conducted of selected applicants to further evaluate applicants' suitability for nursing, particularly with respect to their clinical aptitude. The study variables included the applicants' demographics, their supplemental application and interview scores, and their admission GPA, as well as the outcome variables of interest: offers of program admission and in-program course grades. Although admission GPA was consistently predictive of the students' success, neither the supplemental application nor the interview scores were found to have predictive utility. The supplemental application had particularly poor inter-rater reliability. The variables found to besignificantly predictive of the students' cumulative average grade for selected nursing courses were gender, visible minority status, and admission GPA, accounting for approximately 27% of the variance in grades (pseudo-R²= 0.27). The results provide little evidence to justify continuation of the admission process currently in place.

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