Predicting Nursing Students Passing of the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Examination

Monday, 9 November 2015: 10:20 AM

Kathleen L. Gilchrist, PhD, MSN, BSN, ASN, RN, FNP, PHN1
Shalise Pollock, MSN, BSN, RN, FNP-C, PHN2
Charles Collom, JD, BA, SN2
(1)Nursing, California State University Bakersfield, Bakersifield, CA, USA
(2)Nursing, California State University Bakersfield, Bakersfield, CA, USA

Purpose: The purpose of this research was to determine if there were any correlations between the 2014 graduating class and their Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) test scores, taking remedial math or remedial English, and failing the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Examination. In addition, the subject areas that nursing students were weak were identified.

Background: ATI Nursing Education has published two research briefs regarding some of the indicators that help to predict the passing of ATIs Comprehensive Predictor examination.  Each of these studies were based on large sample sizes and one study was able to demonstrate that achieving a level two or above on the Medical-Surgical, Nutrition, and Maternal-Newborn Content Mastery Series tests predicted passing of the ATI Comprehensive Predictor exam.  Recently, in one graduating class, faculty noted the students had more difficulty passing the ATI Comprehensive Predictor than previously noted in other cohorts.  Faculty wanted to determine if they could see any correlations in the predictors in the 2014 graduating class.

Methodology: An exploratory, quantitative research project was conducted. Previously gathered data were accessed, once approval was granted by the IRB.  There were 51 subjects in this data set.  Research questions asked were: For the class of 2014 is there a correlation between a student’s TEAS score and the Comprehensive Predictor, January 2014 score?  For the class of 2014, is there a statistically significant correlation in the Comprehensive Predictor January 2014 scores between those students who took remedial math and those who did not? For the class of 2014, is there a statistically significant correlation in the Comprehensive Predictor January 2014 scores between those students who took remedial English and those who did not?  The p value for statistical significance selected was 0.05. Data were entered into SPSS and descriptive statistics; Pearson’s r and Student’s t-test were utilized to analyze data. 

Results: There were data from 51 student subjects entered into a SPSS file.  There were forty-three females and eight males, ranging in age from 23 to 49.  The ethnicity of the subjects included: 37% White, 20% Asian, 13% Hispanic, 7% African American, 5% Filipino, 4% Asian Indian, 3% Other, two declined and one Native American. The average admitting GPA for these students was 3.59.  The admitting TEAS test score was 81.5%, however currently students are allowed to retake the TEAS test as many times as they desire. 

For the first research question, the TEAS test scores and passing the Comprehensive Predictor passing were correlated, r=0.538 with p<.000.  Approximately 30 percent of the variation in the January 2014 Comprehensive Predictor scores were accounted for by the students’ TEAS test scores.  Interestingly, for those who remediated in math, the mean score for both groups was identical to three decimal places: 0.724.  Similarly, for those who remediated in English, the mean score was 0.712 while the mean score for those who did not remediate in English was 0.741; even so, this was not statistically significant. However, one subject area, Pharmacology was proven to be difficult for not only this 2014 group of students, but previous groups.

Implications: The TEAS test scores for this group of students did correlate with passing the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Examination.  This is similar to the research conducted by ATI.  However, there was no statistically significant difference in the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Examination scores for those students who took remedial math or those who took remedial English. Nurse educators need to be aware the TEAS test scores do help to predict the success of nursing students in the nursing program.  Since the TEAS test scores are used as part of the entrance requirements into the traditional BSN program, nursing faculty need to be made aware of these scores and assist students who score low on the TEAS test to provide extra assistance throughout their BSN program.  Moreover, it is important for nurse educators to decrease attrition rates in order to reduce faculty and students’ time and costs.  Increased attrition may leave spots in a program open causing other potential students to miss out on the opportunity to be admitted into a nursing program.  In addition, the curriculum is being revised to include more pharmacology for future students since this was noted as a trend.

Global Implications: Nursing students that take remedial English or Math are not necessarily at a disadvantage to those who do not. International students who read and write English at a high-remedial level or need assistance with math should be encouraged to remediate in English or Math and pursue a nursing career. It is important both locally, nationally, and globally to develop and maintain metrics of student success which can track student performance. This allows nursing schools to utilize their scarce resources better; a topic of great concern in less affluent nations.  Further research is required on what some of the other predictors are not only for this group of nursing students, but also so nurse educators can enhance the success of nursing students throughout their nursing  programs.