PREDICTORS OF PERSISTENCE IN ONLINE GRADUATE NURSING STUDENTS
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Persistence is an important measure of success for individual students and institutions of higher learning. The purpose of this study was to explore personal and academic factors that influence persistence in online graduate nursing students. A predictive correlational study design was used. Data were extracted from existing student records in two online graduate programs within a large, urban college of nursing. A sample size of 197 graduate nursing students was selected, 94 who persisted to graduation from their program within 36 months and 103 who did not. Age, gender, race/ethnicity, undergraduate GPA, undergraduate education (BSN or RN-BSN level) were examined as predictors of persistence in the two online graduate nursing programs. In this study, undergraduate GPA emerged as a predictor of persistence to graduation. It is evident that there are other significant factors that affect persistence that have yet to be determined. By identifying students’ characteristics of persistence, strategies can be developed to enhance success in online graduate nursing programs.