Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Paula E. Lester


Currently, the same criteria are being used for admissions into nursing programs in one school of nursing in the Northeastern United States. To date there are no statistically significant data to correlate these criteria with successfully entering the nursing profession. Due to the nursing shortage, limited number of seats available in nursing programs, low nurse retention, and high nursing school attrition rates, it is necessary to use an admissions process designed to select the candidates who are most likely to succeed on the NCLEX-RN, and enter into the nursing profession. A latent class analysis was used, and revealed that the ideal candidate was found to be an individual who is either an optimistic, full-time student, who earned a high ACT score, and had a career prior to enrolling into the nursing program, or was an optimistic, part-time student, who earned a low ACT score, and had a career prior to enrolling into the nursing program. A survey provided further insight and the responses indicated applicants who self-reported that they: have good judgment, seek out challenges, are capable of anything, are professional, are optimist, need to utilize what is learned, are ethical in nature, are able to recover quickly for failure, are motivated by intrinsic factors, are self-directed, complete what they start, have a sense of team-awareness, admit to mistakes, are resilient, have a sense of spiritual well-being, and possess leadership qualities, ultimately entered into the nursing profession.