Performance evaluation of ADN and BSN graduates

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


This study determined Directors' of Nursing (DNS) assessment of the preparation of new graduates from associate degree (ADN) and baccalaureate degree (BSN) nursing programs. A sample of 329 Directors from hospitals in the thirteen state,region represented in the Midwest Alliance of Nursing were randomly selected. The questionnaire was developed based on Schwirian's Six Dimension Scale of Nursing, Performance (1978) . This scale was developed by Schwirian who established its reliability and validity. The scale yields a total scale mean score and six subscale mean scores on: Teaching/Collaboration, Planning/Evaluation, Leadership, Critical Care, Interpersonal Relationships/Communications, and Professional Development. Principles from Dillman's Mail and Telephone Surveys: A Total Design Method (1978) were used to design the questionnaire, conduct a pilot study and implement a survey that was conducted during December 1983 and January 1984. A return rate of 293 or 89 percent was achieved. Data analysis was completed on 249 questionnaires or 76 percent. A non-parametric Sign Test indicated baccalaureate graduates were rated higher than associate degree on more items of the Six-D Scale. A Two-Way Analysis of Variance found that there was significant interaction between the initial "type" of RN education of the responding Directors and the ratings they gave ADN and BSN preparation on the total scale score and five of six subscales. The nature of the interaction showed that Directors receiving their initial RN education in ADN and diploma nursing programs rated ADN and BSN graduate preparation closely. Directors who received their initial RN education in BSN programs rated BSN graduates preparation markedly higher and ADN graduates lower. It should be noted that BSN graduates received higher assessments by Directors regardless of their preparation on all measures except when the Directors received their initial RN education in ADN programs. Those Directors rated the preparation of ADN graduates higher than BSN graduates on the Critical Care subscale. A descriptive analysis, grouped by subscale, of the competencies and deficiencies of ADN and BSN graduate preparation was presented. Accompanying tables with item analysis was presented to assist in curricular planning and modification for nursing educators.




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