Results of a study on nursing students’ success in taking advanced level (Graduate) pathophysiology in their basic nursing program

Jo Anne Silbert-Flagg, Tracey K. Adams, Josephine Fava-Hochuli, Chakra Budhathoki, Elizabeth Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schools of nursing are encouraged to provide a course of study offering unique educational models that support the learning needs of adult students who attained a non-nursing Bachelor's Degree prior to enrolling in nursing school, Also known as nontraditional students, graduates of these programs often go on to seek graduate degrees in nursing (McKenna and Brooks, 2018). Non-traditional students may be older and desire to complete graduate education in a timely manner. The study focus was to determine if pre-licensure BSN students can successfully complete graduate course work during their pre-licensure BSN Program. The motivation for the student in the study would be to decrease the time and expense required to obtain a graduate degree. This study examined the success of the 39 students enrolled in a pre-licensure program who were permitted to enroll in a graduate pathophysiology course as their required pathophysiology course in their pre-licensure program in place of the required undergraduate pathophysiology course. While students enrolled in three other graduate courses in place of the comparable undergraduate course, pathophysiology has been identified as a particularly challenging course and a predictor of success in passing the nursing certification examination. (Dunn et al. 2013). Thus, success in this course is the focus of the study. The 39 students who enrolled in this study successfully completed the graduate pathophysiology course. There was no statistically significant difference in the final grade in the course between the 39 students in the study and the comparison group of 147 graduate students. The 39 students would be granted entry into the Masters Clinical Nurse Specialist Program after receiving their BSN if they achieved a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) and received no grades below a B− in their graduate courses Thus, motivational theory was used as a theoretical framework for this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Pre-licensure programs
  • Unique educational models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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