Attrition to completion progression theory in an associate degree nursing program

Carmela Theresa Timbol de Leon


Objective: This study aimed to develop a substantive theory on the process of overcoming attrition among returning students in an Associate Degree Nursing program in a private school in Arizona.

Methods: A qualitative design was utilized for this study. The Classical Grounded Theory approach provided a systematic process of data collection, analysis and synthesis that led to the emergence of the Attrition to Completion Progression Theory. Theoretical sampling through in-depth interviews of ten participants who experienced temporary attrition and was successfully able to come back to succeed within the program provided a rich source of data and unique perspective of the phenomenon.

Results: Four themes emerged from the grounded theory approach. The themes that emerged are: Attrition as an interplay of multiple factors; Ways of coping with attrition; Changes and modifications; and Finding new meanings as the core category. The emergent theory provided an insight into the process that the participants went through and the perceived contributory factors leading to the attrition.

Conclusions: Understanding the interplay of these factors paved for a better understanding on how current and future students, faculty, and administrators can prevent attrition and assist returning students to become successful in the program towards completion.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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