Research Briefs 

Factors Affecting the Academic Progression of Associate Degree Graduates

Julia Munkvold, MN, RN; Christine A. Tanner, PhD, RN, FAAN; Heidi Herinckx, MA

Abstract

The Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) is a coalition of community colleges and the campuses of the Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU), created to share a competency-based curriculum by which associate degree graduates from an OCNE campus are eligible to complete requirements for the bachelor’s degree after 1 year of additional full-time study. Since 2006, three graduating classes from consortium community college programs have graduated 760 students eligible for direct transfer to OHSU; however, only 228 (30%) have actually transferred. This study aimed to explore the factors that influenced the 208 graduates in the class of 2010 not to transfer. The primary reasons for discontinuing their nursing education, in ranked order, were financial concerns, conflict with time and energy for work, and conflict with time and energy for family. This study has implications for achieving the academic progression goals recommended in the Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing report.

Authors

Ms. Munkvold is OCNE Evaluation Project Research Associate, and Dr. Tanner is AB Youmans Spaulding Distinguished Professor, Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing; and Ms. Herinckx is Associate Director, Regional Research Institute, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

This project was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Tanner was not involved in the peer review or decision-making process for this manuscript.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Christine A. Tanner, PhD, RN, FAAN; e-mail: tannerc@ohsu.edu

10.3928/01484834-20120224-04

The Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) is a coalition of community colleges and the campuses of the Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU), created to share a competency-based curriculum by which associate degree graduates from an OCNE campus are eligible to complete requirements for the bachelor’s degree after 1 year of additional full-time study. Since 2006, three graduating classes from consortium community college programs have graduated 760 students eligible for direct transfer to OHSU; however, only 228 (30%) have actually transferred. This study aimed to explore the factors that influenced the 208 graduates in the class of 2010 not to transfer. The primary reasons for discontinuing their nursing education, in ranked order, were financial concerns, conflict with time and energy for work, and conflict with time and energy for family. This study has implications for achieving the academic progression goals recommended in the Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing report.

Ms. Munkvold is OCNE Evaluation Project Research Associate, and Dr. Tanner is AB Youmans Spaulding Distinguished Professor, Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing; and Ms. Herinckx is Associate Director, Regional Research Institute, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

This project was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Tanner was not involved in the peer review or decision-making process for this manuscript.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Christine A. Tanner, PhD, RN, FAAN; e-mail: tannerc@ohsu.edu

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