ADN to BSN: Factors and their Degree of Contribution to ADN Essay Sample

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The purpose of this study is to examine how personal perceptions are associated with an ADN student’s willingness to obtain a BSN. A two-year longitudinal pre-test and post-test design will be utilized (Leedy & Ormrod., 2012). The pre-test will survey first semester ADN students and the post-test will survey the same group in the last semester of the program. A one-way ANOVA will be used to assess the mean difference between the pre-test and post-test data (Shuttleworth, 2009). This study also intends to examine how demographical factors such as age, gender, and current employment affect the students’ willingness to get a BSN. The sample consists of 95 Valencia Community College (VCC) students in the 2-year nursing degree program. This sample size is based Jacob Cohen’s requirement for statistical power analysis of a one-way ANOVA test (Cohen, 1992).

In order to reduce the possibility of errors, a medium effect size is selected with an a level of .01 at a power of .80. With a small a value, there is a decreased risk of a Type I error where the null hypothesis is falsely rejected. A power of .80 decreases the probability of a Type II error so that there is an 80% chance of rejecting a false null hypothesis. With these conditions, a sample size of 95 individuals is recommended for a one-way ANOVA (Cohen, 1992). VCC admits 120 students to their nursing program each Fall and Spring term so the sample size is obtainable (Valenica College, 2012). By utilizing VCC nursing students in a convenience sampling, the surveys can be administered and collected in person (Leedy & Ormrod, 2012). This insures a higher response rate. A small monetary incentive of $1 per participant is offered to increase response rate as well.

The primary independent variable is the semester in the program of the ADN student. The pre-test will survey these students in their first semester of the program and the post-test will survey the same group in their last semester before graduation. The dependent variable is the student’s willingness to obtain a BSN. Their willingness is defined as whether or not they plan on getting a BSN. Their perception of an ADN versus a BSN is also assessed to see how their willingness is influenced. Control variables include the student’s age, gender, academic standing, financial debt, and employment status. Since the students are attending the same college and program, control variables for VCC include professors and program curriculum.

In a previous study by Rhonda Maneval and Marilyn Teeter, associate degree and diploma nursing students were surveyed to gather their opinions of proposed educational advancement legislation for nurses (Maneval & Teeter, 2010). Their primary independent variable were the nursing students that took the survey, whereas this study’s independent variable is the semester of the program the student is in. Both studies’ dependent variable is defined as the student’s willingness to get a BSN, however, the Maneval and Teeter study only analyzed the dependent variable under a dichotomous scale; whether or not the student planned on getting a BSN. This study will examine the dependent variable based on a rating scale in addition to a dichotomous scale. There is more control factors in this study due it being conducted at VCC rather than mass distributed to various nursing programs in the state of Pennsylvania (Maneval & Teeter, 2010). The control variables for the students are also assessed in this study, while it was not in the previous.

A two-year longitudinal pre-test and post-test design was chosen for this study in order to assess how an ADN student’s perception of a BSN may change based on their semesters in the program (Shuttleworth, 2009). Surveying the students in their first semester will provide insight on how they feel about a BSN without much prior nursing knowledge. Surveying the same students again their last semester will provide how their views have stayed the same or changed based on their experience in the nursing program. Since completion of the program takes two years, this study will be a short longitudinal study. Data from students on academic probation will be still be included since their academic standing may influence their desire to get a BSN. The pre-test and post-test design allows for changes of the students’ perspective to be more easily assessed. A one-way ANOVA will be used to find the mean difference between the pre-test and post-test data. For example, if a question’s pre-test response gets an average rank of 3 after the controls have been assessed and the post-test response gets a score of 5, there’s a positive change of 2.

This means that the student sample has grown more agreeable to the question the longer they have been in the ADN program. Different factors that can contribute to their willing of getting a BSN is measured including employment status, current experience in the ADN program, and their perception of a BSN. An ANOVA score of each individual factor will show how their views have changed throughout the course of their program. Demographical data is also collected to analyze the statistics with regards to the control variables. A linear regression will be used to see if there is any correlation between factors such as age, gender, and academic standing on a student’s willingness to get a higher degree (Handwerker, n.d). Since this study is a longitudinal, participation is voluntary but not anonymous. The students will be told of this and that the study will survey them twice; once at during their first semester and once during their last. By agreeing to participate, they are permitting the researchers to use retain their name for the sole purpose of finding them for the post-test.

The survey itself will remain anonymous, but the student’s name will be kept on record that they participated. The student can withdraw participation at anytime without penalty, and it will be noted in the results of any withdraws. A quantitative survey method was chosen as the data-collecting instrument because of its low cost, convenient data gathering, and good statistical significance (Sincero, 2012). The printing and distribution of this survey is inexpensive, even with the $1 incentive for participants. It is easy to gather and analyze the data it can be quantified. It can also be administered via e-mail, fax or as an online survey if desired, which can widen the scope of the sample if necessary. The survey method can provide good statistical significance due to the high representativeness and the fact that multiple variables can be analyzed using one survey (Sincero, 2012). Implications

The results from Maneval and Teeter (year) study showed that 86.3% of Pennsylvania’s associate degree and diploma nursing students planned to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing and 94.8% hoped to be enrolled in a BSN program within four years of graduation. This study also expects to find a majority of ADN students willing to pursue a BSN, however, the percentage may not be as high. The Maneval and Teeter study distributed surveys to schools and allowed students to decide whether they wanted to participate by mailing the responses back (Maneval & Teeter, 2010). This increases possible bias because schools and students that felt more positively about the BSN legislation may be more inclined to participate. Although this VCC study also utilizes voluntary participation, the survey is administered in person to increase response rate. The questions are phrased to gather the student’s perspective about both programs, without focusing on just the BSN. The Maneval and Teeter study received 4,390 surveys that served as their data pool (Maneval & Teeter, 2010). This large sample creates greater room for error. The VCC study is focused on a sample size of 95, ideal for a one-way ANOVA with two variables. This decreases the risk of Type I and Type II errors.

Both this study and the Maneval and Teeter study examine whether ADN students plan on getting a BSN. This study focuses on VCC nursing students while the Maneval and Teeter study surveyed countless schools through New Jersey (Maneval & Teeter, 2010). The results from this study can show whether or not VCC nursing students want to pursue a BSN more or less than nursing students from New Jersey. Neither study can be generalized due to convenience sampling; however, a stronger case of generalization can be made if future studies in different locations can provide the same results. This type of study has not been conducted in Florida, therefore this data can help future generalizations.

This study hopes to influence current literature by providing schools and employers with factors that influence an ADN student’s willingness to pursue a higher degree. Maneval and Teeter indicate that there is an increase in the willingness to pursue a BSN, but they did not examine what factors may influence it and to what degree (Maneval & Teeter, 2010). This study aims to provide this information through a one-way ANOVA analysis. By understanding how a nursing student perceives a BSN while in an ADN program, BSN schools and prospective employers can recruit students at ideal times. They can also use factors that influence the student’s willingness as an incentive. Previous studies have not looked into how a student feels about their current program affects their decision to pursue a higher degree. Overall, this study hopes to increase the response rate, internal validity, and external validity of current studies on this topic while also providing addition information on influential factors. Measurement tool

A 20-question item survey will be the used to measure the independent and dependent variables of this study. Since the validity of this survey has not been previously proven in a prior study, the validity of the survey is unknown. Although the study conducted by Rhonda Maneval and Marilyn Teeter also used a quantitative survey method, their survey consisted of only five items addressing the students’ educational goals and their opinions of the proposed RN- Plus-10 requirements (Maneval & Teeter, 2010). Also, the Maneval and Teeter survey is not available to the public so it could not be used increase the validity of our survey. The external validity is also a limitation due to convenience sampling (Validity: Internal & External, n.d.). However, steps have been taken to ensure content validity of the survey itself. Since the sample consists of college students, the survey was examined and edited by students at the University of Central Florida for easy comprehension. Also, professors familiar with survey research was consulted to help increase the validity of the questions. If needed, a pilot study could also be conducted at a different college that offers an ADN program (Maneval & Teeter, 2010). The reliability is quite high because there is little or no observer subjectivity using a survey (Sincero, 2012).

All participants, both pre-test and post-test, are presented with the same survey so there is a standardized stimulus. Any researchers’ biases are eliminated as long as the wordings of the questions are presented in a neural manner. As noted above, the quantitative survey consists of 20 questions. The first nine questions are based on a seven-point rating scale to assess how the student feels about their current program and their perceptions of a BSN program (Sincero, 2012). Its larger range of response allows for a more accurate one-way ANOVA assessment. It also allows them to answer neutrally over a question being asked. A dichotomous scale is also used to ensure that the student clearly indicates whether or not they intend on getting a BSN. It is also used to gain a clearer perspective of how they feel about an ADN program since the dichotomous scale prevents them from answering neutrally to a question (Sincero, 2012). The remaining questions are used to gather demographical data to analyze the statistics with regards to the control variables. The willingness to obtain a BSN will also be assessed based on the demographical data to see if there is any correlation between the two. Attached is a copy of this study’s survey.


1. Jacob Cohen (1992). A power primer, Psychological Bulletin. 112 (1): 155–159, doi:10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155, PMID 19565683. Retrieved on November 13, 2012 from

2. Handwerker, W. Penn. Sample Design. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, pp. 419-236. Retrieved on October 29, 2012 from

3. Leedy, P.D. & Ormrod, J. E. (2012). Practical Research: Planning and Design, (10th ed.) Prentice Hall.

4, Maneval, R. E., & Teeter, M. M. (2010, Dec). The student perspective on RN-plus- 10 legislation: A survey of Associate Degree and diploma nursing students. Retrieved on September 26, 2012 from

5. Nursing – Valencia College. (n.d.). Valencia College, Orlando, Florida. Retrieved November 15, 2012, from

6. Shuttleworth, M. (2009). Pretest-Posttest Designs. Retrieved November 3, 2012 from Explorable:

7. Sincero, S. M. (2012). Survey Response Scales. Retrieved November 3, 2012 from Explorable:

8. Wimmer, R., Dominick, J. (2009) Mass Media Research: An Introduction-9TH Edition. Retrieved October 29, 2012, from

9. Validity: Internal & External (n.d). The City Univeristy of New York. Retrieved November 22, 2012, from

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