Success in U.S. Army schools of practical nursing: The predictive validity of selected admissions criteria and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
The purpose of this study was to determine if variables could be identified which would enable educators to predict more accurately student performance in the U.S. Army's practical nursing program. The independent variables included: age, sex, marital status, years of education completed, and the Skilled Technical (ST) and General Technical (GT) composite test scores of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The dependent variables were: success or failure; the final course grade, the academic and clinical phase grade point averages; and the Skill Qualification Test score. The sample consisted of 182 successful and 151 unsuccessful students who were randomly selected using the 1982, 1983, and 1984 academic records maintained at the Academy of Health Sciences, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. A logistic regression analysis was used to predict the probability of group membership in the success or failure group. The Skilled Technical (ST) composite test score was the only independent variable which made a significant contribution to the efficacy of the regression model. A multiple regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variables. Significant positive relationships were found between the ST and GT composite scores and all dependent variables. The remaining independent variables were found to have slight or no correlation with the criterion measures. Contingency tables were constructed to determine how accurately selection decisions could be made using Skilled Technical (ST) scores of 100 and 110. The model using the ST score of 100 was found to be the more accurate of the two, more accurately predicting actual successes. Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations for further research were made: exploration of high school rank as a predictor of student performance; the validity of current selection criteria and the use of different aggregates of the ASVAB subtests; the use of the Mathematics Knowledge subtest as a screening criterion; other factors, such as motivation and military life style characteristics, which could influence success or failure; and the use of civilian aptitude batteries to predict performance in practical nursing.