The effect of career commitment on academic success among undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students

Kimberly D. Kennel


Background: The ability of students, specifically in higher education environments, to persist is a critical determinant of academic success. Student success is especially precarious within programs of nursing, where curricula include clinical, laboratory, and didactic content. Identifying and describing the barriers and facilitators to nursing student persistence provides a blueprint to appropriately use financial and human resources as well as determine the effect student demographic variables has on desiring, attending, or benefiting from academic interventions.

Methods: A descriptive study was used to examine the relationship between the independent variable of self-assessed career commitment, and the dependent variable of academic success among undergraduate nursing students enrolled in a required blended course.

Results: Despite no statistical significance between career commitment and academic success, it should be noted that the failing population had a higher mean score of TTF (Tendency to Foreclose) M = 32.75 than the passing population M = 31.54, which may indicate that those students who failed may tend to prematurely commit to nursing as a career choice without a true exploration of possible career choices. The VEC (Vocational Exploration Commitment) M = 41.59 was higher in the passing population than the failures with a M = 37.50, which may indicate those that passed had explored all career options before committing to nursing as a career choice.

Conclusions: The outcome of this study can guide further research concerning career commitment and career exploration interventions since the process of career commitment is a task for all college students, including those who choose nursing as they identify how they will meet their career goals. Framed by Tinto’s Theory of Student Departure, this study assessed the effect of career commitment on academic success among undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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