Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Nursing and Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Kristy Chunta

Second Advisor

Riah Hoffman

Third Advisor

Michele Gerwick

Abstract

Test anxiety in nursing education remains a growing concern among nurse educators. Test anxiety acts as a factor that may cause nursing students to cope poorly with strenuous academic demands, resulting in lower academic performance levels, high attrition rates, and possibly failures on the NCLEX-RN®. Test-anxious nursing students may engage in avoidance behaviors, such as academic procrastination, as a coping mechanism. Understanding the nature of the relationship between test anxiety and academic procrastination among nursing students may assist nurse educators in identifying and augmenting test-anxious students’ time management, academic study habits, and academic preparatory skills. The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship among test anxiety and academic procrastination among pre-licensure nursing students, determine the frequency of test anxiety and academic procrastination among undergraduate nursing program types, and identify factors that may predict academic procrastination. This research study utilized a quantitative descriptive correlational design. The Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI) and the Procrastination Assessment Scale for Students (PASS) were administered to a convenience sample of 202 pre-licensure nursing students from diploma, associate, and baccalaureate nursing programs in southwestern Pennsylvania. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s product-moment correlation, analysis of variance, and multiple regression were performed to examine the research variables of test anxiety, academic procrastination, and nursing education program type. The study results identified a statistically significant moderate correlation between test anxiety and academic procrastination among pre-licensure students, and that associate degree nursing students experienced significantly higher levels of test anxiety than those enrolled in diploma and baccalaureate nursing programs. Additionally, this study’s results indicated that the majority of pre-licensure nursing students report procrastinating most on keeping up with weekly reading assignments, followed by writing term papers, and studying; however, nursing students with higher self-reported GPAs tended to procrastinate less on academic tasks. This study’s findings provide insight on the relationship of test anxiety and academic procrastination among pre-licensure nursing students across nursing education program types. The implications of this study may be used to aid nurse educators in the development and implementation of strategies to identify and decrease test anxiety and academic procrastination among pre-licensure nursing students.

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