Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Kit Kacirek

Committee Member

Mike Miller

Second Committee Member

Jack De Vore


Associate Nursing Degree, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Content Mastery Exams, Kaplan Integrated Exams, NCLEX-RN


Registered Nurses constitute the largest health care occupation in the United States. Current entry-level education for the profession of nursing is either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) (Altman, 2011). After successful completion of a nursing program, all nursing graduates must apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The pass rate for first time United States educated NCLEX-RN exam test takers in 2017 was 87.11% leaving 12.89% unsuccessful (NCSBN, 2018). A nursing programs quality and recruitment are often influenced by a students’ ability to pass the NCLEX-RN on the first attempt. Nursing educators are unable to accurately predict who will successfully pass the NCLEX-RN and look to outside companies to provide content mastery exams. Current literature provides numerous studies to predict indicators for success on the NCLEX-RN examination, however there is limited research on the Kaplan Integrated exams. Limited research has been conducted comparing ADN to BSN programs.

This study aims to determine if a difference exists on the Kaplan Integrated Exam Scores (Pharmacology, Management of Care, and Medical Surgical) between or among private and public institutions and 2-year (Associate Degree) versus 4-year (Baccalaureate Degree) Institutions. The results indicated public institutions scored higher on all three exams than the private institutions and ADN institutions scored higher on Medical Surgical and Pharmacology than BSN institutions. There was no difference between scores for ADN and BSN on Management of Care. All results should be interpreted with caution since the sample sizes were not equal.