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Factors Affecting Academic Performance of Nursing Undergraduates in a University, Sri Lanka – A Pilot Study

Damayanthi, H.; Dharmaratne, S.

International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare: December 2016 - Volume 14 - Issue - p S9
doi: 10.1097/01.XEB.0000511623.85498.96

Background: Students are the key assets of any educational institute including universities. The students’ performance plays an important role in producing the best quality graduates and is directly linked with social and economic development of any country. Nursing programs across the world use a variety of measures to determine the academic performance of nursing students including grade point average. Empirical studies have proven that numerous factors affected academic performance of nursing students.

Objectives: To determine academic and non-academic factors related to academic performance of nursing undergraduates in a selected university in Sri Lanka.

Methods: The secondary data include academic and non-academic data and the final grade point average of randomly selected 52 nursing graduates of department of nursing was included in this pilot study. Age, gender and religion were considered as non-academic factors while Z score in the General Certificate Examination Advanced Level (GCE A/L) which is the pre-admission qualification was considered as an academic factor. All data were retrieved from the student data base of the department/faculty. Administrative permission has been granted from the Head of the Department and the Dean of the Faculty.

Results: Majority of the students (71.2%) was female and all students were Sinhalese. The mean grade point average of female and male students were 2.88 (SD = 0.220) and 2.61 (SD = 0.204) respectively. Female students had a higher grade point averages than male students ((P < 0.05). Pearson correlation analysis showed that final grade point average was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with gender (r = 0.483) while negatively correlated with age (r = −0.294) and Z score (r = −0.330). In regression analysis, only gender and Z score were found to be significantly associated with the final grade point average.

Conclusions: Nurse educators, administrators and policy makers may consider these variables in the admission and selection of nursing students.

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Correspondence should be addressed to HDWT Damayanthi;

International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare © 2016 The Joanna Briggs Institute