School of Education


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Cristie McClendon


Associate of Science in Nursing, ATI Critical Thinking Exam, ATI TEAS, Critical Thinking, NCLEX-RN Success, Student Success


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Higher Education | Science and Mathematics Education


Critical thinking is a required curricular outcome for nursing education; however, the literature shows a gap related to valid and reliable tools to measure critical thinking specific to nursing and relating that critical thinking measurement to meaningful outcomes. This study examined critical thinking scores, as measured by Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) Critical Thinking Exam (CTE), to determine if a statistically significant predictive association existed between critical thinking scores, successful Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program completion, and National Certification Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) pass rates. The research was conducted in a semi-urban, hospital-based, ASN program and included 550 students obtained by convenience sampling in a retrospective, predictive correlational study. Logistical analysis was conducted to determine if any relationships existed between the variables of interest while controlling for confounding variables such as nursing course grade point average (GPA) and preadmission ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) scores. Critical thinking was found to be a positive predictor of student success [program completion (p = .012); NCLEX success (p = .002)] as were TEAS [program completion (p = .003); NCLEX success (p = .001)] and nursing course GPA [NCLEX success (p = .001)]. However, cumulative effects for the three variables were not found to increase the predictive power of the model and none of the variables were deemed good predictors of failure.