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Can we predict successful completion of the common foundation programme at interview?

Donaldson, Jayne H; McCallum, Jacqueline; Lafferty, Patricia


Jayne H Donaldson

Jacqueline McCallum

Patricia Lafferty


To gain an understanding of patterns of retention and attrition for student nurses on the diploma of higher education (DipHE)/bachelor of science (B.Sc.) (adult) on completion of the common foundation programme (CFP=year 1 of the programme).
A questionnaire called the "interview score sheet" (ISS) collected data on six cohorts from a Higher Education Institution in Scotland. At the initial recruitment interview each candidate was scored independently by two interviewers on the ISS. Successful/unsuccessful attempts of theory-based and practice-based modules, and any reasons for attrition were recorded throughout the CFP. For the purposes of this study success was defined as achieving a pass grade in all modules associated with year 1 of the programme. Main outcome measures: The study investigated the potential of the ISS in providing a reliable guide for student selection onto the DipHE/B.Sc. in nursing (adult) and providing information about the characteristics of a typical successful/unsuccessful student from the CFP.
Statistical analysis was conducted to examine the correlation between the total score on the ISS, any characteristics on the ISS and the students' successful completion of the CFP.
Six-hundred and thirty-eight students entered the CFP: 118 (18%) were unsuccessful and 520 (82%) were successful completers of the CFP. From the characteristics noted at interview on the ISS, the most reliable predictor of success was age. The total score achieved on the ISS was shown not to be a reliable predictor of success. Although not statistically significant, testing of numeracy and standard and content of written work may be of some value in predicting success and may warrant further study.


Donaldson, J. H., McCallum, J., & Lafferty, P. (2010). Can we predict successful completion of the common foundation programme at interview?. Nurse Education Today, 30, 649-656.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2010
Deposit Date Jun 26, 2012
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Pages 649-656
Keywords nurse education; recruitment; retention
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