First Advisor

Claywell, Lora

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Cullen, Patricia L.


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

74 pages


Early recognition of academically at-risk nursing students by faculty plays an important role in increasing retention rates. The main objective of the early alert referral program is to systematically detect early students who are academically for failure and refer at-risk students to faculty or support services, to increase nursing retention rates. The Early Alert Referral Project is a quantitative design in terms of purpose and methodology. The program was held in a classroom in a rural community college in Alabama during the summer semester (May, June, July, August) 2014. All practical nursing students currently enrolled in summer 2014 cohort were included on a volunteer basis. A convenience sample of eight practical nursing students enrolled in NUR 105 were included in the study. A total of three students were recognized as at-risk by nursing faculty. Course faculty completed an early alert check list identifying all at-risk characteristics or behaviors demonstrated by the student. The at-risk check list was completed by faculty before and after admission into the nursing program during midterm. The student (s) were notified by the health careers chair encouraging an individual meeting to discuss the referral. The retention rates before implementing the at-risk program were compared to retention rates summer semester 2012, summer semester 2013, summer semester 2014, and after one semester of implementation of the project. After implementation of the early alert referral intervention summer 2014 six students passed the course. There was no statistically significant change in the retention rates summer 2014 as compared to the rates from 2013 and 2012. Keywords: DNP Capstone, early-alert referral program, student retention.

Date of Award

Fall 2014

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

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