Faculty support and student retention

J Nurs Educ. 2003 Feb;42(2):68-76.


A study was conducted to explore the relationship between nursing students' perceived faculty support and nursing student retention. The 458 associate degree nursing students who participated were categorized according to their persistence-those who had persisted continuously throughout a nursing program, those who had withdrawn voluntarily at some time during a program, and those who had been required to withdraw because of academic failure. Perceived faculty support was measured by scores on the Perceived Faculty Support Scale, an instrument developed by the researcher for this study. A factor analysis of the instrument revealed two factors-psychological support, directed at promoting a sense of competency and self-worth, and functional support, directed at the achievement of tasks to reach the goals of persistence and academic success. Analysis of variance revealed persistence group differences in perceived faculty support. Students who reported greater perceived faculty support were more likely to persist throughout a nursing program than students who withdrew either voluntarily or because of academic failure. To promote retention of nursing students, faculty need to provide the caring atmosphere of a mentoring relationship and direct assistance to facilitate student learning.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Education, Nursing, Associate / organization & administration*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Faculty, Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Male
  • Mentors
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Perception*
  • Social Support*
  • Students*