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Wednesday, November 17, 2010



BRADFORD, Pa. – Dr. Jean Truman, assistant professor of nursing at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, presented a paper at a teaching conference held at Penn State Shenango on the success of first-generation nursing students.

Truman presented her paper “First Generation Student Preparedness for NCLEX-RN Success” at the “Meeting the Challenges of the 21st-Century Classroom” conference. The NCLEX is the state board nursing licensure exam.

Truman’s study was a furthering of the research she did for her doctoral dissertation, which focused on predictors of student success on the NCLEX. This time, Truman chose to focus on first-generation college students and whether, as a group, their NCLEX scores differed from other students.

Truman found that first-generation students (who make up about one-third of college students nationwide, but two-thirds of Pitt-Bradford nursing students) do not score much differently on the NCLEX then non-first-generation students.

In conducting her research, however, she found characteristics of being a first-generation student that can make it harder for those students to succeed in college.

“They often have greater family responsibilities and are likely to work more than 20 hours each week. They are more likely to attend a local college and less likely to complete their degrees on time,” she said. Also, they relate having greater academic and social challenges.

She said it is important for these first-generation students to receive additional academic support to help them succeed.

Truman said she enjoyed presenting at an interdisciplinary conference where educators from many disciplines were tackling issues faced by first-generation students, adult learners and students with learning disabilities.

Truman came to Pitt-Bradford in 2003 and earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Truman is the daughter of Mariann Pascarella of Bradford and the late Louis W. Pascarella. She continues to work as a nursing supervisor at Bradford Regional Medical Center and is an active volunteer for the American Cancer Society. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, G. Scott Truman, and their children, Megan and Andrew.

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