Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing



Research Sponsor

Lisa Hart

First Reader

Carrie Wissmar

Second Reader

Lori Kidd


Drug and alcohol use is a negative way to cope with stress in undergraduate nursing students, which may affect academic performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between substance use and academic performance in baccalaureate nursing students. This study was guided by the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping by Lazarus and Folkman and used a non-experimental, correlational design. The sample included pre-nursing, accelerated, and second-, third-, and fourth-year nursing students at a public mid-Western university. The sample size was 146 subjects. Alcohol use was measured with the AUDIT questionnaire, drug use was measured by the CAGE-AID questionnaire, and academic performance was measured by grade point average. Data was analyzed with Pearson correlation coefficients using the SPSS analytical software.

The results of this study yielded a negative correlation, however the data was not statistically significant for both the CAGE-AID and AUDIT questionnaires. Due to these findings, the researchers’ hypothesis: as substance use increased, academic performance would decrease, was not proven. The implications of the findings of this study for future nursing practice outlined the importance of continued education and screenings for substance use and alcohol dependency.

Included in

Nursing Commons