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This study examines the relationship between selected characteristics (independent variable) and locus of control (dependent variable) of nursing academic administrators (deans). Locus of control (LOC) was defined as deans' scores on Levenson's I, P, and C Scales. Eighteen (18) hypotheses were proposed regarding the following dean characteristics and their LOC: age, academic achievement, level of basic nursing preparation, socio-political involvement, means of attaining current decanal position, and type of preparation for academic administrative role. The relationship between deans' locus of control and ten (10) additional variables was also determined. The sample consisted of 199 deans in state-approved undergraduate nursing schools in the U.S., including diploma, associate and baccalaureate degree programs. Analysis of data was based on a 74.6% return, using MANOVA (p = {dollar}<{dollar}05).;One hypothesis was retained, confirming that nursing deans who applied for their current positions from a position internal to the currently employing institutions will have a significantly higher external (P) score than those who applied from a position external to the currently employing institution. Other significant relationships found were: age and I scores, academic achievement and P scores, academic rank and I scores, type of nursing program administered and P scores, NLN accreditation status and I scores, age of deans at beginning of current administrative position and I scores, and type of institution in which nursing program is located and P scores. Although not at a.05 significance level, a linear relationship warranting additional consideration was found between several other characteristics and deans' LOC. Implications of findings. (1) Consideration of locus of control of applicants for decanal positions by search committees. (2) Training for internality in programs preparing nursing education administrators for their role, while examining situations in which externality (P) may be advantageous. (3) Consideration of applicants outside the hiring institution when searching for nursing deans. (4) Recommendations for academic rank for those in administrative positions in nursing education. Recommendations for further study. (1) Implementation of dean LOC modification program with pre and post LOC testing. (2) Dean LOC (independent) and NLN program accreditation (dependent). (3) Dean LOC and leadership style. (4) Dean LOC and faculty perception of organizational climate.