© 2017 Students who leave pre-registration nurse education having failed to complete remain a concern for higher education institutions. This study identifed factors influencing completion using a retrospective cohort analysis to map student characteristics at entry against Year 3 completion data. The study was set in a nursing faculty in a higher education institution in northern England. Data were collected between 2009 and 2014 with five cohorts of students participating (n = 807). Multinomial logistic regression was used to model the dependent variable Progression Outcome with categories of; completion and non-completion (academic and non-academic reasons). Predictors included cohort, programme, branch, gender, age on entry, ethnic group, disability status, domicile, change of home postcode, change of term-time postcode, entry qualifications, previous experience of caring, and dependents. Age on Entry and Domicile or alternatively Dependents and Domicile emerged as statistically significant (p < 0.05) in the multivariable analysis. Older students were less likely to be lost from the programme, as were students who lived locally at all times and those with dependents. There is currently little reliable, consistent information on nursing student attrition, progression and completion. This study contributes to the evidence base by identifying some of the factors that may contribute to successful programme completion.