Tennessee Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

The following guide to nursing schools in Tennessee is designed to provide you with important information on the many undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, including profiles of several, in the state. Students pursuing a nursing degree in Tennessee have a full range of concentrations from which to choose, including pediatric nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, nurse administration, nurse educator, women’s health nurse practitioner, and adult gerontology nurse practitioner. Some colleges and universities in Tennessee, including Vanderbilt University, feature nursing programs that can be completed entirely online. Online universities, such as Walden University, also allow students to earn a bachelor’s or a master’s in nursing online.

Tennessee School Facts:

  • 17 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
  • 30 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • 17 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
  • Highest graduation rate: Vanderbilt University 95%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate: Cumberland University 50%.1
  • Highest net price: Belmont University $28,870.1
  • Lowest net price: Tennessee State University $8,264.1
  • Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Tennessee with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $11,830 – $42,118.2
  • 4 schools in US News Best Nursing Schools (2011) Top 100: Vanderbilt University (15), University of Tennessee Health Center (44), University of Tennessee Knoxville (79), and East Tennessee State University (99).

Following are several profiles of the many bachelor’s and master’s in nursing programs offered in Tennessee’s colleges and universities.

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs in Tennessee

Tennessee State University
Tennessee State University confers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to students who successfully complete the four year, 120 credit program. Students enter the nursing program in the junior year and will take 59 credits in the nursing major to fulfill degree requirements. Graduates of the program meet eligibility requirements to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Students may be eligible for departmental scholarships and scholarships awarded by the National Student Nurses Association. Registered nurses, who already hold an associate’s degree in nursing, may opt for the nursing department’s RN to BSN program.

Tennessee Tech University
Tennessee Tech University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program requires students to complete all prerequisite and general coursework in the first two years of the program. Students then apply to the nursing major and are chosen largely based on their grade point average. The nursing curriculum spans two years and consists of coursework, labs, and clinical practicums. Nursing students may want to join such campus organizations as the TTU Student Nurses Association or, if academically eligible, the Iota Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the honor society for nursing students. Graduates of the BSN program are eligible to sit for National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Marian University at St. Thomas Health
Marian University at St. Thomas Health in Nashville offers an online Accelerated BSN (ABSN) program designed to allow students who have a bachelor’s degree in subjects other than nursing to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 16 months of study. Prior to enrollment, students must have completed the ABSN prerequisites. After enrollment, students will complete 64 credits in professional nursing courses touching on nursing theory and skills practice, including hands-on clinical labs and 750 hours of hospital clinical rotations. The four semester program combines eight and 16 week courses in such topics as Maternity Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, and nursing research. Marian University’s accelerated nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Master’s in Nursing Programs in Tennessee

University of Tennessee
Graduate students pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at the University of Tennessee have a full menu of concentrations from which to choose, including nurse anesthetist, nursing administration, adult health, family nurse practitioner, global disaster nursing, pediatric nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse clinical specialist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and psychiatric clinical specialist. Minors are also available in gerontology, education, and statistics. Students with a minor must complete an additional three courses to fulfill degree requirements. All graduate students, regardless of the concentration, must complete both core and advanced practice core courses in theoretical foundations in nursing, nursing research, physical assessment, clinical pharmacology, and pathophysiology for nursing practice.

Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program features 15 concentrations in areas including adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, emergency nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nursing informatics, and women’s health nurse practitioner. Students may also opt for the online MSN in health systems management or may pursue a dual concentration in women’s health nurse practitioner and adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner. Both full time and part time study are permitted. Some concentrations offer a hybrid format with both online and in classroom classes. All graduate students complete nine credits of core courses and an additional 25 credits in concentration-specific classes. Applicants must already possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), must hold a current registered nurse’s license, and must submit GRE scores.

Reviews of Ohio Nursing Schools

Baptist College of Health Sciences
1003 Monroe Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 575-2247

Nursing school is one of the hardest things I have ever endured. I started my journey two years ago in a nursing class called Basic Skills. Basic Skills for me felt a lot like basic training in the military, it’s where you learn the foundations of nursing practice. You learn how to make beds, give bed baths, administer medication, Foley catheter insertion, and other skills like dressing wounds. Don’t let the word “basic” fool you: this class was not easy. At the beginning of the course our professor told us to look to our right and then to our left. She said to remember that the person sitting on either side may or may not be at our graduation After preparing and searching high and low I typed out my appeal letter with the evidence that these test questions were reasonably, especially since they were not consistent among the other courses. As a nurse I will have to advocate for patients that have way bigger battles and fears than I have ever had to face. He wanted to know that I would not give up even if it seemed impossible, even if I was scared or doubtful I did it my best.” – Student at Baptist College of Health Sciences

East Tennessee State University
1276 Gilbreath Dr
Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-1000

ETSU was a very challenging program. The classes required extensive and exhaustive studying, and the professors were extremely demanding. I felt that there were many instances of unfair expectations on their part but was able to pass classes with good grades nonetheless. I appreciate the challenge now that I am a nurse but do feel strongly that better organization of the classes would benefit the students. I truly enjoyed the expansive clinicals that I attended and feel like they taught me more than any of my classes did. I also think that being a member of the very supportive Student Nurse Association was a great benefit to me. Overall, I am happy with my choice to attend ETSU CoN but do not feel as though I was prepared as well as many of my colleagues.” – Student at East Tennessee State University

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=TN&major=nursing&sort=best