The Knoxville News Sentinel reports on the serious shortage of nursing school faculty. They quote the American Association of Colleges of Nursing opinion that the nation's nursing shortage will continue due to aging baby boomers. In 2007 the nursing community in Tennessee raised $1.4 million to forgive student loans for nurses with advanced degrees who teach for four years at the college level. The state has also matched this amount. This is an excellent time for nurses interested in obtaining their Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in nursing to return to college.
There are several accredited nursing schools in Tennessee. There are also a variety of routes to earning your Master's degree in Nursing such as online programs, accelerated direct entry programs and RN to MSN programs in Tennessee. Reach out to the schools listed below to get more information about your options.
Some of the more popular MSN degree programs include the following specialties:
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner – ACNP
- Adult Nurse Practitioner/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
- Clinical Research Management
- Emergency Nurse Practitioner FNP
- Forensic Nursing
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse – Midwifery
- Nursing Informatics
- Palliative Care
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute or Primary Care
- Psychiatric–Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Women's Health Nurse Practitioner – WHNP
Some of the typical requirements for admission to MSN degree programs in Tennessee include:
- Official transcripts from all college or university education
- GPA of 3.0
- GRE taken within five years with a satisfactory score
- Three letters of reference are required, from faculty members, professional colleagues or work supervisors who can evaluate your potential for success in a graduate program
- Applicants must respond to the six application questions, and the writing style and content of your responses will be used in the overall evaluation of your application
- Statistics Course
- RN applicants must be eligible to practice in the state where they will be completing their clinical preceptorship
Nursing informatics is one of the newer specialties in nursing that seeks new solutions to improve patient outcomes, lower-costs, create new tools for teaching or patient care over the Internet.
A sample curriculum for an Informatics MSN program could include:
- Introduction to Health Informatics
- Technology Components of Informatics
- Continuous Quality Improvement and Outcomes Measurement
- Healthcare Financial Management
- ANP Role Within the US Healthcare Delivery System
- Web the Development for Healthcare Applications
- Consumer Healthcare Informatics
- Informatics of Clinical Practice
- Clinical Informatics Practicum I,II
- Scientific Underpinnings for Advance Nursing Practice
- Database Designed for Healthcare Applications
- Informatics of Evidence–Based Practice
- Conceptualizing and Integration of Evidence for ANP
The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers a credential certification for Informatics Nursing, which is an examination of competency. If you are and American Nursing Association Member the cost for this exam is $200, and it is $350 for nonmembers.
The annual nursing salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2013, for a nurse practitioner is $92,400 annually. The average annual salary for a nurse anesthetists is $145,020 and for a nurse midwife it is $82,890 annually. The annual salary for a nursing instructor or teacher is $55,760.
If you are a lower income student in need help with your tuition be sure to visit the Financial Aid Office at your University and fill out a FAFSA application, which is a federal grant. Your financial status with be evaluated. The Health Resources and Services Administration also offers various low-interest loans and grants.
The Tennessee Student Assistants Corporation has a Graduate Nursing Loan–Forgiveness Program. This program is designed to encourage Tennessee RNs to become teachers and administrators in Tennessee nursing education programs.
In order to qualify for this program the applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Tennessee resident and a U.S. citizen
- Have an unencumbered Tennessee nursing license
- Be enrolled in an eligible master's degree or postmaster's degree nursing educational program at an eligible institution
The recipient of this loan forgiveness program is required to sign a promissory note. You will then be obligated for four years of full-time employment to receive loan forgiveness. If this obligation is not met, the award must be repaid in full.
This is an excellent time to continue your education and make a career change as you may find it rewarding and it may substantially increase your income. Contact the nursing schools in Tennessee that offer MSN degrees to learn more.