Learn About Tennessee Nursing Schools
What is the greatest predictor of a community’s quality of life? The access and quality of health care are two of the greatest determining factors when it comes to how well and how long people live. If you’re invested in helping people lead better lives, a career in the field of health care may be perfect for you.
Find out more about nursing programs in Tennessee by contacting those listed below to decide which career path is right for you.
Tennessee takes good care of its nurses—local legislators and health care leaders know just how much nurses contribute to the care of patients. The Tennesseean reports that a recent study showed how excellent nursing care can improve patient outcomes.
Another factor of Tennessee health care to keep in mind is the prominence of rural communities. A growing number of quick care clinics are opening up in rural Tennessee communities, increasing patients’ access to affordable care. As a nurse, you may be able to help these clinics run quickly and smoothly.
Nursing Education in Tennessee
The courses you take as a nursing student are dependent on which degree you choose. Many courses are the same for LPN, Associate’s degree, and Bachelor’s degree students. However, as you move up through different education levels, you take more and more in-depth courses. LPN programs often require only two to three semesters of school, while you should set aside four semesters for an Associate’s degree. Earning a Bachelor’s degree typically takes four years. Completing a longer degree may give you the chance to work in a greater variety of specialties.
Regardless of the degree you ultimately decide on, you may take a variety of core courses that can make you a competent and confident nurse. Courses that may be part of your curriculum include Health Care in Communities, Health Assessment, Fundamentals of Nursing, Pharmacology, Medical/Surgical Nursing, and Pharmacology.
Spending a little bit of time looking into different types of financial aid can really pay off when it comes to your education. The East Tennessee Foundation is a source for scholarship seekers in different fields, and they award several nursing scholarships each year. If you join the Tennessee Nurses Association, you may have the freedom to apply for the scholarships they offer. There is also a scholarship nursing program available through the Tennessee Elks Association.
Licensure is a crucial part of being a nurse in Tennessee. Through the Tennessee Board of Nursing, you can take the NCLEX-RN or the NCLEX-PN and apply for a full practice license.
Nursing Education & Career Information in your City
Nursing Schools in Tennessee
No matter how much or little postsecondary education you have behind you, you may find an opportunity that suits you in the world of nursing. At top nursing schools in Tennessee, there are dozens of degree options and areas of specialty. Whether you have previous nursing experience or you’re totally new to the field of healthcare, this is a great time to compare degree options and find programs that are well-suited to your long-term career goals.
Tennessee LPN Programs
- Admissions requirements: High school diploma, fingerprints, criminal background check, physical exam, and TB test
- Credit hour range: 30 to 45 credits
- Online degree options: Not offered at this level, due to clinical hour requirements
- Licensing exams: NCLEX-PN
Licensed practical nurses fill an important role in the world of nursing. They offer support to nurses and physicians, ensuring that these highly skilled professionals can focus on offering their specialized skills to patients. For that reason, you may spend much of your time in an LPN program getting clinical experience in local hospitals and home healthcare facilities. Nursing homes are another major area of employment for licensed practical nurses.
BSN Programs in Tennessee
- Admissions requirements: High school diploma, physical exam, and approved criminal background check
- Credit hour range: 120 to 135 credits
- Online degree options: No fully online options exist, since clinical work is a significant part of your training
- Licensing exams: NCLEX-RN
If you’re like many other students, you wonder if a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is a good choice for you. Registered nurses often make up a huge portion of a healthcare facility’s staff, since they are an integral part of patient care and physician support. By the time you finish your four years of education, you should have the skills and knowledge required in an array of healthcare jobs.
Tennessee MSN Schools
- Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current Tennessee nursing license
- Credit hour range: Between 30 and 60 credits
- Online degree options: Limited, but available at some schools
- Licensing exams: Dependent on your area of study and national certification board
Many of the best online nursing programs in Tennessee are graduate programs. Graduate programs build on your Bachelor’s degree, utilizing the nursing information you already know to help you develop your critical thinking skills. This type of degree may be finished in as little as two years, although it depends on which type of school you choose to attend.
DNP and PhD Nursing Programs in Tennessee
- Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current Tennessee nursing license
- Credit hour range: 80 to 95 credits
- Online degree options: Extremely limited, since most programs require teaching experience, clinical experience, and research
- Licensing exams: Determined by each national certification board
Doctoral programs are ideal for students who’d like to go into clinical leadership, research, or academia. In PhD programs, your hands-on experience often focuses on research and undergraduate teaching. In a DNP program, you may work in a more independent role in a clinical facility.
The best nursing schools in Tennessee may help you get closer to the career you’ve always wanted. Explore your options now by contacting programs on our list of nursing education programs in Tennessee.
Nursing Colleges in Tennessee with Nursing Bridge Programs
After learning about the standard degree options above, you may wonder what the best choice is if you already have a degree or some nursing experience. It’s likely that a bridge program may fit your standards. Bridge programs are available at all levels of study, providing convenient options for those who have done some postsecondary work already.
If you have a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, you may wonder if your Bachelor’s degree could save time on your nursing degree. In an accelerated BSN program, you can save up to three years on your second degree. Students are often expected to spend 40 hours per week in courses or in clinical rotations, severely restricting their opportunities for outside work.
Perhaps you don’t have a Bachelor’ degree, but you do have a nursing Associate’s degree, certificate, or diploma. This bridge program may be the best Tennessee nursing degree online. RN to BSN programs condense the remaining two years of your BSN education into 18 to 24 months of training. Clinical work is not always required, since many schools require that nurses have at least one year of full-time experience. This may permit you to do your education online.
Tips for Choosing the Top Nursing Schools in Tennessee
Many factors go into your success as a nursing student and professional. It all begins when you aren’t even yet at your school of choice. You have to choose a program that is well-aligned with your career goals, your natural skills, and your learning style. As you reach out to local schools, you may want to ask questions that show them what is important to you in a degree. The questions below may help you during the information gathering stage.
What Can You Ask Tennessee Nursing Schools?
- Is your nursing school accredited? If so, is it accredited by the ACEN or CCNE?
- What type of NCLEX review resources are available to graduating students? What is the NCLEX pass rate?
- What percentage of students are working in nursing six months after graduation?
- What types of financial aid are available for nursing students?
- What percentage of students qualify for financial aid?
- Where do students complete clinical rotations? Are there options for specialized experience in different healthcare specialties?
- How many credits do I need to graduate?
- What is the student to faculty ratio?
- Is the nursing school approved as a nursing education provider by the Tennessee Board of Nursing?
2018 Career Outlook for Nursing Professions
As a graduate of a local nursing school, you may be ready to jump into your new career. However, it’s important to finish the licensing process. Licensing is regulated by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.
As a graduate of a licensed practical nursing program, you have to take the NCLEX-PN to get your license. Currently, LPNs claim an average income of $37,920 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). By the year 2024, job openings for licensed practical nurses may increase 28% (O*Net, 2017).
Registered nurses may graduate from ADN programs or baccalaureate nursing programs. You may find that earning a Bachelor’s degree strengthens your job outlook. From 2014 through 2024, demand for RNs may jump 25% (O*Net, 2017). Tennessee registered nurses bring in a mean salary of $58,410 per year (BLS, 2017).
Your education may take you into a nurse practitioner degree program. On average, Tennessee nurse practitioners earn $93,790 per year (BLS, 2017). Job openings may jump a surprising 41% through 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
Your nursing education may put you in a position to pursue advanced training options. For example, Tennessee currently has a severe shortage of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (WJHL, 2017).
Are you ready to take the plunge and start pursuing a career in nursing? Learn more about local programs by contacting some of the best nursing schools in TN.