Best Nursing Schools in Tennessee
Mary Breckinridge was a nurse midwife who was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1881. She founded the Frontier Nursing Service, which was a public health organization that provided nurses on horseback to reach families who would otherwise not be able to receive care.
Breckinridge helped develop American nurse midwifery and emphasized the importance of bringing nursing care to rural areas. Today, there are nurses that work in rural areas of Tennessee as well as other parts of the state. They can be found enjoying rewarding careers in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, and patients homes.
Best Nursing Schools in Tennessee
There are X schools that offer nursing degree programs in Tennessee. NursingDegrees.com has made it easy for prospective nurses to select the right school for them by creating two separate rankings of the best nursing schools in the state. While one ranking is for undergraduates, the other one is for graduates. Our rankings allow prospective nurses to compare the acceptance rates, tuition and fees, number of online programs offered, and other factors of nursing schools in Tennessee.
We used data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System or IPEDS to create these rankings. To learn more about our ranking methodology, we encourage you to visit the bottom of this page. Our undergraduate and graduate rankings for nursing schools in Tennessee include:
Nursing Accreditation in Tennessee
It is important for prospective nurses in Tennessee to attend an accredited nursing school. By doing so, they may transfer credits from one nursing school to another and be eligible to apply for financial aid. They may also appear more competitive in the job market. The major nursing school accreditation agencies in Tennessee are:
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME)
Tennessee Nursing Licensure
To become a licensed practical nurse or LPN in Tennessee, students are required to earn a degree or certificate from an LPN program that is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing. These programs typically take 12 to 18 months to complete. Once a student has obtained an LPN degree or certificate, they must sit and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. Registered nurses in Tennessee need to earn an associate’s degree in nursing or an ADN or a bachelor’s of science in nursing or BSN from a program that is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing. They are also required to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Nurse practitioners or NPs in Tennessee must complete a graduate nursing program and pass the national NP certification exam.
5 hours of continuing education every two years is required for LPNs and RNs in Tennessee. NPs must participate in 2 hours of continuing education on prescribing controlled substances on a biannual basis. For up-to-date continuing education requirements for nurses in Tennessee, check out this resource.
Tennessee Nursing Organizations
Nursing students as well as working nurses in Tennessee may benefit from joining one or a few professional nursing organizations that are unique to the state. Here is a brief overview of some of these organizations:
Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA):
The mission of TNA, which began in 1905, is to promote and protect registered nurses and advance the practice of nursing to assure a healthier Tennessee.
Tennessee Organization of Nurse Executives (TONE):
TONE was designed to advance and further develop effective nursing leadership and facilitate quality nursing care. It is for professionals who have an organizational role of administration or management.
Northeast Tennessee Nurse Practitioners Association (NETNPA):
NETNPA’s main mission is to provide education, encourage involvement in legislative affairs, and promote advanced practice nursing throughout the state.
Middle Tennessee Advanced Practice Nurses (MTAPN):
MTAPN is an organization of nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. It also strives to promote advanced practice nursing in Tennessee.
Hospitals in Tennessee
There are several hospitals in Tennessee that can provide entry-level nurses with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience. The three largest hospitals in the state are as follows:
- Methodist University Hospital (Memphis): Methodist University Hospital is known as the largest, most comprehensive hospital in the Methodist Healthcare System. It is equipped with 617 beds and situated in the heart of the Memphis Medical Center.
- Vanderbilt University Hospital (Nashville): Vanderbilt University Hospital has been recognized for its innovation and positive patient outcomes by a number of organizations including U.S. News & World Report, Truven Health Analytics, Becker’s Hospital Review, American Hospital Association, and Nashville Business Journal.
- Baptist Memorial Hospital – Memphis (Memphis): Baptist Memorial Hospital features an 80 acre campus that is home to Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, the Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital, Baptist Memorial Restorative Care Hospital, Baptist Heart Institute, Baptist Women’s Health Center and five physicians’ office buildings.
- American Hospital Directory, Accessed August 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
- Mary Breckinridge, The Truth About Nursing, Accessed August 2018, https://www.truthaboutnursing.org/press/pioneers/breckinridge.html
- Board of Nursing, Tennessee Department of Health, Accessed August 2018, https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/health-professional-boards/nursing-board/nursing-board/continuing-education.html
- Tennessee Nurses Association, Accessed August 2018, https://www.tnaonline.org/
- Tennessee Organization of Nurse Executives, Tennessee Hospital Association, Accessed August 2018, https://tha.com/tennessee-organization-of-nurse-executives-tone/
- Northeast Tennessee Nurse Practitioners Association, Accessed August 2018, https://netnpa.enpnetwork.com/
- Middle Tennessee Advanced Practice Nurses, Accessed August 2018, http://www.mtapn.org
- Methodist University Hospital, Methodist Healthcare, Accessed August 2018, http://www.methodisthealth.org/locations/methodist-university-hospital/
- Vanderbilt Health, Accessed August 2018, https://vanderbilthealth.com/
- Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, Baptist, Accessed August 2018, https://www.baptistonline.org/locations/memphis