RN Programs in Tennessee – Schools, Salary, and License Info

RN Programs in Tennessee

When it comes to a nursing career, you can go everywhere.

But why not choose to go to Tennessee?

America is home to many working industries.

Yet it is home to any type of education as well.

Registered Nursing education is also available there too.

You can see that from the number of schools there.

And from the variety of the programs, you can find along the way.

However, knowledge about something isn’t enough.

You need to experience it to truly believe.

Yet, you can’t go there blindfolded either.

Before going to a place, you need to make sure you have where to study and live as well.

A school is always a must to a successful education, whether be it online or local.

Though it is hard to find one, you have to be willing to do so anyway.

The major characteristic of an RN school should have is the possibility of offering you licensure.

If that is well, all is well.

But to find this information, you need to seek a bit in the NCLEX-RN pass rates.

In particular, you have to analyze the present and historical student passing rates of the Associate Degree Programs available in the state.

In Tennessee, RN programs are in total 44.

But for this analysis, 20 of them were ranked as top-rated in terms of the exam passes.

The programs are all BSN, ASN, MSN, and ADN programs.

For more, you will see by the end of the article.

No education can exist without a good health care system in the state.

This system is moving forward rapidly in Tennessee.

Registered Nursing in particular is becoming one of the most frequently sought after industries.

With 1,800 new nurses expected to get hired within the five coming years, it could not be better.

This statistic is even more strengthened from that of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Bureau reports a $61,320 annual salary for RNs there.

So, as you can see, the variety of programs is to be admired in the state.

However, you need proof.

Therefore, for RN bridge programs in Tennessee don’t forget to visit:

  • RN to BSN Programs in Tennessee
  • RN to MSN Programs in Tennessee

ADN Programs in Tennessee

Let’s start well with an Associate Degree in Nursing.

I can say, it is the first most sought after degree in Tennessee.

And undoubtedly, with good reasons.

First of all, because of its short length.

Who would not like to go nursing for two years, and start work right after completing it?

Secondly, you can find it in common junior and technical colleges around the state.

There are 15 schools so far offering such a program.

The good news is that you can earn the nursing licensure soon after the degree.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Tennessee

Finding an ADN program, however, is not impossible.

You just need to find the right one.

And you can do so with the right criteria in mind.


An accredited program is always worth studying.

That’s why accreditation is the first criterion to have for an RN school.

This procedure is done nationally from two organizations in Tennessee.

If you’re decisive enough, you will get one of them.

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing will be a good accrediting body.

But the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s omission on Collegiate Nursing Education can do also.

Last but not least, you can also assure your program is approved by contacting the Tennessee Board of Nursing.


The second criterion to check in an RN school is licensure.

But the road to the license is followed by the NCLEX exam.

By passing this exam you will definitely qualify for the nursing license in Tennessee.

This license has become a common practice in the state.

Only in 2015, 3,557 candidates took the licensure exam for the first time.

While a percentage of 88.9 candidates who became nurses took the exam and got licensed too.

Program Outcomes

One of the key factors to raise an RN school’s reputation are the program outcomes.

Once they are good, chances are you will go to school.

Here are the main program outcomes that indicate a good reputation for an RN school in Tennessee:

  • Graduation rate
  • Licensure exam pass rate
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Employment rate

These outcomes can be found in the Walters State Community College in Morristown.

The school offers an accredited program worthy of pursuit.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Tennessee

You may have all the right criteria in the world.

Yet, you need to meet some admission requirements in an RN school.

That’s what happens in every US state.

And so does in Tennessee too.

Check the common requirements below:

  • Complete all pre-requisite courses successfully, possible with a C grade or better
  • Complete computer competency requirement
  • Score at least a 75% on both the reading and math portions of the HESI A-2 nursing pre-admission exam

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Tennessee

Amid so many issues related to an ADN program in Tennessee is the cost as well.

This cost is discussed in two ways.

Once you pay the tuition, you have another share of additional fees and uniforms, textbooks, and similar.

However, this cost changes from school to school.

So your responsibility is to check all of them and see which you can cover best.

One of the colleges you can consider is Columbia State College in Columbia.

This college’s tuition of an ADN program goes around $10,452.

Fortunately, this cost does not cover extra expenses such as exam fees, achievement exams, or textbooks.

Advantages of ADN Programs

We’ve had so much about an ADN program in Tennessee.

But wait.

There is more.

The advantages are the most attractive part of it.

The shortage of the program, its accessibility, as well as affordable cost, make it worth pursuing.

LPN to RN Programs in Tennessee

The more options you have in regards to a thing, the more opportunities to grow in it.

The transition of LPN to RN is one of the paths to a nursing profession in Tennessee.

From this nursing path, you can either aim for an RN to ADN path or RN to BSN one.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

The LPN to ADN program is one of the shortest paths to an RN degree.

Being shorter than one year, you can find it at Motlow State Community College.

The LPN to BSN path, on the other hand, is a far more intensive RN program to pursue.

The essence of it is that you end up with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

This program can be attended at East Tennessee State University.

The program is a source of employment in the near future.

And a path to continue nursing education with a graduate program as well.

LPN to RN programs in Tennessee generally require the following documents for admission:

  • At least a 2.5  cumulative GPA or higher than that
  • Complete prerequisite courses on time
  • Graduate from an accredited LPN program
  • Own a current, active LPN license

BSN Programs in Tennessee

Once you start a nursing education, you will want to climb higher and higher in it.

A BSN degree is the next step you can take in the long stairs of this profession.

Though the degree will take you four traditional years, it will be worth the time you invest in it.

The degree is actually a way to make progress in the career as well as a door to job opportunities.

The variety of programs makes the degree even more appealing.

For instance, an RN to BSN program is a good solution if you have a nursing license already.

While you have more than 25 schools offering a BSN education in Tennessee.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Tennessee

Some of the key characteristics to look for in a BSN program have already been mentioned in this article.

Do you remember accreditation, location, cost, and program outcomes?

Well, they are not sufficient when it comes to your program choice.

You need to know is the school offers the program you’re interested in in the first place.

You would like to know whether the schools you check offer BSN traditional programs, RN to BSN path, or accelerated programs.

Howsoever the case, we have one example of an accredited BSN program in the state.

Look for instance the Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate.

You will never regret it!

BSN Program Length in Tennessee

If it were not for the variety of programs, a BSN would always be four years.

But fortunately, each BSN path has its own length, and that makes them even more attractive to many students in the state.

A traditional BSN will usually be four years.

But check its successors.

An RN to BSN one takes one to two years at most.

While accelerated programs narrow down into months.

The best way to start the program you like is to check the school’s offerings when you apply in it first.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Tennessee

A BSN program is not the only part that needs qualification.

You need to do the same in relation to one.

In other words, you have to meet its main requirements if you want to be part of it in the future.

In Tennessee BSN programs, the following requirements are the most common:

  • Complete the general education and program course requirements with a satisfactory result
  • Send the Academic transcripts from all postsecondary schools you’ve so far attended
  • Make a 2.75 Cumulative GPA or higher

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Tennessee

Apart from time, a BSN program will require your money too.

The cost is usually made of two parts: tuition and extra fees.

The latter include lab fees, uniforms, textbooks, and similar.

As we always try to give you an idea of a cost in Tennessee, we will do the same now.

Check the Tennessee Wesleyan University in Athens.

Its cost of tuition on a yearly basis is $22,000.

Attached to this cost you will also have the $2,000 fees and $527 annual ATI Nursing Assessment Fee.

Advantages of BSN Programs

For a BSN program, you simply need time.

If you’re willing to sacrifice it for the program, you will not go broke.

The program will reward you with job opportunities and higher pay.

A BSN is also a great way to advance in nursing in general.

MSN Programs in Tennessee

A Master’s Degree is undoubtedly the most resourceful career in nursing in Tennessee.

Resulting in different nursing specialties such as Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Clinical Nurse Specialist, it is a favorable choice for many.

Having the opportunity to qualify in these areas, means you can have more job opportunities in the future and get paid better too.

In fact, this door can be a reason why you may choose to continue your nursing education sooner or later.

MSN Program Length in Tennessee

All MSN programs in Tennessee take two to three years of study.

However, the length is mostly a matter of schedule.

Because some nurses find it difficult to fit a strict schedule, schools make it possible for them to reach both work and study.

Though different schools have different schedules.

Online, part-time, and evening classes are common in this type of degree in Tennessee.

MSN Admission Requirements in Tennessee

MSN admission requirements in Tennessee include:

  • Finish the BSN degree from an accredited program
  • Make a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Have both RN experience and licensure
  • Have the GRE or MAT scores of the last 5 years

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Tennessee

As always the cost of any nursing program changes according to the school choice and the program you attend.

However, there are some generalizations of cost which may help you on the go.

Check for example the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga.

Its tuition cost for students within the state is $34,000.

While $90,000 for those out of it.

For NP programs, make sure you visit:

  • Tennessee DNP Programs
  • Tennessee FNP Programs
  • Tennessee Nurse Practitioner Programs
  • Tennessee Post-Graduate Certificate Nursing Programs

Getting a Tennessee Nursing License

Getting a Nursing License in Tennessee is a matter of application and payment.

Yet application can be done in two forms.

One is possible through taking an exam that leads to licensure.

And the other way is through endorsement.

If you choose to apply for it by exam, you will be required to attach the application, fees, and additional documents as these:

  • Have your citizenship DeclarationCform
  • Proof that you have an Education – official transcripts sent to the Board or a copy of diploma
  • A signed affidavit from a notary public
  • Send the Criminal Background Check
  • Register for the NCLEX – make sure you secure a passing score

The second way of application for nursing licensure is by endorsement.

It basically demands to send the application, pay, and documents such as:

  • Verification of Licensure from the state of origin – you can do so either by request or NURSYS

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Tennessee

Accelerated programs in Tennessee are one of the many ways you can fast track your entire nursing career.

And for how long, you would ask me?

Well in as little as 12 to 18 months’ time.

These programs are of good use to many.

Even employers are giving incentives to nurses who go for bridge programs.

And accelerated ones enter this group as well.

Because these programs require full-time attendance, they are even more valuable in their eyes.

Accelerated programs require some prerequisite courses in the first place.

These courses, along with the cost differ from school and program.

  • Tennessee Accelerated BSN Programs
  • Tennessee Accelerated MSN Programs

Latest Tennessee NCLEX-RN Pass Rates and Statistics

  • State Approved Schools Ultimate Number: 44
  • Test Takers Ultimate Number in 2019: 3,695
  • Statewide Average Tennessee NCLEX-RN Pass Rate in 2019: 92.6%

The Best RN Schools in Tennessee

Once you choose Tennessee as your nursing career destination, you will find only advantages.

To begin with, you will have the best RN schools to choose from.

And which I have made sure you access below.

School NameAddress
University of Tennessee - Martin136 Gooch Hall, Martin, TN 38238
Lee University1120 N. Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37311
Jackson State Community College2046 North Pkwy, Jackson, TN 38301
Nashville State Community College120 White Bridge Pk, Nashville, TN 37209
Chattanooga State Community College4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406
University of Tennessee - Health Science Center920 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163
Austin Peay State University601 College St, Clarksville, TN 37044
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Carson-Newman University1646 Russell Ave, Jefferson City, TN 37760
Tennessee Tech University1 William L Jones Dr, Cookeville, TN 38505
Pellissippi State Community College10915 Hardin Valley Rd, Knoxville, TN 37932
Bethel University325 Cherry Ave, McKenzie, TN 38201
Columbia State Community College1665 Hampshire Pike, Columbia, TN 38401
University of Tennessee - Knoxville1200 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37996
Lincoln Memorial University6965 Cumberland Gap Pkwy, Harrogate, TN 37752
Vanderbilt University461 21st Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37240
Union University1050 Union University Dr, Jackson, TN 38305
Lipscomb University1 University Park Dr, Nashville, TN 37204
Tennessee Wesleyan College9845 Cogdill Drive, Knoxville, TN 37932
Milligan College1 Blowers Blvd, Milligan College, TN 37682

RN Salaries in Tennessee

After completing a suitable education in any of the schools in the state, wait, there is more!

It is actually the best part of the profession.

The time when you start earning and establishing your life well around it.

The salary of an RN career will suit you well.

Though it changes in three perspectives, an average is always there.

All you have to do is learn and qualify yourself for the right job!

 Annual Salary Range:

Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Johnson City$55,392

Regional Salary in Tennessee

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA5,060$72,330$34.77$81,760$50,680
Clarksville, TN-KY1,450$71,800$34.52$95,040$48,460
Cleveland, TN550$75,810$36.45$94,650$49,660
Jackson, TN2,400$63,690$30.62$78,680$55,490
Johnson City, TN2,360$69,260$33.3$96,450$48,160
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA2,280$67,050$32.24$82,280$48,180
Knoxville, TN7,890$66,540$31.99$80,200$48,790
Memphis, TN-MS-AR12,360$74,450$35.8$101,480$51,550
Morristown, TN540$63,630$30.59$77,220$47,020
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN21,400$77,240$37.13$106,510$53,080
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Registered Nurses, OCC Code 29-1141, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

USA RN Programs by State

Leave a Comment

Find a Program